Out of the Box? How Managing a subordinate's Multiple Identities Affects the Quality of a Manager-Subordinate Relationship
relational cultural theory
positive organizational scholarship
Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods
Positive manager-subordinate relationships are invaluable to organizations because they enable positive employee attitudes, citizenship behaviors, task performance, and more effective organizations. Yet extant theory provides a limited perspective on the factors that create these types of relationships. We highlight the important role subordinates also play in affecting the resource pool and propose that a subordinate’s multiple identities can provide him or her with access to knowledge and social capital resources that can be utilized for work-based tasks and activities. A manager and a subordinate may prefer similar or different strategies for managing the subordinate’s multiple identities, however, which can affect resource utilization and the quality of the manager-subordinate relationship. Our variance model summarizes our predictions about the effect of managers’ and subordinates’ strategy choices on the quality of manager-subordinate relationships. In doing so we integrate three divergent relational theories (leader-member exchange theory, relational-cultural theory, and a positive organizational scholarship perspective on positive relationships at work) and offer new insights on the quality of manager-subordinate relationships.