The moderating effect of leader prototypicality on the relationship between LMX and follower attitudes
Cookson, Robert Lee
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Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) has provided the Industrial/Organizational Psychologists and Organizational Behaviorists with a theoretical framework for understanding how leaders lead followers. This theory is based on the interpersonal relationship between leader and follower. The theory proposes that the relationship between leaders and followers develops from a dyadic exchange process. However, research has recognized the need to consider the influence of social context on the relationship between LMX and outcomes. The Social Identity Model of Leadership (SIMOL) has proposed a view of leadership from the perspective of the relationship between the leader and a group of followers. This theory is based primarily on group memberships and how the leader fits the group prototype, affecting the leader's ability to lead and how the leader leads. This paper discusses both theories and shows how dyadic and group relationships work in concert to explain how leaders lead followers. The paper hypothesizes that SIMOL, through leader prototypicality, moderates the relationship between LMX and follower attitudes. Together, they provide a more complete framework for understanding leadership based on the simultaneously occurring relationships encountered by a leader.