Leader-Member Relations as a Function of Rapport Management
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Campbell, Kim Sydow; White, Charles D.; Johnson, Diane E.
Journal of Business Communication
Leader-member interaction is important to organizations. Unfortunately,
such exchanges can also be a leading cause of employee distress. Recent Research calls for leaders to develop higher quality relations with their members, which in turn wiU increase communication satisfaction. Scholars have also suggested additional research that focuses on interaction between leaders and members to better understand how leaders can and should manage such relationships. However, there is considerable evidence that leaders and members do not agree about the quality of their relationship. In this article, we address how leaders can build better relations with their members. Specifically, we explain how leaders might improve the quality of their relationship with members by focusing on interpersonal communication strategy. First, we focus on a competing values framework to clearly establish the importance of relationship building in effective management. Second, we define communication strategies for building better leader-member relationships by borrowing concepts from rapport management in sodolinguistics. Finally, we demonstrate how our model of leadership communication (based on a synthesis of competing values and rapport management theory) explains the quality of leader-member