When High Quality LMX Leads to Undesirable Outcomes: A Prospective Study using Impostor Phenomenon as an Explanatory Mechanism


These relationships between manager and his subordinate play a signi cant role in enhancing followers as well as organizational performance. Leader-Member Exchange theory is one of the theory that assesses the characteristics of differentiated bonds manager has with his followers. Despite LMX theory has emerged decades ago, the line of research exploring the dark side of high quality LMX has been limited in at least two major ways: (a) most of the research on high quality LMX is based on the philosophy that it results in positive outcomes. However, limited number of studies have questioned this assumption by examining the negative outcomes of high quality LMX. (b) The researchers exploring this school of thought, where high quality LMX can result in negative outcomes are still trying to identify the mechanism behind this philosophy. Can high quality LMX bring undesirable work related outcomes? The answer to this question, is in fact essence of this study.

To address this paradox, one explanatory phenomenon found in literature, under such condition is impostor phenomenon which is a feeling of being over rewarded. When a subordinate is compensated beyond his expectations, this might result in guilty along with feeling of inequity for being over rewarded. It can further result in undesirable outcomes such as de cit level of trust in leadership, satisfaction with supervisor and higher degree of perception of politic. The moderating impact of locus of control on the association between leader member exchange and impostor phenomenon is also examined. Similarly, the bu ering impact of equity sensitivity between impostor phenomenon and its outcomes is also studied.

In the present study time lagged data were collected using a questionnaire. In the initial phase ve hundred questionnaires were distributed, however at the end of the third lag 348 questionnaire were received. Moreover, convenience sampling technique was used to collect the data from a diverse sample of employees working in Education, Health and Telecom sectors of Pakistan. The collected data analyzed with the help of SPSS and AMOS. Results of the study con rmed that impostor phenoemnon mediated the relationship between high quality LMX and its undesirable outcomes. The study also highlighted the buffering role of locus of control between leader member exchange and impostor phenomnon. Moreover, equity sensitivity moderated the relationship between impostor phenoemnon and satisfaction with supervisor. However, the modeartion impact of equity sensitivity on the association between impostor phenomenon with trust in leadership and perception of politics was not found. The ndings of the study provided a new perspective insights by merging two areas of high quality and impostor phenomenon. The current research also unfolded numerous implications as well as future research directions.

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