Department of Management


Date of this Version

Winter 2002


Published in Journal of Business and Psychology 17:2 (Winter 2002), pp. 275–285. Copyright © 2002 Human Sciences Press, Inc./Springer-Verlag. Used by permission.


Role conflict, role ambiguity, and intrinsic task satisfaction are found to moderate the relationship between leader–member exchange (LMX) and subordinate performance. Data from a field study of 146 supervisor–subordinate dyads indicate low conflict, high ambiguity, and high intrinsic satisfaction enhance the link between LMX and performance. Neutralizing effects are found when ambiguity and intrinsic satisfaction are low. High conflict appears to have a constraining effect, whereby the connection between LMX and performance is reduced but not neutralized. Results from the study call attention to the theoretical and practical benefits of examining the LMX/performance link from a contingency perspective, and offer a viable, albeit tentative, explanation for inconsistent findings reported in earlier studies.