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Relationship Quality

Conceptually, relationship quality has been best addressed in leader-member exchange theory by Graen and Uhl-Bien (1995). LMX was the first theory to focus entirely on the dyadic leader-follower relationship stating that leaders and direct reports are able to form mature relationships (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1991a). It is thus considered the vital part to understanding effects of dyadic relationships (Erdogan & Bauer, 2014).


Leader-follower relationship quality was assessed using the LMX-7 by Graen and Uhl-Bien (1995). The instrument represents the most frequently used measure in today’s LMX theory assessing the quality of dyadic relationships. Yet, there have been several discussions ongoing whether the theoretical construct of LMX is unidimensional or multidimensional. The developers claim LMX to consist of respect, trust, and obligation (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). As all three subfacets are highly intercorrelated, it is nevertheless recommended to apply the LMX-7 as a unidimensional measure. Reliability for the LMX-7 scale in the present work revealed a Cronbach alpha score of .90. This value is in line with repeatedly retrieved stable reliabilities between .80 and .90 (e.g., Davis & Bryant, 2010; Lee et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2012). Lying at the upper end of what has previously been reported; the good value can be explained by the fact that reliability of LMX is suggested to be better when measured on the followers’ side (Gerstner & Day, 1997).

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