The Effects of Supervisor Impression on Motives of Feedback

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The Effects of Supervisor Impression on Motives of

Feedback-Seeking Behavior and Leader-Member Exchange

Feedback-seeking by subordinates can be a point of disagreement in many organizations. While it is positively viewed in general, there are still two primary motives on why subordinates would want to get feedback from their supervisors: to enhance their work performance or to improve their supervisor's impression towards them and, eventually, the work that they do. In a study by Lam, W. et al., the feedback-seeking behavior of subordinates is closely and positively relates to leader-member exchange in that where there is more instance of feedback-seeking there is higher quality in the leader-member exchange. However, this is only true when the supervisors interpret the feedback-seeking behavior as being driven by performance-enhancement motives rather than impression-management motives.


The study involves three hypotheses. First, the study says that subordinate feedback-seeking boosts the quality of leader-member exchange as it enables a role-making process where the supervisor or leader and the subordinates or members gets an idea of each other's expectations and benefits.

The disagreement was that seeking feedback allows for clarity in what each of the leader and member's expectations, capabilities, and motivations are. The more benefits one perceives to get, the more he is motivated to perform and be capable of their work.

The second hypothesis was categorized into two points. The first point is that when the supervisor believes that the motive of feedback seeking is to enhance performance, the feedback seeking behavior of the subordinate positively relates to the leader-member exchange. Peripherally in the second point, when the supervisor believes that the feedback seeking is not motivated by image enhancement, the behavior likewise positively relates to leader-member exchange.

Likewise, the third hypothesis is categorized into two points. The quality of the...