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The Impact of Personality on Leader-Member Relationships Report

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Updated: Apr 8th, 2019

Research Topic

The effects of personality on leader-member relationships in the organization.


A good relationship between junior members of the organization and the managerial team is very important as regards to the success of the company. Leader-member theory has always been utilized to understand the relationships that exist between an individual employee and the team leader. The theory suggests that leaders differ in terms of personality. This would mean that leaders differ in the way they associate with subordinates.

Through Leader-Member theory, it is established that certain forms of relationships exist between supervisors and subordinates within the organization (Martin, Epitropaki, & McNamara, 2005). Further research suggests that the quality of relationships differ greatly. It is therefore true that the quality of relationships is determined by the personality of the leader.

Some leaders would seem to consult with their subordinates before making decisions while others are known to exercise a tyrannical type of rule, which is characterized by dictatorship (Manzoni, & Barsoux, 2002). The type of relationships formed within the organization would depend on the personality of the leader.

Leaders who develop quality relationships with their subordinates have high chances of excelling while those who are unable to adjust their personalities end up performing dismally. This research aims at examining the quality of relationships in an organization. The article would also examine the role of personality in forming relationships in the organization.

Leaders who are able to form strong relationships with their subordinates tend to benefit from improved communication, emotional support and enhanced role playing among employees. In order to evaluate the role of personality, this article will employ quantitative research methods to study the behavior of employees, as well as leaders.

Research Objectives and Research Questions

Research Questions

  • Does personality change over time?
  • What could be done to reduce the damage caused by attitudinal aspects within the organization?

Objectives of the Study

  • The research aims at finding out why some leaders have weak personalities, which affect relationships within the organization, while others have strong personalities that allow them to enter into new situations easily.
  • To establish the effects of attitudes on the performance of the organization. Some leaders have negative attitudes towards some employees due to reasons such as gender differences, racial differences and academic differences. These are some of the reasons that would affect the relationships in the organization
  • To find out whether personality is a variable that can be adjusted through education and training.

Description of Overall Approach

Validity of content in a research work may be achieved by following a clearly delineated research approach, which provides a rational and a systematic data collection framework. There are two research approaches, which are commonly employed. They include inductive and deductive approaches. This research will use a deductive research approach because of its applicability in collecting large volumes of data, as is required for this research. In addition, compared to the inductive approach, deductive approach would facilitate the gathering of data.

Additionally, this research would be structured to move from the general to the more specific. Therefore, discussion would first address personality as a concept and then the implications of personality on leader-member relationship, before narrowing the focus to the effects of personality on leader-member relationship in an organization. The deductive research approach is appropriate and authentic (reliable for data analysis), as it reduces vagueness and bias in the research findings and conclusions.

Three Academic Sources

Critical Literature Review

The works of Wayne, Shore and Liden, (1997) would be of great help in understanding the dynamics of personality. The three scholars observed that quality relationships would be formed in the organization when leaders involve their subordinates in decision making processes. For instance, the leader who involves his or her juniors in formulating policies, such as duty rosters, would most probably succeed in leading the organization to achieve its goals and objectives.

In other words, the establishment of quality relationships would help the leader to deal with employees easily. However, the article does not explain the extent at which personality influences the relationships in the organization. It is established by Wang, Law, Hackett and Chen (2005) that personality only influences the behavior of the leader to some extent.

In fact, the article by Wang, Law, Hackett and Chen is a peer reviewed article that utilized quantitative methods to arrive at its conclusions. The scholars posited that personality is an important mediator that can best explain the relationships at the place of work.

An article by Schriesheim, Castro and Cogliser (1999) would be utilized to comprehend the effects of personality on leader-member relationships. The three scholars had similar views as those of Liden, Sparrowe and Wayne, though they based their argument on leader-member theory. They further conducted an extensive study to involve the measure of variables.


This section focuses on various aspects of research development. It includes methods of data collection, analysis, and presentation. Every research project applies a certain research method to achieve its objectives, depending on its goals. In research, design deals primarily with aims, uses, purposes, intentions, and plans within the practical constraints of time, location, money, and availability of staff. In this study, respondents would be briefed in advance (Delving, 2006).

Research Model

This research would utilize quantitative research methods in conducting the study and collecting data. Quantitative research would be used because it aims at summarizing data mathematically. In this regard, the research would take the form of a survey whereby the researcher would identify some individuals in various companies and would then post questionnaires to them. The sampled population would be selected randomly in order to eliminate biases (Earl, 2009).

Questionnaire Design

There would be two methods used to gather information in this report. The first one would be the questionnaire method, which would be administered online to the staff of various selected companies. The questionnaire would seek to capture the attitudes of staff members at various selected companies regarding their perceptions to existing relationships (Calabrese, 2006).

The second source of information that would be used would be literature on various aspects personality. The focus of the literature review would be on information pertaining to the effects of personality on leader-Member relationship. The literature would also aim at determining the current state of research as regards to the effects of personality on leader-employee relationships.

The questionnaire would have four Parts. The first part would seek to capture the bio-data information of respondents. The second part would deal with the demography and gender of the respondents. This would be to ascertain the prevalence of views in various categories in order to ensure that if any differences come about, then they would be captured in their demographic space.

The third part would deal with the academic credentials and the work experience of respondents (Bouma, 2000). The motivation for this section came from the understanding that different sections of population respond differently to attitudes, based on age and academic levels. The fourth part would delve into the specific issues relating to personality, starting from the understanding of the concept to the possible effects it would have on leader-member relationships.


Bouma, G. (2000). The research process (4th ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Calabrese, R. (2006). The elements of an effective dissertation and thesis: a step by step guide to getting it right the first time. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Delving, A. (2006). Research methods: planning, conducting and presenting research. Belmont: Wadsworth.

Earl, B. (2009). The practice of social research (12th Ed). Belmont: Wadsworth.

Manzoni, J., & Barsoux, J. (2002). The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome. How Good Managers Cause Great People To Fail. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Martin, R., Epitropaki, O., & McNamara, R. (2005). The Role of Leader-Member Exchanges in Mediating the Relationship between Locus of Control and Work Reactions. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 78(1), 141-147.

Schriesheim, C. A., Castro, S. L., & Cogliser, C. C. (1999). Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Research: A Comprehensive Review of Theory, Measurement, and Data-Analytic Practices. Leadership Quarterly, 10(4), 63-113

Wang, H., Law, K. S., Hackett, R. D., & Chen, Z. X. (2005). Leader-Member Exchange as a Mediator of the Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Followers’ Performance and Organizational Citizenship Behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 48(1), 420-432.

Wayne, S. J., Shore, L. M., & Liden, R. C. (1997). Perceived Organizational Support and Leader-Member Exchange: A Social Exchange Perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 40(2), 82-111.


Number of Articles Author’s Name Year Critical Points on Literature Review Methodology used by the author/s Gaps/Future Studies
Peer Reviewed Article 1: Wayne, Shore, & Liden. 1997 Formation of relationships in an organization would allow the leader to deliver quality services to customers. It would perhaps ease communication. However, the extent at which relationships influence the performance of leaders is not explained. Quantitative Methods, use of questionnaire Explore the extent at which leader-member relationships would influence the performance of the whole organization.
Peer Reviewed
Article 2.
Wang, Law, Hackett& Chen. 2005 The exchange of relationships between a leader and member of junior staff would probably facilitate transformational leadership. However, their analysis more theoretical meaning that it might not be applicable in real life situations. Content analysis Try as much as possible to relate theory with practice
Non- Peer Reviewed Article 3. Schriesheim, Castro & Cogliser. 1999 Review of leader-member theory. Use of interviews Employ effective data collection and analysis methods.
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