The antecedents of leader-member-exchange (LMX) relationships in African context: The influence of the supervisor’s feedback delivery-tactic

OBINNA ALO, Professor Ahmad Arslan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Purpose: The current paper analyses the antecedents of leader-member-exchange relationships by specifically focusing on the influence of the supervisor’s feedback delivery-tactic.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The study uses qualitative research methods with primary interviews as the main data source. Primary interviews with 40 managers from top supermarkets Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom, were undertaken.
Findings: We found that both high-quality positive feedback and constructive criticisms produced the same feelings – more positive interpersonal-relationships with their supervisors, higher levels of commitment to their organisations, higher job satisfaction, and, thus, high quality LMX-relationships. Where criticisms were delivered without greater interpersonal treatment, feedback was perceived as negative, and participants revealed lack of job-satisfaction, lack of commitment to their organisations, poor interpersonal-relationship with their supervisors, high turnover-intent, and, thus, low-quality LMX-relationship.

Originality/Value: The current paper is one of the first studies to highlight the consequences of different feedback delivery tactics on subsequent LMX quality particularly in African context. We specifically develop a process-based model of enhancing high-quality LMX, which shows the role of the supervisor's feedback delivery tactic in the process. We also develop a process-based model that illustrates how negative/unconstructive feedback could result in a low-quality LMX. Finally, our paper is also one of the first to offer a comparative assessment between African and British (the UK) empirical settings and highlight some interesting dynamics concerning LMX quality and role of supervisor’s feedback delivery tactic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 39
Number of pages39
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Early online date9 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Feb 2022


  • Feedback.
  • Leader-member exchange (LMX)
  • Supermarkets
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom.


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