Transformational leadership and leader–member exchange in distributed teams: The roles of electronic dependence and team task interdependence
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionComputers in Human Behavior. 2019, 92 381-392. 10.1016/j.chb.2018.11.032
While the use of distributed teams enabled by digital technologies is burgeoning in contemporary organizations, leaders of distributed teams face different challenges than those of co-located teams. Our knowledge about how these differences play out, however, is not yet fully developed. To address this, the present study investigates how transformational leaders may develop high-quality leader-member exchange (LMX) relationships in distributed teams. Based on two field studies of distributed teams in three organizations, the present study examined how the joint effect of electronic dependence and team task interdependence may influence the relationship between transformational leadership and LMX quality. Across both studies, results from three-way interaction analyses demonstrated that transformational leadership related negatively to LMX quality when electronic dependence and task interdependence were both high. Based on the results, we discuss theoretical and practical implications for leaders with a relationship-based approach in distributed teams.