A Team-Level Social Exchange Model: The Antecedents and Consequences of Leader-Team Exchange
To date, leadership and team literatures are still disconnected and the relationship between leadership and team remains a largely unexplored research area (Kozlowski & Bell, 2003; Morgeson, DeRue, & Karam, 2010; Zaccaro, Heinen, & Shuffler, 2009). Integrating theories of social exchange (Blau, 1964) with leadership and team literatures, the current study introduces the construct of leader-team exchange (LTX), the social exchange relationship between a leader and his or her work team. The current study develops a comprehensive model to delineate the antecedents and consequences of LTX at the team level and involves three field investigations to examine the theoretical model. First, interviews with team members and leaders from a variety of contexts provided preliminary evidence of the existence of LTX in teams. Second, results from a pilot study using 251 employees in 60 teams demonstrated the psychometric properties of the LTX measure and supported LTX as a unique multidimensional construct. Third, using three-phased survey data from 67 teams in six companies from the United States and the People’s Republic of China, it was found that leader provision of resources, servant leadership, and shared team goal were significant determinants of LTX, and servant leadership and team-based HR were important antecedents of LTX variance within the team. Results further indicated that after controlling for leader-member exchange (LMX) at the team level, LTX was positively related to team processes (i.e., team potency, team cohesion, and intrateam trust) and team outcomes (i.e., team performance, team OCB, and team viability).