Member Exchange Theory and Social Network Theory

Sandra Porter RE: Discussion – Week 8 COLLAPSE Hello All Leader–Member Exchange Theory and Social Network Theory The leader–member exchange (LMX) theory is a relationship-based approach to leadership that concentrates on the two-way relationship between the leaders and followers within an organization (Bauer & Ergoden 2015). Similarities and Differences Some similarities of the Path-Goal and the Situational Leadership theories are: 1) employee motivation depends on leadership with the leaders adapting to the employees and workplace to be effective; 2) both theories requires a flexible approach to leadership so that organizations can obtain the most out of their employees who are expected to react quickly to change; 3) both theories operate on motivating and or influencing the employees within an organization to help workers complete their tasks or achieve a goal. The main difference between Path-Goal and the Situational Leadership theory is that Situational Leadership focuses on the leader using a directive (task) and supportive (relationship) behavior in conjunction with four styles (i.e. directing coaching supporting and delegating) and employee development level to adapt a style that will help meet the changing demands of their employees (Cote 2017). Strengths and Weaknesses One of the main strengths of the LMX theory is that the theory is seen as a practical and strong theory of leadership that focuses on the specific relationships between the leader and each subordinate. The main limitation of MX is that it is not helpful in describing the specific leader behaviors that give rise to relationships between leader and members that are of a high quality (Gerstner & Day 1997). This is mainly because LMX is a descriptive (rather than normative) theory that seeks to explain how people relate to and interact with each other. Also of great importance is the fact that LMX is an unfair/bias leadership theory which provides some workers with greater advantages and benefits more than others. Theory Validity The path-goal theory can best be thought of as a process in which leaders select specific behaviors that are best suited to the employees’ needs and their working environment so that they may best guide the employees through their path in the obtainment of their daily work activities (goals) (Crace 2014). A personal experience that I could use to relate the path-goal theory would be when I was working as a Client-Based Unit specialist in the healthcare field. Each business account required many different things and certain skills were needed to be adjusted based on the group’s needs. For example one account may require that all of their employees complete a biometric screening and another group may require that each employee complete a screening report the data back to their jobs for a physical check-off and have their spouses complete a screening as well in order to keep the premiums lowered. References: Bauer Tayla and Ergoden Berrin (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Leader-Member Exchange. New York NY 10016: Oxford University Press. Crace (2014). slw5651 says ack14 & says H. J. M. (2018 February 19). Home. Leadership. Gerstner Charlotte R. & Day David V. (1997). “Meta-Analytic Review of Leader-Member Exchange Theory: Correlates and Construct Issues.” Journal of Applied Psychology; 82 (6): 827-844. Rockstuhl Thomas Dulebohn James H. Ang Soon & Shore Lynn M. (2012). “Leader– Member Exchange (LMX) and Culture: A Meta-Analysis of Correlates of LMX Across 23 Countries.” Journal of Applied Psychology 97 (6): 1097-1130.4 days ago Nicholas OClair RE: Discussion – Week 8 COLLAPSE Leader-Member Exchange and Social Network Theories: Understanding and facilitating intrapersonal relationships is a key skill for leaders to harness in best establishing strong communication practices with the goal of team success. Many theories center in this discipline that aim to further explain the workings on these manager-team relationships including the Leader-Member Exchange Theory (LMX) and Social Network Theory (SNT). LMX focuses on two-way (dyadic) relationships between leaders and their team (Lee et al. 2019; Schriesheim et al. 1999). Positive application of the LMX theory are based in open sharing of resources with the entire team instead of restricted information allowing more collaborative communication patterns (Lee et al. 2019). SNT is based on its difference from traditional sociological theories which assume that it is the attributes of individual actors that matter (Pettenati & Cigognini 2007; Nahavandi 2014). The application of the SNT has been useful in exploring many real-world intrapersonal experiences but also bring along new challenges to the wider understanding of social interactions (Nahavandi 2014). Similarities and Differences Between the Theories: Both practices focus on team relationships but use different perspectives to address social phenomena. Looking specifically at the SNT all social interactions are related through an interconnected web best described as nodes (the individuals in the network) and ties (the matter to which each person is related) (Pettenati & Cigognini 2007; Nahavandi 2014). Organizations often have several of these interconnected webs that together create the overarching social network between all team members and can branch beyond the organization to involve partnerships outside the immediate group (Pettenati & Cigognini 2007). Based on an individual’s relationship from this formulated network their usefulness or trustworthiness can be determined. SNT creates an alternate view where the attributes of individuals are less important than their relationships and ties with other actors within the network. In essence the ties one has in the social network provides others with credibility based on those they interact with. The LMX approach also relates to interpersonal practices but are more based on attributes and less focused on relationships alone. Leaders base a person’s ability on their observed skill as they move through the process of joining and acclimating to the team (Lee et al. 2019). Based on perspective new team members are placed in either an ‘in-group’ or ‘out-group’. The in-group is made of the team members that leaders can trust the most providing challenging and interesting work and offering opportunities for additional training and advancement (Schriesheim et al. 1999). On the other hand the out-group is comprised of members that betray the trust of the leader or prove that they are unmotivated in completing more challenging tasks (Schriesheim et al. 1999; Wilson et al. 2010). Although difficult it is possible for individuals to move between groups however it is often found that once a team member is placed in a group they will likely stay in that role throughout their time with the organization. The SNT and LMX focus attention on individual trustworthiness but very in how they establish this quality. LMX is centered on the motivation and dedication exhibited by the team member whereas SNT gathers its assessment through preexisting relationships and larger scale connections. Separately both these theories present a level of risk with LMX not flexing for human error or personal development and SNT not considering attributes that may present skills beyond those associated with the social circle. Formulating a more macro view and combining both practices to create a more diverse assessment process leaders will likely develop teams that comprise of members with more ranging abilities and flexibility in accepting circumstances that may be beyond an individual’s control. Integration into Unified Leadership Theory: Recognizing that both practices can happen purposefully and inadvertently leaders must start by acknowledging the benefits and risks of both SNT and LMX when overseeing a team. Application of both theories alongside the Skills Theory of Leadership will foster the chance for growth and development even in those that may not fit in the “trustworthy” category as presented by the SNT and LMX models. Personal growth is the catalyst towards a more productive team; and while identifying team member’s strengths is important when assigning tasks to ensure completion building from weaknesses with challenging goals will also promote development. This approach will incorporate those identified as in-group and out-group (as identified by the LMX model) for both categories need the opportunity to develop skills in the ever-changing world of public health. Of course this will also bridge to the SNT when considering smaller interdisciplinary teams that are tasked with working towards a small goal. Application to Real-World Scenarios: A prime example of this practice in action would be in addressing public health emergency preparedness. This specific task often incorporates the collaboration of multiple parties in the public private and non-profit sectors that all have varying degrees of motivation interconnectedness and ultimately planned mission in the community. The SNT will base its findings on the experience and workings of the other partnered teams when looking to resolve concerns that address multiple organizations. Although representatives from each agency may be dedicated to the specific task others may hold a particular stigma to the person based on the organization and not the individual alone. This idea can branch into the LMX model as well. Motivation and competency are key qualities to have in disaster preparedness and without it lives can be put at risk. This does not mean that the out-group should not share the same responsibility as those in the in-group. Changing group dynamics and assigning challenging tasks with frequent check-ins might increase opportunity for team development. Recognizing the influences of both methods will create a more diverse team and higher chances of team success overall. References: Davies A. Wong C. & Lashinger H. (2011). Nurses participation in personal knowledge transfer: the role of leader–member exchange (LMX) and structural empowerment. Journal of Nursing Management 19(5) 632-643. Lee A. Thomas G. Martin R. & Guillaume Y. (2019). Leader-member exchange (LMX) ambivalence and task performance: The cross-domain buffering role of social support. Journal of Management 45(5) 1927-1957. Nahavandi A. (2014). The art and science of leadership (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River NJ: Pearson. Pettenati M. C. & Cigognini M. E. (2007). Social networking theories and tools to support connectivist learning activities. International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies (IJWLTT) 2(3) 42-60. Schriesheim C. A. Castro S. L. & Cogliser C. C. (1999). Leader-member exchange (LMX) research: A comprehensive review of theory measurement and data-analytic practices. The Leadership Quarterly 10(1) 63-113. Wilson K. S. Hock-Peng S. & Conlon D. E. (2010). What about the leader in leader-member exchange? The impact of resource exchanges and substitutability on the leader. Academy of Management Review 35(3) 358-372.3 days ago Tara Geer-Leiker RE: Discussion – Week 8 COLLAPSE Comparison between Leader-Member Exchange and Social Network Theory The leader-member exchange and social network theory have similarities. Leader-member exchange is based on an individual relationship between the leader and follower and each relationship varies greatly from another (Nahavandi 2015). This is similar to the social network theory in the way that people interact with one another in a social context is examined. Furthermore the social network theory as well as the leader-member exchange both look at how people interact with one another on a social continuum within groups (Nahavandi 2015). Social network theory does this through a lens of networks however and leader-member exchange does this through the existence of an in-group and an out-group (Nahavandi 2015). Additionally social network theory examines the role of the relationships in a social context through the way information is passed along there being personal influence or media influence and a result of a change of attitude or behavior (Liu et al. 2017). Leader-member exchange also results in behavior change and an increase in positive work attitude however with leader-member exchange there is also a result in positive reward directly from the leader given to the followers (Nahavandi 2015). Though this is not the case with those in leader-member exchange who are not designated to be in the in-group. Integrating Leader-Member Exchange Theory & Social Network Theory into my Personal Unified Leadership Theory I believe that as a leader a personal relationship should exist between the leader and each follower. This falls into both the leader-member exchange and social network theories. However due to the leader-member exchange in a sense marginalizing a group of people the ones who are in the out-group which has also been shown to lead to high turn-over rates within that group in the public health field I do not see myself integrating the theory fully (Aarons et al. 2020). The social network theory is more in-line with my own unified leadership theory. Balkundi and Kilduff (2006) suggest that social network theory promotes both cognitive constructions within the minds of the leaders and members as well as opportunities that are designed to help facilitate as well as inhibit action. They propose that this is accomplished through having a focus on the relationships and how people relate to one another being important the members’ embeddedness the value of social connection to one another and the fundamental modeling of social life (Balkundi & Kilduff 2006). Social network theory extends beyond the individual relationships to the organization and then to the systems as well. My unified theory integrates this extension as well as focus on how people interact with one another on a social level to promote success through the facilitation of opportunities and there being value in connection between people. Additionally I believe the leader should hold the weight of responsibility and within the leader-member exchange theory there is not enough research to support positive outcomes specific to the leader (Wilson et al. 2010). This is important to me to incorporate to know that there is leader effectiveness and responsibility in the outcomes. Personal Unified Theory Related to a Familiar Public Health Scenario Relating my personal unified theory to addressing the current public health emergency of the pandemic and cases rising in our underserved communities it would be addressed through utilizing relationships within one organization to then extend them beyond the organization to create networks of support. An example of this would be within one organization the leader would work to influence people through her relationship with them who are inter-connected in relationship and that will work together as a team. The leader would promote attitudinal and behavioral change through encouraging the team of people through supporting the individual relationships to influence action. Action would then be taken to address the disparities in cases rising through the team then reaching out to their personal relationships both at work and otherwise and social networks to promote change and this would extend to the systems around them. One specific action that could be taken as an example of this way of influencing change with this issue would be to work in this manner to extend to the community to promote outreach of awareness of the importance of mask wearing as well as providing the people with the proper masks and other protective gear needed to effectively do their jobs. The people that are sometimes harder to reach in these communities through utilizing this theory could be more easily reached through social networking. References Aarons G.A. Conover K.L. Ehrhart M.G. Torres E.M. & Reeder K. (2020 Dec 1). Leader- member exchange and organizational climate effects on clinician turnover intentions. Journal of Health Organization and Management 35(1). Balkundi P. & Kilduff M. (2006). The ties that lead: A social network approach to leadership [PDF]. The Leadership Quarterly 17 419-439.… f Liu W. Sidhu A. Beacom A.M. & Valente T.W. (2017 Mar 8). Social network theory. The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects. https://doi- Nahavandi A. (2015). The art and science of leadership (7th ed.). Pearson. Wilson K.S. Hock-Peng S. & Conlon D.E. (2010). What about the leader in leader-member exchange? The impact of resource exchanges and substitutability on the leader. Academy

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