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An Analysis of Employees’ Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes
Unformatted Document Text:  Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes 24 et al., 1993) limit low LMX employees’ negotiating latitude. The emphasis on high LMX employees’ prowess, however, should not obscure several important aspects of role negotiation. First, as evident from tests of the hypotheses, LMX status in this study is not a good predictor of employees’ reported information giving or seeking behaviors or their engagement in problem-solving or simple requests. It is yet to be determined if the propensity to problem-solve or make simple requests over the course of a superior-subordinate relationship is due to the LMX relationship, the nature of the proposed role change, or employees intrinsic communication patterns. Nonetheless, the results of this study suggest that role negotiation transcends the simple dichotomies often associated with LMX theory, which would suggest that high LMX employees can - while low LMX employees can not - negotiate their roles. Second, while findings related to low LMX employees in this study should be viewed with caution, it is evident that low LMX employees do believe that they can negotiate their roles through problem-solving or making simple requests. Their success suggests that they were able to acquire information regarding their supervisor’s preferences and/or needs in order to present or arrive at an acceptable role change. Such information seeking (Ashford & Black, 1996; Miller, et al., 1996) may be indicative of individual’s overall reconnoitering pattern or isolated motivation to gather information to achieve a role change in a particular instance. Future role negotiation research should consider individual negotiation skills as some employees may readily accomplish role change through negotiation, regardless of their LMX status. Future investigations should also consider differences in supervisory negotiation skills (even among high LMX dyads) as some supervisors may be able to lead employees to or more quickly find integrative solutions. In considering the implications of low LMX employee role negotiation success, it is important to remember that roles are not static (Katz & Kahn, 1978), but constantly evolving (Jablin, 2001). Successful role negotiations and subsequent competent job performance, especially in the case of low LMX

Authors: Callies, Letticia. and Miller, Vernon.
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Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes
24
et al., 1993) limit low LMX employees’ negotiating latitude.
The emphasis on high LMX employees’ prowess, however, should not obscure several
important aspects of role negotiation. First, as evident from tests of the hypotheses, LMX status in
this study is not a good predictor of employees’ reported information giving or seeking behaviors or
their engagement in problem-solving or simple requests. It is yet to be determined if the propensity
to problem-solve or make simple requests over the course of a superior-subordinate relationship is
due to the LMX relationship, the nature of the proposed role change, or employees intrinsic
communication patterns. Nonetheless, the results of this study suggest that role negotiation
transcends the simple dichotomies often associated with LMX theory, which would suggest that
high LMX employees can - while low LMX employees can not - negotiate their roles.
Second, while findings related to low LMX employees in this study should be viewed with
caution, it is evident that low LMX employees do believe that they can negotiate their roles through
problem-solving or making simple requests. Their success suggests that they were able to acquire
information regarding their supervisor’s preferences and/or needs in order to present or arrive at an
acceptable role change. Such information seeking (Ashford & Black, 1996; Miller, et al., 1996) may
be indicative of individual’s overall reconnoitering pattern or isolated motivation to gather
information to achieve a role change in a particular instance. Future role negotiation research should
consider individual negotiation skills as some employees may readily accomplish role change
through negotiation, regardless of their LMX status. Future investigations should also consider
differences in supervisory negotiation skills (even among high LMX dyads) as some supervisors
may be able to lead employees to or more quickly find integrative solutions. In considering the
implications of low LMX employee role negotiation success, it is important to remember that roles
are not static (Katz & Kahn, 1978), but constantly evolving (Jablin, 2001). Successful role
negotiations and subsequent competent job performance, especially in the case of low LMX


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