Central to the theory of leader-member exchange, the nature of the employment relationship established between a leader and subordinate varies among organizational members. The purpose of the study was to provide an in-depth understanding of living within a low-quality leader-member exchange dyad and the effects of low-quality dyads on subordinate perceptions of organizational justice and organizational commitment. This qualitative study employed an interpretive phenomenological methodology. Ten voluntary respondents, from varying industries within the Midwest region of the United States, comprised the study sample. Themes that emerged pertained to the study constructs of leader-member exchange, organizational justice, organizational commitment, workplace incivility, and workplace bullying. Organizational justice themes included perceived negative interactions (interactional justice), favoritism (distributive justice), and inconsistent policy implementation (procedural justice). Workplace incivility and workplace bullying were a predominant component of the interactional justice theme. Organizational commitment themes included decreased commitment due to supervisor (affective commitment), lack of obligation to the organization (normative commitment), fear of securing alternate employment (continuance commitment), and the potential loss of benefits (continuance commitment). Themes relating to the LMX dyad included limited leadership support, decreased motivation, a lack of appreciation by leadership, lack of respect, effects on future employment, and negative effects on private life. It is anticipated that understanding the essence of living within a low-quality leader-member exchange dyad will assist in the justification for improving the quality of leader-subordinate relations.
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