Relationship-based approaches to leadership: toward a new era of organising – Professor Steve Armstrong, Professor of Organisational Behaviour (Hull University Business School)

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22nd November 2012 from 10.30 – 13.00 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Muscat Sohar Hall, Muscat

Most leadership theory is based on the assumption that relationships between group members and their leader are so similar that leader behaviour can be conceptualised in terms of an ‘average’ style across the group as a whole. An alternative approach, Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theory, suggests that superior-subordinate relations are sufficiently differentiated to warrant a focus on each dyad separately. Longitudinal studies have shown that different subordinates differ markedly in their descriptions of the same leader, and that this is reflected in the varying quality of leader-member interactions within the same group

LMX research has shown that a leader will develop close associations with a few subordinates and more distant relationships with the rest. This results in an ‘in-group’ and ‘out-group’ dichotomy. In-group members receive attention, sensitivity and support from their leader in exchanges that are characterised by mutual trust, respect, liking and a high level of interaction. Out-group members, on the other hand, are confined to relatively mundane tasks, and experience a more formal relationship with the leader, working largely in accordance with their job description. These differences in the quality of exchanges have significant implications for both the individual and the organisation.

Studies have shown that there are significant relationships between LMX and job performance, satisfaction with supervision, overall satisfaction, commitment, role conflict, role clarity, member competence and turnover intentions. As we shift away from traditional hierarchical structures towards flatter, team oriented models, the need to focus on interpersonal relationship development within organisations is becoming increasingly important. This need is partly reflected in this growing body of research addressing relational leadership.

This seminar will discuss the origins and development of LMX theory before presenting a series of ongoing research studies designed to help identify antecedents of high-quality leader-member exchange relationships. Their consequences for building leadership teams with higher proportions of high quality LMX relationships will also be discussed in the context of shifting to a new era of organising.

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About the speaker: Professor Steve Armstrong, Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Steve Armstrong is professor of organisational behaviour at Hull University Business School in the UK. He is also a Chartered Engineer, a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management. After a successful career in the electronics industry, he became a senior university lecturer in 1993 and received a PhD in organisational behaviour from Leeds University Business School in 1999.

Steve’s primary research interests focus on the relevance of cognitive style for improvements in workplace effectiveness but he is also interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning and is past president of the Management Education and Development Division of the US Academy of Management.

He has written more than 40 articles and book chapters and publications have appeared in theAcademy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Personnel Review, British Journal of Education Psychology, Journal of Business and Psychology, Learning and Individual Differences, International Journal of Management Reviews, Educational Psychology, and Small Group Research.

The Feed Your Mind (FYM) series aims to provide continuing development for busy professionals by way of:

  • Free lunch time workshop – delegates just bring their appetite for updates as well as food!
  • Held Every 6-8 weeks when an international authority presents a lunch time fast food and quick update
  • Hot business issues – bite sized
  • An excellent use of time

Book now

The event is free to attend but you must book in advance.

To book your place please call or email:

Ms Achal on 968 24 607 625 Mob: +968 92 484 856
or email to reserve your place.

This is one of a series of ‘Feed your Mind’ events organised by Hull University Business School and MDCI. More events will be announced soon.


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