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The Role of Leader Communication Patterns, LMX, and Interactional Justice in Employee Emotional Exhaustion and Outcomes

Nelson, Ashley D.
Committee Members: 
Dr. John Haas
December 2014


Employee burnout contributes to employees’ job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and organizational commitment and it can also cause a variety of serious health issues. Evidence has linked leaders’ transactional and transformational communication patterns, quality of leader-member exchange (LMX), and employees’ perception of justice, and each can affect employee burnout. However, very few researchers have studied the relationships among these variables. This paper provides an overview of the research on the various relationships between transformational and transactional leadership, LMX quality, and interactional justice, and explores how these factors influence employee burnout. Following the literature review, a proposed model of employees’ perceived leader communication patterns, LMX quality, burnout, justice, and outcomes was presented and tested using structural equation modeling. Surveying 186 custodial and administrative employees of an organization, several relationships were discovered. The proposed model was not statistically supported, but an alternate model revealed multiple mediating relationships. A discussion of the results and its implications conclude the paper.