Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Debra A. Major

Committee Member

Konstantin Cigularov

Committee Member

James Neff


Extant work-family research has traditionally looked at the role of the supervisor in diminishing work-family conflict using a supervisor support framework. The current study draws from recent trends that look past perceptions of support and contend that leadership can be used as a lens through which work-family outcomes can be understood (e.g., Major & Cleveland, 2007). Specifically, the current study contends that exploring leader-subordinate relationship quality (i.e., leader-member exchange) and specific behaviors that leaders engage in to be supportive of subordinates' work-family needs (i.e., family supportive supervisor behaviors) is the next step in examining the role of one's leader in impacting work-family outcomes. A contingency framework of how family supportive supervisor behaviors and leader-member exchange leadership approaches work together to optimize work-family outcomes was proposed. Using the path-goal (House, 1971) and substitutes for leadership (Kerr & Jermier, 1978) contingency theories, it was hypothesized that leader-member exchange quality would moderate the relationship between family supportive supervisor behaviors and work-family outcomes. Three hundred twenty-nine working adults recruited from Amazon's Mechanical Turk responded to three surveys separated by approximately one month on which demographic questions as well as the variables of interest were assessed. Overall, the model developed to test the study hypotheses was not supported. However, a post hoc exploratory model demonstrating that family supportive supervisor behaviors mediate the relationship between leader-member exchange and both work interference with family and work-family balance satisfaction was supported. The implications of these findings are discussed as well as directions for future research.


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