Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Michael T. Brannick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tammy D. Allen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael T. Braun, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Salomon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joe A. Vandello, Ph.D.


leadership, leaders, teams, virtual, stress


Fundamental to the conceptualization of leader-membership exchange (LMX), particularly within the context of teams, is that leaders do not necessarily treat each follower equally. Studies that have examined LMX within the context of the team often fail to capture these complexities, or rely exclusively upon self-report, or survey-based data to make inferences. Therefore, it is the purpose of this study to examine the effects of experimentally manipulated relative LMX within teams on individual conflict processes, attitudes, and psychological distress, as well as team-level performance. This study examined conflict processes and outcomes within 113 virtual, project teams engaged in a decision-making task that required intensive interdependence. Teams were composed of three subordinates and a confederate leader who engaged in behaviors designed to heighten LMX with all, some, or none of the participants, depending on the condition. Results suggest that objectively manipulated leader behaviors influenced perceived levels of LMX as well as leader and teammate satisfaction, psychological distress, use of collaborative and individualistic conflict processes, and motivation to perform with the team. Results also indicate that relative LMX condition moderates the relationship between LMX condition and outcomes of interest, such that LMX condition has a stronger effect on outcomes when individuals are in a minority configuration (i.e., have a higher RLMX) than when they are in a shared configuration.

Included in

Psychology Commons