The dark side of LMX: variances among out-group members in growth need and work outcomes
Given my interest in LMX relationships and impression management (IM) behaviors, this dissertation was focused on the out-group in LMX, regarding member job performance and attitudes (Study I), and the impact of IM on performance ratings (Study II). With the suspicion that there may be individual differences that separate those who do not belong in the out-group from those who may belong there, Study I was designed to address the question concerning how the differences among out-group members impact their job performance and attitudes. Specifically, this study investigated the effect of growth-need strength (GNS) on out-group member job performance and job related attitudes. By adopting theories of person-job fit, some of the causes of undesirable work outcomes among out-group members, such as low commitment, low satisfaction, and high turnover intentions, were examined. Results from Study I suggest that for out-group members with a high growth-need, a better relationship with the supervisors may bring higher growth satisfaction and decreased turnover intent, but also more stress. With evidence found in Study I that not all out-group members believed that they belonged in the out-group, Study II investigated whether these out-group members would try to change their out-group status by means of IM. Cognitive Dissonance Theory was used as the theoretical foundation for this study. Data for both studies were collected from a state-owned hospital in main land China. Findings from Study II indicate that out-group members with a higher growth-need would use impression management more frequently, and that impression management attempts can be effective in improving performance ratings, even for out-group members.