Abstract

Leader-member exchange theory is one of the most widely researched leadership theories, and a substantial number of former studies have investigated the effect of leader-member exchange on different follower job outcomes. However, there is a lack of research in the literature on the combined effect of leader-member exchange and leader emotional expressivity on follower job outcomes. The aim of this study is to contribute to the leadership and emotions literature by investigating the combined effect of leader-member exchange and the leader emotional expressivity of optimism on follower job outcomes of affective organizational commitment, trust in leader, and job satisfaction. In order to test the hypotheses of the study, an experiment was undertaken in which four imaginary leader types were described. After reading the leader descriptions, respondents were given a survey about their self-foreseen affective organizational commitment, trust in leader, and job satisfaction, with the assumption that they were actually working with the imaginary leader. The findings of the study suggest that both high LMX and low LMX leaders who displayed optimism aroused higher levels of the three follower job outcomes than their counterparts who did not display optimism.