Supervisory behavior, reciprocity and subordinate absenteeism

D. Dierendonck, van, P.M. Blanc, Le, W. Breukelen, van

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The present study among 242 professionals working in a lung clinic and nursing home was designed to test a model that links supervisory behavior (i.e. leader member exchange (LMX) behavior and conflict management behavior) and reciprocity in the supervisor/subordinate relationship to objectively registered subordinate absenteeism. With respect to LMX-behavior, a distinction was made between consideration and coaching of a subordinate by the supervisor and filling an assistant role by a subordinate. With respect to conflict management behavior, a distinction was made between openness, distribution, and control. It was hypothesized that subordinates’ feelings of reciprocity with respect to the relationship with their direct supervisor mediate the relation between supervisory behavior and subordinate absenteeism. Results of structural equation modeling showed that this was indeed the case for the relation between LMX-behavior and subordinate absenteeism. Supervisory conflict management behavior was not directly related to subordinates’ feelings of reciprocity, but only indirectly through LMX-behavior. Finally, and quite surprisingly, subordinates’ feelings of reciprocity turned out to be positively related to their absence frequency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalLeadership and Organization Development Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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