Focus of the research or hypothesis
The researcher sought to demonstrate how the leader-member exchange theory could be able to increase employee performance, job satisfaction and ultimately increase organizational outcomes. The leader-member exchange theory says that when the relationship of the leader and member is characterized by mutual trust and respect, there flourishes positive work values, trust and effective communication. This study assessed whether the leader-member exchange theory was linked to the job satisfaction of employees. The researcher assumed that the quality of the relationship of the supervisor to that of his/her subordinates impacts the latter’s job satisfaction. The objective of the research study was to find the ways in which supervisors could increase the quality of their relationship with their employees which would translate to effective job performance. Within the framework of the leader-member exchange theory, it was hypothesized that high quality supervisor-employee relationship is significantly related to job satisfaction, extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.
Research approach used by the researcher(s)
This research study is mainly a quantitative one wherein the researchers made use of the survey method using standardized questionnaires to measure quality of relationship of supervisors and employee and their job satisfaction. The researcher’s used the LMX-7 to measure the leader-member exchange relationship and the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire to measure job satisfaction. The participants of the study were firefighters in the Eastern region of the United States. The research environment is appropriate for the leader-member exchange theory since their relationship is expected to be closely knit and highly emotional wherein they are in the business of saving lives and properties. The participants were asked to complete the 2 questionnaires and the responses where then analyzed using a statistical software (SPSS v.12) to test the research hypotheses. The statistical analysis results are presented in tabular form and the discussions are then based on the whether the results support or reject the hypothesis of the study.
The researcher found that there is indeed a positive correlation between high quality supervisor-employee relationship and job satisfaction and that low-quality supervisor-employee relationship is not correlated to job satisfaction. It was also found that high-quality and low-quality supervisor-employee relationship is correlated to extrinsic job satisfaction while high quality supervisor-employee relationship was correlated with intrinsic job satisfaction and low quality supervisor-employee relationship was not correlated with intrinsic job satisfaction. This provide evidence that when the relationship of the supervisor and employee fosters trust, support, openness and effective communication can significantly contribute to the employee’s job satisfaction level. This study also indicated that the theory on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation as the major influence on job satisfaction supports the early theory of Herzberg on job satisfaction. It was found that the quality of the relationship may signify the kind of state that the employee is on and it does not necessarily end with being satisfied in one’s job. The researcher concluded that studies related to this topic use a larger pool of participants with more stringent variable control.
Description of the relationship of the research to the assigned leadership theory.
The leader-member exchange theory is construed as the state and quality of the relationship and interaction of the supervisor and his/her employees. The LMX theory says that if there is a high quality relationship between supervisor and employees then it would mean that employees are more willing to work beyond that is required of them; they profess support and loyalty to the management and the organization in general. The LMX theory is different from transactional leadership since it is more concerned with the psychological aspect of the supervisor-employee relationship like trust, respect and support rather than qualitatively identifying the relationship in terms of their position. The LMX theory is able to identify and define what leadership is and how it should be carried out by supervisors. By the mere position of the supervisor, they can actually be in a leadership position and they have the responsibility to their members, to encourage and support them in their tasks as it is related to the overall goals of the leader and the organization.