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Leader Member Exchange (LMX) and Followership Styles


A. K. D. N. Dilshani

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Kuliyapitiya, LK
About A. K. D. N.
Department of Business Management, Faculty of Business Studies & Finance
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The Leader Member Exchange (LMX) often has more ramifications for organizational results than a leader trait or behavior. LMX theory studies the quality of the relationship between the leader and each individual follower in a work unit. In certain instances, the styles of followers’ is an ancestor for the formation of high-quality LMX relationships. Five styles of followership styles have been described as alienated, conformist, passive, exemplary and pragmatic based on two behavioral dimensions of independent critical thinking and active engagement. How these followership styles relate with the formation of quality of LMX is an absent field in both relationship based approach to leadership and as well as followership literature. Accordingly, this investigation was carried out to fill this gap. Based on a purposeful sampling procedure, 200 newly graduated employees were selected. The main research instruments were questionnaires. The LMX 7 questionnaire was used to collect data regarding the quality of the relationship between leaders and followers, while Kelley’s followership styles assessment and model was used to identify the followership styles of the respondents. Findings have shown that the existing level of LMX, active engagement and independent critical thinking behavior of newly graduated employees are not in a satisfactory. Further, active engagement behavior is closely linked with LMX as opposed to independent critical thinking behavior. Moreover, it was revealed that high quality LMX relationships were encountered by conformist and exemplary followership styles.
How to Cite: Dilshani, A.K.D.N., 2019. Leader Member Exchange (LMX) and Followership Styles. Wayamba Journal of Management, 10(1), pp.36–49. DOI:
Published on 30 Jun 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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