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Antecedents and consequences of relational ambivalence: a longitudinal and daily diary study investigation

Ingram, Kyle E. (2012) Antecedents and consequences of relational ambivalence: a longitudinal and daily diary study investigation. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Employee-manager relationships have received significant attention in the literature in attempting to understand the development and consequences of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ relationships. Whilst much is known about these relationships independently, relatively little is known about those relationships that are both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. This thesis uses ‘relational ambivalence’ to describe such relationships and addresses a fundamental question in employee-manager research; can employees simultaneously like and dislike their managers? Two separate research methodologies address this question. The first study, employing a longitudinal survey over a six-month period, explored how historical, individual and social-cognitive perspectives contributed to employee relationship valuations (positive, negative, and ambivalent). This study also tested the impact that each relationship valuation had on interpersonal and organisational outcomes. The second study employed a daily diary method to explore how employee relationship valuations impacted responses to manager-induced psychological contract violations over a two-week period. Findings indicated that relational ambivalence is a distinct relationship valuation both in terms of its antecedents and consequences. The first study revealed that relational ambivalence had a curvilinear relationship with both leader-member exchange and relational schema similarity. Additionally, preoccupied attachment was positively related to relational ambivalence, whilst oneness perceptions were negatively related to relational ambivalence. The study examined two outcome categories: interpersonal and organisational. The interpersonal outcomes revealed a negative relationship with affectbased and cognition-based trust, as well as relational identification; whilst the organisational outcomes revealed that relational ambivalence was the strongest relationship valuation linked to turnover intent. Relational ambivalence was negatively related to OCBs directed toward the organisation, and job control negatively moderated OCBs directed toward the manager. Finally, study two revealed that relational ambivalence changes in intensity over time and leads to increased OCBs, decreased forgiveness, and increased intrusive thoughts after a manager-induced psychological contract violation. Employees offering positive valuations lowered their OCBs, increased forgiveness, and did not experience intrusive thoughts; whilst those offering negative valuations only lowered their OCBs. Contributions and implications of this thesis are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Kyle E. Ingram
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management

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