The Contextualized Self: How Team-Member Exchange Leads to Coworker Identification and Helping OCB

Farmer, S M and Van Dyne, L and Kamdar, D (2013) The Contextualized Self: How Team-Member Exchange Leads to Coworker Identification and Helping OCB. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2013 (1). ISSN 2151-6561

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By drawing on optimal distinctiveness theory, this paper goes beyond prior social exchange perspectives on predictors of helping OCB and develops the argument that team member exchange relationships operate at both group and individual levels of analysis to influence employee’s sense of identification with coworkers in the group and their helping OCB. Specifically, we propose that RTMX (the relative team member exchange relationships of an employee compared to other members of the group) influences an employee’s sense of uniqueness whereas TMX (the average level of TMX in the group compared to other groups) influences an employee’s sense of belonging. Multilevel modeling analysis of field data from 236 bank managers and their subordinates supports the hypotheses and demonstrates three key findings. First, team members identify more with their coworkers when they have high relative team member exchange compared to other group members (individual-level RTMX) and they are embedded in groups with high average TMX (group-level TMX). Second, identification with coworkers is positively related to helping OCB directed toward team members. Finally, identification with coworkers mediates the interactive effect of RTMX and group average TMX on helping. When TMX group relations allow individuals to feel a valued part of the group (assimilation), but still unique (differentiation), they engage in higher levels of helping. Overall moderated mediation analysis demonstrates that the mediated relationship linking RTMX with helping OCB via identification with coworkers is stronger when TMX is high. We discuss theoretical and practical implications and recommend future research on multi-level conceptualizations of TMX.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Business and Management
Organizational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 08:46
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2023 12:14

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