Imagery of Regent people and campus

Dissertation Abstract

Moments of Truth: Exploring the Meaning of Critical Incidents in the Development of
Leader-Member  Exchange Relationships

Martha Helland
Regent University

This qualitative inquiry actively sought further insight into how exchange relationships develop between organizational team leaders and members during the early days of their interaction. It is presented as a case study of critical incidents (Flanagan, 1954) that reveals not only what occurs in these incidents, but their meaning for the participating leaders and members and their developing relationships. The research setting is a credit-card call center in the upper midwest region of the United States. Observers in the study are 20 newly formed leader-member dyads. The research documentation includes (a) a description of themes that emerged from the interpretations of critical incidents by leaders and members in newly formed dyads within the research setting, (b) a discussion of the implications of these themes for both the participating leaders and members, (c) a discussion of the implications from the findings for LMX theory and future research and, (d) a discussion of the implications from the findings for practice within the research setting.