Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Communication Research Reports 8:1 (June 1991), pp. 9–18.

doi: 10.1080/08824099109359870


Copyright © 1991 Eastern Communication Association; published by Taylor and Francis. Used by permission.


This research examined the extent to which subordinates’ perceptions of supervisory relationship quality affected how frequently they use different types of tactics in their self-reported upward influence attempts. Based on their responses to the Leader-Member Exchange Scale (1982), three hundred and thirty-seven respondents from five different organizations were classified into an in-group or out-group supervisory relationship. As a part of a larger study, a typology of upward influence messages was created based on the extent to which: (l) the means employed to attempt influence are open or closed, and (2) the desired outcomes are openly expressed or left undisclosed. The resulting dependent variable consisted of three types of tactics: open persuasion, strategic persuasion, and manipulation. MANOVA results indicated that in-group subordinates used significantly more open persuasion and strategic persuasion, and significantly less manipulation in their upward influence attempts than did out-group subordinates. Results are discussed in terms of the communicative aspects of the leader-member exchange construct.