Employee retaliation: the neglected consequence of poor leader-member exchange relations

J Occup Health Psychol. 2000 Oct;5(4):457-63.


Although the beneficial effects of high-quality leader-member exchange (LMX) relationships have been well-documented in the leadership literature, much less is known about the potentially damaging effects of poor exchange relationships. Using 150 intact leader-member dyads, the authors investigated the relationship between LMX and supervisors' reports of employee retaliation behavior, performance, and citizenship. Results indicated that performance and citizenship were positively related to LMX. More important, LMX was negatively correlated with retaliation behavior. Supervisors reported that subordinates in poor exchange relationships were more likely to engage in retaliation against the organization than subordinates in high-quality relationships. The lack of a high-quality exchange relationship was, therefore, not just associated with the absence of positive consequences but also led to reports of potentially disruptive behaviors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires