In progress Leader-Member Exchange, Value Congruence, and Voice Behavior

ERIM PhD 2014 RSM ORG 01 DvK


This research project focuses on how leader-member exchange (LMX) comparison and person-organization value congruence affect employee voice behavior. Drawing upon social comparison theory and social exchange theory, we aim at answering two main research questions: 1. How does LMX comparison influence the employee voice toward the leader? 2. How does person-organization value congruence affect employee voice toward the leader and peers respectively? Through addressing theses questions, this research could contribute to the literature on LMX, voice, and person-environment fit.  


voice behavior; leader-member exchange; value congruence; team-member exchange

Time frame

2014 - 2018


Companies can increasingly achieve a competitive advantage through their human capital - the people working and the company and the knowledge, information, and expertise they represent. High-quality performance in knowledge-intensive work relies greatly on people´s ability to contribute their expertise, insights, and ideas to collaborative team efforts. This holds the challenge of effectively motivating diverse groups of people to collaborate for collective objectives and to integrate their diverse expertise and insights to reach more innovative, higher-quality products and services. With growing diversity and reliance on cross-national collaborations, this also increasingly includes the ability to bridge gaps in understanding and experience to achieve effective collaboration and synergy. Whereas this holds perhaps most obviously for cultural differences, this observation likewise applies to differences in functional background (e.g., as found in R&D teams) and other differences in background that may be vital resources for team work. All of this renders an understanding of the factors influencing the motivation, collaboration, and performance of people at work of growing importance to business success. The influence of such factors is the domain of study of organizational behavior - the study of individuals and groups at work. In studying these influences, ERIM´s research group in organizational behavior (Dr. Steffen Giessner, Dr. Shira Mor, Dr. Anne Nederveen Pieterse, Dr. Meir Shemla, Dr. Dirk van Dierendonck, Dr. Wendy van Ginkel, and Prof. Dr. Daan van Knippenberg) highlights the role of leadership, team work, and (cross-cultural) diversity in the performance of individuals and teams. The research group is looking for a PhD candidate in organizational behavior to be part of this program of research. The specific focus of the project will be determined in a collaboration between the PhD candidate and the supervising faculty, but the expectation is that the focus would be aligned with the core expertise of the research group in leadership, teams, diversity, and cross-cultural collaborations.

Because the specific focus of the project will be determined in the collaboration between the PhD candidate and research group faculty (i.e., note that the faculty listed are potential supervisors; who will be involved in the actual supervision will be determined on the basis of matching expertise), the following does not capture one specific direction but rather outlines issues highlighted in the group´s research program that would provide fruitful jumping-off points for the project.
For leadership research, the key question is what makes leaders effective in mobilizing and motivating followers. For today´s organizations with a focus on knowledge-intensive work by professionals, this puts such issues on the agenda as leadership to coach and develop employees´ proactive engagement with work challenges and to foster creativity and innovation. At the same time, it includes challenges in building commitment to a shared vision to motivate collaborative efforts even when employees´ have a great degree of autonomy, and challenges to put issues of ethics, morality, and social responsibility high on the agenda of employees with great freedom in shaping their own actions at work. The research groups investigates such issues for instance in research in visionary leadership, team leadership, servant leadership, and ethical leadership.
Research in team work and diversity highlights the challenges of knowledge integration in teams (e.g., in the pursuit of creativity, innovation, and high-quality decision making), as well as the challenges of creating a work context in which people feel included and can develop their full potential regardless of their demographic background (e.g., in pursuit of career advancement women and members of cultural minorities may face greater obstacles). In this respect, the research group also pays specific attention to the challenges of cross-cultural collaboration, both from the perspective of the performance of culturally diverse teams and from the perspective of the specific issues in collaborations that cross national boundaries such as those found in international business. The group´s research highlights such issues as team leadership, team learning, team creativity, team and organizational climates for diversity and inclusion, and the role of cultural stereotypes in cross-cultural interactions.


Supervisory Team

Daan Van Knippenberg
Professor of Organizational Behavior
  • Promotor
Steffen Giessner
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Change
  • Daily Supervisor