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Effectiveness of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) in the Saudi workplace context during times of organisational change: An investigation of LMX roles and their potential to enhance employee outcomes

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Successful adaptation to organisational changes may start with individuals’ successful adaptation to change at the task level. This study suggests that the success of employees’ adaptation to task change may depend on the quality of the relationships between them and their managers. Within the broad area of organisational leadership, leader-member exchange (LMX) theory has evolved into one of the more interesting and useful approaches for studying hypothesised linkages between the exchange relationships between employees and their managers, and employee outcomes. The current research adopts an integrative model which is based on a review of the body of literature relevant to LMX, leadership behaviour, and employees’ work-related behaviour and attitudes. The literature review revealed a dearth of rigorous academic research using the leader-member exchange (LMX) approach in the Saudi organisational context, and the need to validate a model of the exchange relationships based on this approach in this context, specifically during times of organisational change. The research contributes to the current body of knowledge by bridging this gap in the previous literature, conducting the research in King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) using the LMX approach. The research design was largely derived from the Methodological Fit Concept for Mature Theory (Edmondson & McManus, 2007). For the purpose of testing the mediation hypotheses, the employees’ data was analysed at descriptive and explanatory levels using the macro introduced by Preacher and Hayes (2008a) for Multiple Mediation Analysis. The most exciting results of the current research are regarding the employees’ evaluation of LMX overall, and that the values for LMX dimensions were high. Interestingly this has been supported by the employees’ views about the significant effect of multidimensional LMX, firstly as mediator and then regarding the independent influence of its dimensions in predicting task change-supportive behaviours and attitudes in the Saudi organisational change context. Based on these results, the research suggests areas and tools for development related to the criteria and mediator variables that need more attention from KAU management.
Original languageEnglish
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Award dateSep 2012

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