Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Lori Demeter


Interactions such as task assignments and communications between supervisors and subordinates have unintended negative consequences on subordinates such as alienation of subordinates that are not members of the 'in' group. These relations are determined by the quality of the leader-member exchange (LMX) between supervisor and subordinate. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of supervisor-subordinate exchange on state government employees by understanding the essence of these exchanges in state government agencies. The theoretical foundation of this phenomenological study was Graen and Uhl-Bien's conceptualization of LMX. Data were collected through 12 semi structured interviews with subordinates from the North Carolina Motor Vehicle Driver's License Section. This group of employees from the NC DMV were selected because of the geographical convenience to conduct interviews with participants. Supervisors were not interviewed for this study because the focus was the perceived effect on the employees' performance, motivation, and attitudes. The data were coded and analyzed using a modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method. The results of this study supported that supervisor-subordinate exchanges can influence subsequent behaviors in government employees. This study may have future policy implications in that the results can be used to influence new policy or revise current policies concerning supervisor training within local, state, and federal government agencies. Organizations that comprehend how and why supervisor-subordinate exchanges impact them can revise training for both management and employees, improve communication and relationship skills, and reduce negative effects from these exchanges to promote positive social change.