Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Colin R. Baker


This study examines resource distribution within the intact workgroup, investigating the processes which prompt distribution from leader to member as well as the lateral lending of resources among coworkers. Espousing leader-member (LMX) and coworker relationships (CWX) within the larger organizational social structure, this research extends the field by embedding the work within the intact workgroup making specific predictions regarding coworker exchange relationships as a byproduct of perceptions of justice and individual standing (high or low status) with the leader. Propositions are forwarded which argue for the need to view LMX and CWX in terms of communal and exchange relationship types, shifting from traditional perspectives regarding organizational relationships.

Three studies (survey, quasi-experiment, and focus groups) were conducted to investigate how relational quality influences resource distribution tendencies within the workgroup as well as the communicative strategies employed to garner resources. Findings suggest that workgroup members are aware of resource distribution within their workgroups and use this information in deciding who to create valued associations with. Results also indicate that LMX homophily and perceptions of justice regarding coworker LMX moderate the relationship between CWX and use of social influence strategies among coworkers. The data also demonstrate that this moderator influences the propensity for coworkers to share resources with peers. Moreover, two scales were created and validated that measure the positive and negative resources leaders may distribute to subordinates. In sum, this research advances the field by highlighting the importance of horizontal relationships within the intact workgroup, while remaining cognizant that such relationships are constantly affected by and affecting leader-member relations.

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Communication Commons