Effects of managerial communication as moderated by LMX and trait NA

Pat Sniderman, Mark Fenton-O'Creevy, Rosalind Searle

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    4 Citations (Scopus)
    147 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose – Using the concept of disconfirming communication to define interpersonal mistreatment, the purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of specific negative managerial communication behaviors on employee emotions, while taking into account both leader-member exchange (LMX) and employee trait negative affect (NA). Design/methodology/approach – In all, 275 working adults completed surveys about their managers’ confirming and disconfirming communication and their own emotional responses to these communications. Findings – The positive relationship between disconfirming managerial communication and employee negative felt emotion was reduced when LMX was high and was increased for employees with high trait NA personalities. Research limitations/implications – While the cross-sectional design exposes the study to potential common method bias, a priori and post hoc procedures minimized this risk, confirming it has a negligible impact on the results. Practical implications – Study insights and the new instrument, the confirming/disconfirming managerial communication indicator can be used to train managers to be better communicators, thereby improving organizational effectiveness. Social implications – Drawing attention to the nature and emotional impact of disconfirming managerial communication may reduce its occurrence and lead to improved employee mental health with resultant positive effects for society. Originality/value – Unlike previous studies of interpersonal mistreatment and managerial communication, the authors focus explicitly on the effect on employee emotion and explore confirming and disconfirming communication, and the moderating roles of LMX and trait NA.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1074-1090
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Emotions
    • Interpersonal communication
    • Interpersonal mistreatment
    • Managerial communication
    • Relationship quality
    • Leader-member exchange (LMX)
    • Trait negative affect


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