My colleague, Erin, managed to create an informative and interesting post about the leader-member exchange (LMX) theory, its peculiar features, strengths, shortages, and relation to another integral leadership theory, known as transformational. One of the first questions that appeared after reading the post was as follows, “Erin, is there your own opinion about the LMX theory in this post?” I found several strong statements about the theory’s strengths.
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Still, all of them were taken from the book. Almost each sentence contained an in-text citation when the task was to pose personal explanation of the theory and the nature of the dyadic relationships which are denoted by self-interests (Omilion-Hodges & Baker, 2012).
It seems that Erin tried to avoid giving personal evaluations and assumptions on the topic. One the one hand, the use of academic sources, properly chosen citations, and clear ideas made this post effective. Erin demonstrated an educative approach to discussing the topic. On the other hand, I would like to find more personal opinion and thoughts about LMX and its usage in everyday business. It is easy to find enough theoretical information in books and articles. I expected the post to be a successful combination of theoretical material and personal attitude to the chosen leadership style.
At the beginning of the post, Erin described the LMX strengths and mentioned its single shortage, the creation of an “out-group” category, without any explanation. Some other factors that could affect the relationships between leaders and followers were also mentioned but not identified properly. As a reader, I wanted to find more information about the negative or weak aspects of this theory. For example, in Northouse’s book (2016), I came across the idea that the LMX theory lacked the explanation of high- and low-quality relations, the effects of workplace norms, and culture variables that could influence the cooperation between leaders and their followers.
Richards and Hackett (2012) discussed the relationships between leaders and followers and proved that the match of their attachment styles was a key to positive outcomes. Regarding such discussion, another limitation of the LMX theory can be offered. The supporters of this theory do not find it necessary to focus on the solution of problems but consider the conditions under which the best results may be achieved. In other words, people who choose the LMX theory in their work may be short of recommendations on how to solve problems and promote improvements.
I suggest expanding Erin’s post by adding more information about the limitations of the LMX theory so that people can understand their possible challenges and problems using the LMX approach. Moreover, the comparison between the LMX theory and Transformational Leadership may be introduced in another way. For example, it is possible to take one of the factors (organization, teamwork, culture, or self-perception) and describe it from the point of view of the LMX theorists first, and then, from the point of view of transformational leaders. It is clear that these two theories have different goals and approaches. It is interesting to know how these different theorists define leadership concepts for their users.
My personal experience shows that it is hard to be one type of a leader all the time. Sometimes, it is necessary to become a transformational leader and think about how to support and inspire followers. One day, LMX leadership is required to underline the importance of cooperation. However, the list of leadership styles is far from being full. In Erin’s post, all parts of the assignment were properly done with several light shortages that may be corrected by means of several new facts and ideas added. The main task is this course is to learn different leadership styles and understand when it is beneficial to make one choice and follow it precisely.
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Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Omilion-Hodges, L. M., & Baker, C. R. (2012). Contextualizing LMX within the workgroup: The effects of LMX and justice on relationship quality and resource sharing among peers. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(6), 935–951.
Richards, D.A., & Hackett, R.D. (2012). Attachment and emotion regulation: Compensatory interactions and leader-member exchange. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(4), 686-701.