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Linking LMX, innovative work behaviour and turnover intentions: The mediating role of work engagement

Upasna A. Agarwal (Department of People and Performance, S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, India)
Sumita Datta (Department of Family Managed Business, S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, India)
Stacy Blake‐Beard (School of Management, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Shivganesh Bhargava (Department of Human Resources Management and Organization Behaviour, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 15 June 2012




This study aims to examine the relationships among leader‐member exchange (LMX), innovative work behaviour (IWB), and intention to quit. The mediating role of work engagement is tested within the relationship of LMX, IWB, and intention to quit.


Respondents to a survey were 979 Indian managerial employees working in six service sector organisations in India. Structural equation modelling was used to test hypothesised relationships.


Results suggest quality of exchanges between employees and their immediate supervisors influences engagement. Work engagement correlates positively with innovative work behaviour and negatively with intention to quit. Work engagement mediates the relationship between LMX and innovative work behaviour, and partially mediates intention to quit.

Research limitations/implications

A cross‐sectional design and use of self‐reported questionnaire data is a limitation of this study. Since the study focuses only on service‐sector organisations, the results of this study should be interpreted with caution.


This study makes important theoretical contributions in three ways. In the domain of work engagement, it addresses factors that influence employee engagement and its outcomes. It expands knowledge about organisational resources that foster work engagement. For LMX, this study complements existing research by investigating work engagement as an outcome. Identifying LMX and work engagement as antecedents of innovative work behaviour, it also extends research in that domain. An important contribution is positioning work engagement as a means through which job resources are linked to employee outcomes. The study is also a rare examination of the Indian context.



Agarwal, U.A., Datta, S., Blake‐Beard, S. and Bhargava, S. (2012), "Linking LMX, innovative work behaviour and turnover intentions: The mediating role of work engagement", Career Development International, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 208-230.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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