ABSTRACT

74We begin with a workplace phenomenon in which a supervisor categorizes his staff into in-group and out-group members, using different rules of social exchange with the different groups. This phenomenon is called leader–member exchange theory (in brief, LMX theory, Graen and Cashman, 1975; Graen, 1976; Sparrowe and Liden, 1997). However, differentiating between in-group and out-group members is a difficult methodological problem. Our methodological question is, “can we find a method to categorize in-group and out-group members?” Our theoretical question is as follows: “Are there only two types of subordinators in the mind of a supervisor? Or are there more than two categories?”