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A Study of a Targeted Fortune 500 Organization: Focusing on the Critical Resistance Factors in Relation to the Leader-Member Exchange (LMX)

Abstract of the Student #Thesis: David Joseph Urban

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to contribute to the Leadership and Change Management literature by examining the leader-member communication process for effective change implementation and the improvement of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) scores. Researchers can use this thesis to gain an overview of Leadership and Change Management principles. Leaders and managers can utilize the findings to assess and enhance their current Leader-Member relationships, applying these insights to influence organizational change based on their specific organizational structures and cultures.

Design and Methods: This thesis is based on a review of existing research and the sampling of 120 employees from a Fortune 500 organization to determine their LMX scores and their relationship to organizational change post-merger.

Findings: The results of this study propose a hypothesis that describes the relationship between Leader-Member Exchange and member perceptions of change. It highlights the crucial role that LMX plays in a management’s ability to effectively implement and influence change within their teams. The study determined that LMX scores directly impact member perceptions of leadership's influence on change in terms of:

  1. Ethical Leadership

  2. Trust in Leadership

  3. Empowering Leadership

  4. Degree of Trust Affecting Ability to Change

Previous research suggested that employee resistance to change is a critical obstacle to successful change management. However, the results of this study demonstrate that effective organizational communication and ethical leadership are key elements for successful change management in a for-profit setting.

Value: The main contribution of this thesis is the identification of how LMX scores affect leadership’s ability to institute change in a for-profit setting. This research also offers a communication process for leaders and managers to improve the performance of change implementation projects and foster an organizational culture of innovation.

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