Leader–member Exchange and Affective Organizational Commitment: The Contribution of Supervisor's Organizational Embodiment

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In order to account for wide variation in the relationship between leader–member exchange and employees' affective organizational commitment, we propose a concept termed supervisor's organizational embodiment (SOE), which involves the extent to which employees identify their supervisor with the organization. With samples of 251 social service employees in the United States (Study 1) and 346 employees in multiple Portuguese organizations (Study 2), we found that as SOE increased, the association between leader–member exchange and affective organizational commitment became greater. This interaction carried through to in-role and extra-role performance. With regard to antecedents, we found in Study 1 that supervisor's self-reported identification with the organization increased supervisor's expression of positive statements about the organization, which in turn increased subordinates' SOE.

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Journal of Applied Psychology, v. 95, issue 6, p. 1085-1103