Does LMX always promote employee voice? A dark side of migrant working in Saudi Arabia

Ghulam Ali Arain*, Zeeshan Ahmed Bhatti, Jonathan Crawshaw, Imran Ali, Armando Papa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
Drawing on the self-consistency theory, this study aims to test a model where employees' supervisor-based self-esteem (SBSE) is positively related to their promotive and prohibitive voice and mediate the positive relationship between leader–member exchange social comparison (LMXSC) of an employee's promotive and prohibitive voice, but only for local rather than migrant workers.

Design/methodology/approach
To test the study hypotheses, multi-source data were collected from 341 matched supervisor–supervisee dyads working in a diverse range of organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Findings
As predicted, employees' SBSE is positively related to their promotive and prohibitive voice and mediates a positive relationship between their LMXSC and their promotive and prohibitive voice, but only for local workers. The study findings support the self-consistency theory perspective on LMX and provide new insight into the “dark side” of migrant working – a lack of voice.

Originality/value
This study responds to calls for more research that explores the roles played by macro-environmental factors on employees' voice. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Manpower
Early online date28 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Oct 2021

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