University of Oulu

Alo, O. and Arslan, A. (2022), "The antecedents of leader-member-exchange (LMX) relationships in African context: the influence of the supervisor’s feedback delivery-tactic", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 30 No. 7, pp. 67-94.

The antecedents of leader-member-exchange (LMX) relationships in African context : the influence of the supervisor’s feedback delivery-tactic

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Author: Alo, Obinna1; Arslan, Ahmad2
Organizations: 1Business School, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK
2Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-06


Purpose: The current paper aims to analyse the antecedents of leader–member exchange relationships (LMX) by specifically focusing on the influence of the supervisor’s feedback delivery tactic.

Design/methodology/approach: This study uses qualitative research methods with primary interviews as the main data source. Primary interviews with 40 managers from top supermarkets in Nigeria, South Africa and the UK were undertaken.

Findings: The authors found that both high-quality positive feedback and constructive criticisms produced the same feelings — more positive interpersonal relationships with their supervisors, higher levels of commitment to their organisations, higher job satisfaction and thus, high-quality LMX relationships. Where criticisms were delivered without greater interpersonal treatment, feedback was perceived as negative, and participants revealed lack of job satisfaction, lack of commitment to their organisations, poor interpersonal relationship with their supervisors, high turnover intent and thus low-quality LMX relationship.

Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the current paper is one of the first studies to highlight the consequences of different feedback delivery tactics on subsequent LMX quality particularly in African context. The authors specifically develop a process-based model of enhancing high-quality LMX, which shows the role of the supervisor’s feedback delivery tactic in the process. The authors also develop a process-based model that illustrates how negative/unconstructive feedback could result in a low-quality LMX. Finally, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is also one of the first to offer a comparative assessment between African and British (the UK) empirical settings and highlight some interesting dynamics concerning LMX quality and role of supervisor’s feedback delivery tactic.

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Series: International journal of organizational analysis
ISSN: 1934-8835
ISSN-E: 1758-8561
ISSN-L: 1934-8835
Volume: 30
Issue: 7
Pages: 67 - 94
DOI: 10.1108/IJOA-07-2021-2878
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2022, Obinna Alo and Ahmad Arslan. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at