Commitment and retention of information technology (IT) knowledge workers (KW) has become increasingly critical for organizational leaders; strengthening leader-member exchange relationships (LMX) has become a valuable tool to support increased levels of both commitment and retention of these employees. Generational preferences have been theorized to be a possible antecedent to quality LMX formation and thus affect crucial organizational outcomes. This study employed a quantitative survey methodology to explore whether generation “X” and “Y” IT KW software specialists showed significant differences in their perceptions of multidimensional LMX. The population consisted of IT knowledge workers from “X” and “Y” generational cohorts. The researcher employed a cross sectional design and utilized random sampling to gather 100 participants from a survey audience of IT software specialists. The survey instrument was administered electronically and contained two sections. The first section collected perceived LMX quality, at an interval level of measure, while the second provided generational membership at a nominal level. The study assessed multidimensional LMX by completing the 12-item LMX-MDM scale and determined generational membership via the age of the respondent. Resultant data from the survey was processed through SPSS providing both descriptive and inferential statistical analysis of the sample. The results of the 2-tailed independent samples t-test showed that there were no significant differences in generation “X” and “Y” on the measured LMX-MDM sub-constructs of affect (p = .849), loyalty (p = .493), commitment (p = .940), and professional respect (p = .200); suggesting that generational cohorts perceive no statistically significant difference on multidimensional LMX.
|Adviser||Phillip M. Randall|
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