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Impact of LMX Differentiation on Relationship Conflict in Teams

Added on -2019-09-21

This research study focuses on the problem of relationship conflict that is prevalent in organizations. It tries to analyze the relation between LMX differentiation and team conflict. Beside it also focuses on the impact of ethical leadership on the relationship among the two i.e. LMX differentiation and relationship conflict.
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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR 1Problem discussed in Research ArticleRelationship conflict refers to work-related conflicts arising among superior and subordinates nthe organization and is prevalent in existing organizations. Various researches have shown that itis harmful to every individual and groups which are involved in the conflict. It has emerged thatrelationship conflict has negative impact on the performance, behavior and team effectiveness(Simons and Peterson, 2000). Leader-Member Exchange Theory gives an effective framework inunderstanding superior-subordinate work relationships. The purpose of this research study is toexpand the understanding of leader’s role in the management of relationship conflict in the team.This research study focuses on broadening the knowledge and impact of relationship conflict onthe team.Hypothesis formulated in the articleH1. LMX differentiation will be positively related to team relationship conflict.H2. Ethical leadership will moderate the relationship between LMX differentiation and teamrelationship conflict, such that the relationship will be stronger when ethical leadership is lowrather than high.Importance of the studyThe need for studying the relationship conflict is important so that people can stop repeatingdetrimental patterns in the team or group they are working. Conflict is an inevitable, natural partof communication. In an organization, management and study of conflict are significant. Foremployees, it is necessary, as they can learn how to come along with colleagues, manager, andrest of the public. If we talk about superior or supervisor, he/she can see the emerging conflicts,can get cooperation from the employees, and can help in resolving conflicts amidst each other
ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR 2and help in constraining personal conflicts from spreading in other departments. When a numberof people work together, it is natural to arise conflicts, and it is unavoidable. Various issues thatresult in conflict should be constrained, so that emergence of big conflict can be prevented at theright time. Organizations are run for earning profits. The productivity of the organization willdecrease when employees are continuously involved in criticizing and fighting with each other.Leaders should ensure that various roles and responsibilities are clearly communicated to eachemployee, and they should be demotivated for interfering other work. Conflict managementhelps in avoiding conflicts to a large extent and therefore leads to the reduction of tension andstress among employees. Methodology used in the studyIn the research article, data has been collected using questionnaires. The sample consists of 79teams of 16 firms situated in Shenzhen, China. Questionnaires were put into an envelope andwere given to the respondents, with a letter explaining the purpose of study and confidentiality ofsurvey process. Participants filled up the questionnaire and returned them in envelopes to theresearchers and respondents received ¥ 20 in return as a reward. 350 employees from 80 teamsparticipated in this survey, and all questionnaires were filled. Finally, 334 samples from 79 teamswere obtained. The majority of the sample size consists of male, and 59% of them are in twentiesage group. Mostly widely used scales have been used to measure the variables in this study.Responses to the questions in the questionnaire are measured on 5 point scale (5 strongly agreeto 1 strongly disagree). LMX differentiation has been calculated by the usage of the standarddeviation of members rating for LMX. Seven point measure coined by Graen and Uhl-Bien hasbeen used to analyze LMX (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995).
ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR 3Literature ReviewThe impact of LMX differentiation on relationship conflict of the team consists of tension andpersonal disagreements between the team members and generally described with negativefeelings like distrust, anger frustration and fear (Jehn, 1995). Therefore man-made differencesbetween the members of the team, viz. differences in quality of LMX in this study, have alsobeen related to relationship conflict of the team. LMX differentiation is constructed at the grouplevel, which is referred to “a set and outcome of dynamic and interactive exchanges that occurbetween leaders and members” (Henderson et al., 2009). Previous research provides that anotherindividual in a social group acts as reference point and basis for social comparison (Brown et al.,1992). Social comparison refers to the process of analyzing and thinking about information moreof other individuals as compared to self, consisting upward, parallel and downward comparison(Wood, 1996). Ethical leadership is referred to as a demonstration of a proper code of conductvia actions of personal nature and interpersonal relations, and promotions likely conduct via twofaced communication, decision making and reinforcement (Brown et al., 2005). Ethical leaderspay attention to ethics not only regarding themselves, but side by side provides juniorsemployees with voice, a procedure or interpersonal process, and set ethical standards for theregulation of the behavior of subordinates. High levels of ethical leadership have been forecastedand will increase the positive effect of LMX differentiation. The literature on LMX provides forthat relationship of LMX starts developing from the very first interaction among the subordinatesand leaders, and is it also came to know through literature that subordinates cannot enhance theirLMX without the intervention of their leaders (Dienesch and Liden, 1986).

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