The contextualized self: how team-member exchange leads to coworker identification and helping OCB
Farmer, Steven M.
Van Dyne, Linn
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Farmer, Steven M.; Van Dyne, Linn; Kamdar, Dishan. 2015. The contextualized self: how team-member exchange leads to coworker identification and helping OCB. Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 100:no. 2, Mar 2015:pp 583-595
This article develops the argument that team-member exchange (TMX) relationships operate at both between-and within-group levels of analysis to influence an employee's sense of identification with coworkers in the group and their helping organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) directed at coworkers. Specifically, we propose that relatively higher quality TMX relationships of an employee as compared with other members of the group influence an employee's sense of positive uniqueness, whereas higher average level of TMX quality in the group creates a greater sense of belonging. Multilevel modeling analysis of field data from 236 bank managers and their subordinates supports the hypotheses and demonstrates 3 key findings. First, team members identify more with their coworkers when they have high relative TMX quality compared with other group members and are also embedded in groups with higher average TMX. Second, identification with coworkers is positively related to helping OCB directed toward team members. Finally, identification with coworkers mediates the interactive effect of relative TMX quality and group average TMX quality on helping. When TMX group relations allow individuals to feel a valued part of the group, but still unique, they engage in higher levels of helping. Overall moderated mediation analysis demonstrates that the mediated relationship linking relative TMX quality with helping OCB via identification with coworkers is stronger when group average TMX is high, but not present when group average TMX is low. We discuss theoretical and practical implications and recommend future research on multilevel conceptualizations of TMX.
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