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Discuss How Leader-Member Exchange (lmx) Theory Helps Enhance Leadership Effectiveness

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Discuss how Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory helps enhance leadership effectiveness.

The leader–member exchange (LMX) theory is a relationship-based approach to leadership that focuses on the two-way (dyadic) relationship between leaders and followers. Because of time pressures, leaders establish a special relationship with a small group of followers “in-group” (more exchanges), which is highly interacted, trusted and gets more time and attention. All other followers that get less of the leader’s attention and tend to have formal relationships with the leader (fewer exchanges) is in the “out-group”. LMX do not have clear to define subordinates as in-group or out-group. In groups, subordinates are either in the in-group or out-group based on their interactions between the leader and the followers. Mostly, the group membership is determined by the follower characteristics such as the personalities or behaviors are similar with their leader. LMX is for the leaders to pick group members early in the relationship.

LMX Theory seems do not have much relationship with personalities but have some relationship with behavioral theory. Leader can through the LMX to reflect trust and respect with followers, for example, leaders help (in-group) subordinates with personal problems, friendly approachable. Besides, this theory is more employee-oriented that emphasizes interpersonal relationships and is the most powerful dimension. Therefore, LMX is highly required communication in leadership. LMX promotes building partnerships with followers and can benefit the process and goals.

LMX can more directly and easily to influence a group (in-group) of member because they have already built trust, confidence and respect with their leader. Also, they may familiar the leader’s habit and usual practice that can let the followers receive the command or message faster and more accurate. After that, the in-group worked as a role model to influence out-group member so as to let those out-group member turn to be part of the in-group member. That can make everyone feel like they are in the in-group eventually.

One of the successful example of LMX theory is Phil Jackson, the president of the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association (NBA), would best represent a team. The in-group would be his coaching staff and the out-group would be his team. He tried to create an environment (relate to each other) that gave his team the freedom to realize their potential. He also promotes communication between players and coaches. Here’s a quote by Phil Jackson- “No leader can create a successful team alone- no matter how gifted he is”. He firstly influences his in-group (coaching staff) since he knows that he could not delegate them all by himself. As a result, he developed in-group to influence the out-group so as to enhance their individual potential.  


6. When facing with conflict, what types of intentions that commonly used by the co-workers in solving the conflicts.  If you are managers of them, what techniques you can use in handling their conflicts?

There are five types of intentions that commonly used by the co-workers in solving the conflicts including Competing, Collaborating, Avoiding, Accommodating and Compromising.

1) Competing is one seeks to satisfy his/her own interests, regardless of the impact on      other parties, one wins and the other losses.



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