How Do Leadership Perceptions Affect Leader-Follower Exchange Quality?

JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpoint[We’re pleased to welcome Patrick T. Coyle, who collaborated with Roseanne Foti on the article “If You’re Not With Me You’re . . . ? Examining Prototypes and Cooperation in Leader–Follower Relationships” from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies.]

I was inspired to study perceptions of leaders and followers in leader-follower relationships because of a wide variety of experience I’ve had in both roles. The findings of this study were somewhat surprising, as we found perceptions of leadership matter to both leaders and followers when evaluating the quality of exchanges within the relationship. For this line of research, the next step is to test this process in a field setting and incorporate other process models involving perceptions of leaders and followers in dyadic relationships. I see this as a productive line of research that will help explain the importance of cognitive processes in the leadership process.

The abstract:

This study investigated how congruence between dyadic partners’ leader and follower prototypes affects leader–member exchange (LMX) quality. Specifically, we examined cooperation as a process variable in the dyadic relationship. Participants in a laboratory setting completed a group task followed by dyadic task in the context of a leader–follower relationship. Observed cooperation mediated the relationship between congruence on leader prototypes and leader assessed LMX quality, and the relationship between congruence on leader prototypes and LMX agreement. As congruence on leader prototypes decreased, leaders were less likely to be cooperative in an exchange relationship. As congruence on follower prototypes decreased, there was a greater chance leaders would cooperate but followers would defect.

Click here to read “If You’re Not With Me You’re . . . ? Examining Prototypes and Cooperation in Leader–Follower Relationships” from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

picture-139Patrick T. Coyle is a doctoral candidate in Industiral and Organizational psychology at Virginia Tech. His research interests within leadership focus on on leader-follower relationships, implicit leadership and followership, and the role of followers in the leadership process.

picture-158Roseanne J. Foti is an Associate Professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on implicit leadership, the process of leadership emergence and shared leadership, and person approaches to the study of behavior.

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