Document Type

Teacher Resource

Publication Date

Fall 2019


Leader-Member Exchange Theory became the focus of research in the late 1970s. Before the LMX theory, researchers thought of leadership as a process with consistent relationships between a leader and every follower. LMX changed that idea by theorizing that a leader has different relationships with each of their followers. Early research focused on the formation of in-groups and out-groups while later research shifted the focus to how LMX changed organizational effectiveness.



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