Meta-analysis of outcomes of leader–member exchange in hospitality and tourism: what does the past say about the future?

Wen Chang, Anyu Liu, Xuhui Wang, Bowen Yi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Leader–member exchange (LMX) theory is particularly relevant to the hospitality and tourism industry due to its labor-intensive and service-focused nature. However, the hospitality literature regarding the impact of LMX on its various outcomes have inconsistent results. A holistic review of LMX studies is nonexistent in the current literature. Thus, the purpose of this study is to use a meta approach to quantitatively summarize and examine the relationship between LMX and its outcomes in the hospitality and tourism literature. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 89 individual observations from 36 studies conducted between 1997 and 2018 were identified. A Bayesian random effect model was introduced into the hospitality and tourism literature for the first time to implement the meta-analysis. Findings: The results suggest significant differences in the impact of LMX on various groups of outcomes. LMX has the strongest impact on firms’ practice-related outcomes, such as organizational justice and employee empowerment. Few moderators are identified on the impact of LMX, such as LMX measure, culture, industry sector and statistical method. Practical implications: Findings yielded several recommendations for both hospitality researchers and organizations in developing LMX related studies, as well as managing employees. Originality/value: This study is the first Bayesian meta-analysis in the hospitality and tourism literature; it complements LMX theory by linking it to cognitive appraisal theory. Specific characteristics of LMX in the hospitality and tourism industry, such as the measurement of LMX and the effect of industry sector, are also identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2155-2173
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayesian random effect model
  • LMX
  • Meta-analysis
  • Moderator analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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