Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Debra A. Major

Committee Member

Xiaoxiao Hu

Committee Member

Timothy Madden


The extant literature recognizes that subordinates in high-quality leader-member exchange (LMX) relationships experience the most favorable outcomes (Dulebohn, Bommer, Liden, Brouer, & Ferris, 2012). In exchange for their unwavering commitment and superior job performance, high LMX subordinates benefit from greater access to valuable resources (e.g., communication, support, and negotiating latitude; Gerstner & Day, 1997), which can then be used to combat job demands and facilitate accomplishment of the subordinates’ salient goals (Agarwal, Datta, Blake-Beard, & Bhargava, 2012; Hobfoll, 2001). Meta-analytic evidence suggests that LMX also has critical implications for work-family outcomes (Litano, Major, Streets, Landers, & Bass, 2016), however, the mechanisms through which the LMX relationship influences work-family experiences remain unclear. The present study sought to clarify this process by examining the relationship between LMX and idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) along with resultant work-family experiences. Drawing from social exchange (Blau, 1964), role (Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, & Rosenthal, 1964), and job characteristics (Hackman & Oldham, 1980; Humphrey, Nahrgang, & Morgeson, 2007) theories, it was hypothesized that both flexibility and developmental i-deals are positively related to work-family enrichment, and that flexibility i-deals are negatively related to work interference with family. In addition, given that a key characteristic of i-deals is that they are mutually beneficial and it is the leader who is generally responsible for authorizing such arrangements, this research sought to incorporate the supervisor’s appraisal of the LMX relationship (SLMX) as a moderator in the relationship between subordinate LMX and i-deals. In accord with the dyadic perspective of LMX (Cogliser, Schriesheim, Scandura, & Gardner, 2009; Krasikova & LeBreton, 2012; Wayne, Shore, & Liden, 1997), it was predicted that the indirect relationship between LMX and work-family outcomes via i-deals would be moderated by SLMX, such that work-family experiences would be most optimal at higher levels of supervisor-rated LMX. To examine such a model, multi-source data was collected from 133 matched supervisor-subordinate dyads from a large government organization in the southeastern US. Using Mplus version 7.4 to account for the nested nature of the data, Edwards and Lambert’s (2007) path analytic procedures were employed to test the model hypotheses. Although the conditional indirect effect hypotheses were not supported, results suggest that task and schedule flexibility i-deals may be negotiated through high-quality LMX relationships and have advantageous work-family implications. However, LMX was related to work-family outcomes above and beyond i-deals, suggesting that additional LMX-generated resources may play an important role in optimizing work-family management. Furthermore, LMX had differential effects on work-family experiences depending on which dyad member provided the assessment. Holding the effects of all other variables constant, SLMX was positively related to WFE, and LMX was negatively related to WIF. This study’s findings make a number of theoretical contributions to the leadership and work-family literatures and may shed light on practical avenues for facilitating employees’ work-family management efforts.


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