Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Marita Apter-Desselles


Leadership involves two or more parties, the influence of at least one party upon the other, and the bi-directional influence towards a mutually agreed upon goal. A notable shortcoming in leadership research is the lack of emphasis on recognizing both the leader and follower in the interdependent relationship and instead measuring perceptions from the viewpoint of only one member. Leader Member Exchange (LMX) theory has emerged as one of the most heavily researched approaches to understanding leadership and explicitly recognizes the centrality of the leader-follower relationship. The congruence between leader and follower perceptions has been found to affect both LMX quality and various leadership and work outcomes (e.g., work engagement, OCBs, job satisfaction, commitment), yet many LMX researchers fail to take congruence into consideration or to accurately measure the construct from the perspectives of both the leader and follower.

Additionally, motivation is inherent to the definition of leadership, but many leadership theories (including LMX) fail to explicitly recognize the important contribution. Reversal theory provides a motivational grounding for exploring the climates (Carter & Kourdi, 2003) created by a leader that allow followers to experience situations in different ways (Apter, 2005). The present study addressed these gaps in LMX research and investigated the convergence on motivational climates as an antecedent to the quality of the LMX relationship at a purely dyadic level of analysis. The study employed a Within-and-Between Analysis (WABA) which involved 114 matched leader-follower dependent dyads. Results did not find the variables or relationships between them to operate at the dyadic level. Additionally, results supported within-group effects when investigating the variables alone at the group level and results were uninterpretable when investigating the relationship between them at the group level (e.g., either the leader or follower level).