The purpose of this paper is to examine the research conducted under the domains of the Leader-member exchange (LMX) approach and workforce diversity. The intention is to review both the fields of study in order to create a basis for further research that applies LMX to the context of diversity, and to examine the potential implications this has. The paper first explores the research on workforce diversity, defines key concepts, reviews the studies conducted in this field, and highlights the key findings that the different viewpoints have produced. Similarly, the fundamental underpinnings, the development, and key findings of research adopting the LMX approach are reviewed. Extant research combining these two fields is then introduced and, based on these reviews, implications for future research are suggested. The research combining workforce diversity and the LMX approach demonstrates significant possibilities for further empirical research on each developmental level of LMX. The central issues to be considered when designing such empirical studies are the incorporation of new diversity variables as well as interdisciplinary approaches, widening the levels of analysis, and questioning the present knowledge of LMX. The present paper connects two separate research disciplines that are argued to be relevant in the research of diverse supervisor-subordinate relationships. The paper opens up multiple avenues for further study by drawing on extant research into workforce diversity and LMX. Future empirically-based research holds potential benefits for both organisations and individuals.
|Keywords:||Workforce Diversity, Leadership, Leader-member Exchange, Leader-follower Dyad, Culture and Ethnicity|
Researcher, Department of Management, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland
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