Purpose: Drawing on principles of social exchange and equity theory, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between employee reports of leader-member exchange (LMX) and two types of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB): affiliative and change-oriented OCB. Further, equity sensitivity, a dispositional variable reflecting one’s tendency to “give” or “take” in their interpersonal interactions, was tested as a moderator of these effects. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from a sample of 240 manufacturing employees in China and their respective supervisors. Multilevel analyses were conducted to test the hypothesized effects. Findings: LMX was found to be positively associated with affiliative, but not change-oriented OCB. Equity sensitivity moderated these relationships, such that LMX was positively associated with both types of OCB when employees are benevolent, but not when they are entitled. Research limitations/implications: Given the different pattern of relationships that were observed between LMX and affiliative vs change-oriented OCB, the results suggest that LMX may differentially influence these two types of OCB. Future studies should continue to explore the role of dispositional traits in moderating the effects of LMX, including less desirable (“negative”) traits. Originality/value: Very few studies have examined the role of dispositional variables in moderating the effects of LMX. Consistent with principles of the social exchange and equity theory, the results suggest that LMX will only be associated with OCB when employees are benevolent (i.e. they are “givers”), and not when they are entitled (i.e. they are “getters”).

Additional Metadata
Keywords Benevolent, Entitled, Equity sensitivity, Leader-member exchange (LMX), Organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB), Quantitative, Taking charge
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1108/PR-05-2017-0152
Journal Personnel Review
Citation
Han, Y. (Yu), Sears, G, & Zhang, H. (Haiyan). (2018). Revisiting the “give and take” in LMX: Exploring equity sensitivity as a moderator of the influence of LMX on affiliative and change-oriented OCB. Personnel Review, 47(2), 555–571. doi:10.1108/PR-05-2017-0152