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Leader Member Exchange Theory

Introduction To LMX In Organization

Leadership is believed as an attribute that impacts on the behavior of others and responds in order to achieve a specific goal. In numerous organizations leadership strategy is used to lead the team members and achieve the actual purpose of organization (Crossman, 2010).

Overview of the LMX theory from a historical to the present perspective

The Leader Member Exchange (LMX) theory holds a unique position in the leadership theories, as it gives attention on the dynamic relationship between subordinate and leader. This theory in historical aspect is known as Vertical Dyad Linkage (VDL) theory, being developed in 1975 (Holt & et. al., 2003).

LMX theory is considered as practical and valid approach as it exchanges in theory of leadership by giving attention on two way relationship among subordinates and supervisors. It assumes that these relationships impacts on the team member’s subordinate’s responsibility, decision influence, access to resources and performance. In the present perspective, LMX theory suggests that a group consists of two parts i.e. “in-group” and “out-group”.

Results of the completed questionnaire including the score and the role taken in the assessment

The accomplished questionnaire has stated my relationship with my team leader. In the present assessment m role was of a subordinate and have rated my leader.

  • Sometimes
  • A fair amount
  • A little
  • High
  • Small
  • Neutral
  • Better than average

Description of what have been learned and which can be applied into leadership practice, focusing on, when working in teams or groups

After assessing the LMX theory it can be stated that it is a valuable approach and provides much of assistance to the leader as well as subordinates.

This theory gives priority on enforcement of prominent relationship in a group and the 7 scale rating questionnaire helps in to identify the level to which leaders and subordinates have mutual understanding for each other’s abilities and possess in a strong responsibility to each other.

This assessment has helped me to enhance my existing skills and understand the essential features that a subordinate and leader require in order to develop a strong effective relationship. The learning’s from this theory I can utilize in my future job where in I need to undertake responsibilities being a leader or a subordinate.

An action plan for implementing this new knowledge into personal leadership development planning

The LMX theory has been designed in a manner that it can be used in leadership training and developmental programs, it provides in much of insight that leaders can use in to enhance their own set of leadership behavior.

Other than this LMX theory also helps in leaders to enhance their work unit by framing strong exchange relationship among leader and subordinates and can be used at every level of the organization.

Moreover, as this theory gives in emphasis on framing an optimum relationship hence I can use in this approach in my own personal leadership developmental learning. In own learning I can use in this approach to develop skills like mutual trust, values, emotions and innovation and empowerment, as all these attributes will assist me in designing a prominent relation with colleagues and other members.


From the above discussion, it can be concluded in that LMX theory suggest that when team members believe in themselves they become empowered to perform the job in a better manner and enhance existing production and employee’s performance (Sandi, 2013).
Hence, an organization can rely on this theory as it depicts in that leaders who motivate and provide in assistance to subordinates to enhance skills and acquire confidence will ultimately result into employees performing in a better manner.


Books and Journals

  • Amagoh, F. (2009). Leadership development and leadership effectiveness.  Management Decision. 47(6). pp.989 – 999.
  • Bass, M. B., & Avolio, J. B., (2000). Improving Organizational Effectiveness through Transformational Leadership. SAGE.
  • Chen, C. J., & et. al., (2005). Leadership effectiveness, leadership style and employee readiness. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 26(4), pp.280 – 288.
  • Crossman, J., (2010). Conceptualising spiritual leadership in secular organizational contexts and its relation to transformational, servant and environmental leadership.  Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31(7).
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