THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CORRECTED. SEE LAST PAGE
Journal of Applied Psychology
2014, Vol. 99, No. 4, 599 – 618
© 2014 American Psychological Association
0021-9010/14/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0036374
Scale Indicators of Social Exchange Relationships:
A Comparison of Relative Content Validity
Jason A. Colquitt and Michael D. Baer
David M. Long
University of Georgia
College of William and Mary
Marie D. K. Halvorsen-Ganepola
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
University of Notre Dame
Although social exchange theory has become one of the most oft-evoked theories in industrial and
organizational psychology, there remains no consensus about how to measure its key mechanism: social
exchange relationships (Blau, 1964). Drawing on Cropanzano and Byrne’s (2000) review of contemporary social exchange theorizing, we examined the content validity of perceived support, exchange quality,
affective commitment, trust, and psychological contract fulfillment as indicators of social exchange
relationships. We used Hinkin and Tracey’s (1999) quantitative approach to content validation, which
asks participants to rate the correspondence between scale items and definitions of intended (and
unintended) constructs. Our results revealed that some of the most frequently utilized indicators of social
exchange relationships—perceived support and exchange quality—were significantly less content valid
than rarely used options like affect-based trust. Our results also revealed that 2 direct measures—
Bernerth, Armenakis, Feild, Giles, and Walker’s (2007) scale and a scale created for this study—were
content valid. We discuss the implications of these results for future applications of social exchange
theory.
Keywords: social exchange, trust, citizenship
utility and falsifiability (Bacharach, 1989). Unfortunately, we
would argue, such an assumption is only half-right, at least in
terms of the way the theory is applied in industrial and organizational psychology. It is not clear that empirical refutation of the
theory’s propositions is possible, because there is no consensus on
how to measure its core mechanism: social exchange relationships
(Blau, 1964). Reviews of the theory have pointed to a number of
potential indicators of social exchange relationships, including
perceived support, exchange quality, affective commitment, trust,
and psychological contract fulfillment (Cropanzano & Byrne,
2000; Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005; Cropanzano & Rupp, 2008;
Cropanzano, Rupp, Mohler, & Schminke, 2001). If some of those
variables are less construct-valid indicators of social exchange relationships than others, tests of the theory’s propositions become difficult to interpret (Bacharach, 1989). Moreover, if some of those
indicators actually occupy functionally distinct and different positions in the theory’s causal chain, tests using those indicators will
muddy the logical adequacy of the theory, harming falsifiability
(Bacharach, 1989).
Our purpose in this study was to provide a critical examination
of the relative validity of the social exchange relationship indicators used in the literature. To do so, we applied Hinkin and
Tracey’s (1999) quantitative approach to content validation, with
content validity defined as the extent to which a measure’s items
reflect a theoretical content domain (Kerlinger & Lee, 2000;
Schwab, 1980). Hinkin and Tracey’s approach asks respondents to
explicitly rate the correspondence of scale items to a construct’s
stated definition. We used this method to gauge the correspondence of measures of perceived support, exchange quality, affec-
Why might fair treatment cause employees to attend optional
meetings? How could reductions in training lead to increases in
theft? Why might getting a “special deal” at work result in higher
levels of task performance? Such questions have, increasingly,
come to be examined through the lens of social exchange theory,
which explains how different types of benefits are exchanged
according to various rules and how such exchanges foster highquality relationships (see Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005, for a
review). Indeed, as Table 1 reveals, social exchange theory has
become one of the most oft-evoked theories in the Journal of
Applied Psychology. Its propositions have been used to explain
phenomena in a variety of literatures, including justice (Cropanzano & Rupp, 2008), employment relationships (Coyle-Shapiro &
Conway, 2004), mentoring (Eby et al., 2013), citizenship behavior
(Organ, 1988, 1990), and counterproductive behavior (Greenberg
& Scott, 1996), to name a few.
Given such ubiquity, one might assume that social exchange
theory excels on the two criteria often used to evaluate theories:
This article was published Online First April 7, 2014.
Jason A. Colquitt and Michael D. Baer, Department of Management,
University of Georgia; David M. Long, Department of Organizational
Behavior, College of William and Mary; Marie D. K. Halvorsen-Ganepola,
Department of Management, University of Notre Dame.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jason A.
Colquitt, University of Georgia, Department of Management, Terry College of Business, 412 Brooks Hall, Athens, GA 30602-6256. E-mail:
[email protected]
599
600
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Table 1
Frequency of Citations to Theories in the Journal of Applied Psychology (2000 –2010)
Theory name
Exact phrase used in
Google Scholar search
Citations from
2000 to 2010
Theory of planned behavior
Social cognitive theory
Social exchange theory
Social identity theory
Expectancy theory
Goal-setting theory
Equity theory
Self-determination theory
Affective events theory
Job characteristics theory
Ajzen, 1991
Bandura, 1977
Blau, 1964
Tajfel & Turner, 1986
Vroom, 1964
Locke & Latham, 1990
Adams, 1965
Deci & Ryan, 1985
Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996
Hackman & Oldham, 1976
136
112
106
80
79
78
71
60
53
33
Note. We generated the list of theories using the references in S. W. J. Kozlowski’s (2012) Oxford Handbook
of Organizational Psychology. The citation search was performed with Google Scholar’s “with the exact
phrase,” “Return articles published in,” and “Return articles dated between” fields.
tive commitment, trust, and psychological contract fulfillment to
the conceptual definition of social exchange relationships (Blau,
1964). We also used this approach to examine the content validity
of scales that were explicitly created to assess social exchange
relationships (e.g., Bernerth, Armenakis, Feild, Giles, & Walker,
2007; Shore, Tetrick, Lynch, & Barksdale, 2006), including one
developed for this study. Our results reveal a number of surprises,
with some of the most oft-used operationalizations possessing
some potentially important content validity problems.
Social Exchange: The Theory and the Relationships
As summarized in reviews of the literature, “social exchange
theory” is actually a multidisciplinary family of perspectives rather
than one single model (Cropanzano & Byrne, 2000; Cropanzano &
Mitchell, 2005; Cropanzano & Rupp, 2008; Cropanzano et al.,
2001). We focus on what is sometimes called “contemporary
social exchange theory,” which can be traced to Organ’s (1988,
1990) application of Blau’s (1964) writings on social exchange
relationships (Cropanzano et al., 2001). Blau (1964) described
relationships, or “social associations,” as “an exchange of activity,
tangible or intangible, and more or less rewarding or costly,
between at least two persons” (p. 88). He went on to distinguish
two specific kinds of relationships. Social exchanges represent a
more invested relationship that is based on—and motivated by—
obligatory exchanges of unspecified favors and benefits, over an
open-ended and long-term time frame. In contrast, economic exchanges represent a less invested and more contractual relationship
where benefits and repayment schedules are clearly specified.
Blau’s (1964) discussion of social exchange relationships mentions a number of benefits, defined here as voluntary, beneficial
actions by one exchange partner that are expected to create a desire
to give back on the part of the other. Those include assistance,
advice, compliance, appreciation, and instrumental services. For
the most part, such benefits are symbolic and particularistic, meaning that the identity of the provider impacts the value of the benefit
(Foa & Foa, 1980). Of course, concepts such as assistance and
compliance can be both quid and quo. If one exchange partner
provides assistance to the other, subsequent acts of compliance by
that other could constitute reciprocative behavior, defined here as
voluntary, beneficial actions by one exchange partner that are
believed to exemplify giving back to the other.
Organ (1988, 1990) applied Blau’s (1964) theorizing to citizenship behavior in arguing that justice on the part of an organization
could explain instances of an employee being a “good soldier.”
From this perspective, justice acts as a benefit that is positively
associated with a social exchange relationship, with that relationship being positively associated with the reciprocative behavior of
citizenship. Organ’s work molded contemporary social exchange
theorizing in two ways. First, he expanded Blau’s (1964) conceptualization of exchange relationships to include person–
organization linkages, putting organizations in the role of juristic
persons (Folger & Cropanzano, 2001) who could provide benefits
and receive reciprocation. Second, his benefit ¡ social exchange
relationship ¡ reciprocative behavior causal chain has come to
form the spine of subsequent empirical tests (Cropanzano et al.,
2001). Some of those tests focused on organizational citizenship
behavior targeted at a supervisor (Masterson, Lewis, Goldman, &
Taylor, 2000), termed OCBS (Malatesta & Byrne, 1997). Other
tests focused on citizenship behavior targeted at an organization
(e.g., Konovsky & Pugh, 1994; Masterson et al., 2000; Moorman,
Blakely, & Niehoff, 1998), termed OCBO (Williams & Anderson,
1991).
From Conceptual to Operational: Measuring Social
Exchange Relationships
Notably, the empirical studies that occurred in the wake of
Organ’s (1988, 1990) theorizing used different variables to capture
the mediating role of social exchange relationships. Organ (1988,
1990) himself did not suggest a mediator to capture Blau’s (1964)
dynamic, focusing his energies on defining the still nascent citizenship behavior construct. Moreover, industrial and organizational psychology seemed to already possess off-the-shelf variables that reflected elements of Blau’s (1964) theorizing.
Cropanzano and Byrne (2000) provided the first discussion of this
mediational dissensus. Noting that an operationalization of social
exchange relationships was the “missing linchpin” in contemporary theorizing, they reviewed five “candidates” that could capture
that mediator (Cropanzano & Byrne, 2000, pp. 150 –151): per-
ceived support, exchange quality, affective commitment, trust, and
psychological contract fulfillment. As shown in Figure 1, these
variables have gone on to become the mediators of choice for
scholars wanting to explain the linkage between some benefit and
some reciprocative behavior.
Unfortunately, as reviewed in the sections below, many of these
variables possess content validity problems when used as operationalizations of social exchange relationships (see Appendix A for
a listing of the scale items). In some cases the items do not
sufficiently evoke a relationship, focusing instead on statements
about one exchange partner. In other cases the items do not
sufficiently evoke the sentiments that Blau (1964) ascribed to
social exchange relationships. For example, Blau (1964) noted that
social exchange relationships entail “unspecified obligations” (p.
93), require “trusting others” (p. 94), constitute “commitments to
the other party” (p. 98), and possess “elements of intrinsic significance” (p. 112). In still other cases, the items explicitly ask about
benefits or reciprocative behaviors, injecting contaminated content
that belongs to antecedents or consequences of social exchange
relationships.
601
Perceived Support
Perceived support is defined as the degree to which one exchange partner values the contributions of the other and shows
concern for his or her well-being (Eisenberger, Huntington,
Hutchison, & Sowa, 1986). When targeted at an organization, the
construct is labeled perceived organizational support, or POS
(Eisenberger et al., 1986). When targeted at a supervisor, the
construct is labeled perceived supervisor support, or PSS (Eisenberger, Stinglhamber, Vandenberghe, Sucharski, & Rhoades,
2002). Perceived support represents the single most common
means of capturing the mediating role of social exchange relationships, with the benefits examined including justice, developmental
experiences, promotions, and inclusion and the reciprocative behaviors including citizenship behavior, counterproductive behavior, job performance, and turnover (e.g., Allen, Shore, & Griffeth,
2003; El Akremi, Vandenberghe, & Camerman, 2010; Masterson
et al., 2000; Moorman et al., 1998; Tekleab, Takeuchi, & Taylor,
2005; Wayne, Shore, Bommer, & Tetrick, 2002; Wayne, Shore, &
Liden, 1997).
20
15
Number of Articles
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
SOCIAL EXCHANGE MEASURES
10
5
0
!"
Perceived
Support
#"
$"
Exchange
Quality
%"
&"
Affective
Commitment
'"
("
Trust
)"
*"
PCF
Figure 1. Frequency with which variables have been used to test the mediating role of social exchange
relationships in top industrial and organizational psychology journals (2000 –2010). Journals included the
Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Personnel Psychology, Organizational
Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Management, and Journal of Organizational Behavior.
PCF ! psychological contract fulfillment.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
602
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
Operationally speaking, perceived support is viewed as high
when supervisors or organizations help employees, value their
contributions, consider their goals and values, and care about their
well-being. The items do not evoke a relationship per se; nor do
they reflect the sentiments that Blau (1964) ascribed to social
exchange. Instead, they focus solely on benefits provided by an
exchange partner, resembling the assistance and appreciation that
Blau used to exemplify benefits. That focus is understandable
given that the construct was meant to be an indicator of a supervisor or organization’s commitment to an employee (Eisenberger
et al., 1986). Nonetheless, that focus may inject contamination
when social exchange relationships are measured. It may also
create ambiguity of causal direction when relationships are modeled with other benefits. For example, if interpersonal justice
reflects the degree to which a supervisor treats an employee with
respect (Colquitt, 2001), how can an interpersonal justice ¡ PSS
causal flow be modeled without raising concerns about nonrecursiveness?
Exchange Quality
Exchange quality has come to be defined as the degree to
which a relationship between two exchange partners is characterized by mutual respect, trust, and obligation (Gerstner &
Day, 1997; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). When targeted at a
supervisor– employee dyad, exchange quality is termed leader–
member exchange, or LMX (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). When
targeted at an organization– employee dyad, exchange quality is
termed organization–member exchange, or OMX (Karriker & Williams, 2009). Exchange quality represents the second most common means of capturing the mediating role of social exchange
relationships, with the benefits in those studies including justice,
rewards, and punishment and the reciprocative behaviors in those
studies including citizenship behavior, learning, job performance,
and turnover (e.g., Cropanzano, Prehar, & Chen, 2002; El Akremi
et al., 2010; Masterson et al., 2000; Tekleab et al., 2005; Walumbwa, Cropanzano, & Hartnell, 2009; Wayne et al., 2002).
Operationally speaking, the measurement of exchange quality
has evolved over the years. Graen and Uhl-Bien (1995) argued that
the “centroid item” (p. 236) for assessing exchange quality asks
about the perceived effectiveness of the working relationship with
an exchange partner. Other items ask about the beliefs and intentions of both the exchange partner and the focal respondent. That
centroid item gives exchange quality at least one item that explicitly focuses on relationships. Although there is an undercurrent of
trust in the items, the scale does not seem to assess sentiments such
as obligation, commitment, or significance. Moreover, many of the
items seem to reference past or future benefits (e.g., information,
understanding, assistance) or reciprocation (e.g., defending a partner’s actions). Such content could create ambiguity of causal
direction when exchange quality is used as a mediator. For example, if informational justice reflects the degree to which a supervisor provides adequate explanations to an employee (Colquitt,
2001), modeling an informational justice ¡ LMX causal flow is
problematic if one indicator of LMX is a supervisor telling employees where they stand. Similarly, modeling an LMX ¡ OCBS
causal flow is problematic if another indicator of LMX is an
employee being willing to help defend a supervisor, given that
such an action would itself comprise OCBS.
Affective Commitment
Affective commitment reflects the degree to which one exchange partner has an emotional attachment to the other, such that
the partner identifies with and is involved in the shared association
(Allen & Meyer, 1990; see also Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982).
When targeted at an organization, the construct is termed affective
organizational commitment. When targeted at a supervisor, the
construct is termed affective supervisory commitment. Affective
commitment has been used to capture the mediating role of social
exchange relationships in several studies, with the benefits including justice, participation, fit, and growth opportunities and the
reciprocative behaviors including citizenship behavior, counterproductive behavior, job performance, and turnover (e.g., Allen et
al., 2003; Cropanzano, Rupp, & Byrne, 2003; Eisenberger et al.,
2010; Lavelle et al., 2009; Liao, Joshi, & Chuang, 2004).
Operationally speaking, affective commitment is viewed as high
when employees feel attached to or “part of the family” with their
organizations or supervisors and when they draw personal meaning and a sense of belonging from those linkages. None of the
items mention a relationship explicitly. They do tap some of the
sentiments that Blau (1964) ascribed to social exchange relationships, such as a bond of commitment and a sense of intrinsic
significance. Blau (1964) noted that such sentiments were needed
to give relationships the stability needed for long-term, open-ended
arrangements. Moreover, none of the items seem to reference
benefits or reciprocation, preventing some of the contamination
observed for perceived support and exchange quality. Thus, the
items used to assess affective commitment seem to be a contentvalid reflection of the social exchange relationship domain.
Trust
The scholarly literature on trust is marked by two distinct
definitions. Mayer, Davis, and Schoorman (1995) defined trust as
the willingness of one exchange partner to be vulnerable to the
actions of another, based on the expectation that the other will
perform some action in the absence of monitoring or control.
McAllister (1995) defined trust as positive expectations about and
a willingness to act upon the words and intentions of an exchange
partner. Although Mayer et al.’s (1995) willingness to be vulnerable (WBV) conceptualization is unidimensional, the positive expectations described by McAllister (1995) come in two varieties.
Cognition-based trust (CBT) is rooted in rational assessments of
trustworthiness. Affect-based trust (ABT), in contrast, is rooted in
the emotional ties that bond exchange partners together. Taken
together, these three conceptualizations of trust have been used to
capture the mediating role of social exchange relationships in a
handful of studies, with the benefits including justice, empowerment, inducements, and communication and the reciprocative behaviors including citizenship behavior and job performance (e.g.,
Aryee, Budhwar, & Chen, 2002; Colquitt, LePine, Piccolo, Zapata,
& Rich, 2012; Huang, Iun, Liu, & Gong, 2010; Konovsky & Pugh,
1994; Montes & Irving, 2008; Yang, Mossholder, & Peng, 2009).
Operationally speaking, CBT is viewed as high when organizations or supervisors act in a professional, competent, and dedicated
manner. For its part, ABT is high when the relationship between an
employee and his or her supervisor or organization is a sharing one
and when it is marked with mutual care, communication, and
investment. Finally, WBV is high when an employee is willing to
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
SOCIAL EXCHANGE MEASURES
“stick his/her neck out” when dealing with a supervisor or organization. Although trust is clearly central to Blau’s (1964) conceptualization of social exchange, the three operationalizations seem
to differ in their content validity. Of the three trust variants, ABT
most explicitly evokes a relationship and most explicitly evokes
sentiments like commitment and intrinsic significance. CBT, in
contrast, focuses solely on benefits provided by an exchange
partner and was framed as an antecedent of ABT by McAllister
(1995). WBV, for its part, does seem to capture the trust sentiments described by Blau (1964), though the items about speaking
freely and being creative also signify an intention to reciprocate,
potentially evoking reciprocative behavior. That positioning is
consistent with McAllister, Lewicki, and Chaturvedi (2006), who
viewed both CBT and ABT as antecedents of WBV.
Psychological Contract Fulfillment
A psychological contract reflects an exchange partner’s belief
that certain benefits are promised by an other, in exchange for
certain contributions on his or her part (Rousseau, 1990). The
nature of those promised benefits and contributions has been used
to distinguish transactional contracts from relational contracts. The
former reflect an exchange of pay and advancement for hard work
and advance notice of departure, with the latter reflecting an
exchange of job security and development for loyalty and citizenship (e.g., Robinson, Kraatz, & Rousseau, 1994; Rousseau, 1990).
Psychological contract fulfillment (PCF), in turn, reflects an overall evaluation of the degree to which an exchange partner has
fulfilled the obligations that were promised (Robinson & Morrison, 1995, 2000; Robinson & Rousseau, 1994). PCF has been used
to capture the mediating role of social exchange relationships in a
handful of studies, with the benefits including justice, accounts,
and (lack of) politics and the reciprocative behaviors including
citizenship behavior, counterproductive behavior, job performance, and turnover (e.g., Kickul, Neuman, Parker, & Finkl, 2001;
Lester, Kickul, & Bergmann, 2007; Rosen, Chang, Johnson, &
Levy, 2009; Tekleab et al., 2005).
Operationally speaking, PCF is viewed as high when employees
feel that the promises made by their supervisors or organizations
have been kept. Although there is a dyadic quality to the PCF
items, they do not explicitly refer to the relationship with the
exchange partner. They also do not reference social exchange
sentiments such as obligation, trust, commitment, or significance.
Instead, they seem to focus on supervisor or organizational benefits, in the form of promise fulfillment. Given that benefits focus,
it is perhaps not surprising that PCF is typically cast as an antecedent of affective commitment and trust (Robinson & Morrison,
1995; Robinson & Rousseau, 1994; Rosen et al., 2009; Zhao,
Wayne, Glibkowski, & Bravo, 2007).
Summary
Although perceived support, exchange quality, affective commitment, trust, and PCF have their roots in exchange theorizing to
varying degrees, none of the scales used to measure them were
created for the express purpose of assessing Blau’s (1964) conceptualization of social exchange relationships. Instead, they were
taken off the shelf to meet the demand for mediators created by
Organ’s (1988, 1990) reintroduction of Blau’s (1964) ideas (Cro-
603
panzano & Byrne, 2000; Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005; Cropanzano & Rupp, 2008; Cropanzano et al., 2001). Our study will
examine whether those variables can in fact serve as content-valid
indicators of social exchange relationships, or whether they are
contaminated by Blau’s (1964) benefit or reciprocative behavior
concepts. In so doing, we will also examine the content validity of
three scales that were explicitly created to assess social exchange
relationships.
The first of those scales is Shore et al. (2006), which operationalizes social exchange relationships as mutual trust and investment, a long time duration, and socioemotional (rather than financial) transactions. Although both relationships and social exchange
sentiments are evoked in the items, they also seem to tap benefits
(i.e., investment, rewards, care) and reciprocative behaviors (e.g.,
effort, hard work, assistance). Nevertheless, Shore et al.’s measure
has been used in recent studies, with the benefits including justice,
leadership, and inducements and the reciprocative behaviors including citizenship and job performance (Hom et al., 2009; Rupp
& Cropanzano, 2002; Song, Tsui, & Law, 2009). The second of
those scales is Bernerth et al. (2007), intended to be a measure of
exchange quality that would more explicitly evoke exchange and
reciprocity, relative to more seminal scales (Graen & Uhl-Bien,
1995). As with Shore et al.’s scale, some items explicitly evoke
relationships while also hinting at the social exchange sentiments
described by Blau (1964). Also like Shore et al. (2006), some items
seem to tap benefit and reciprocative behavior themes, though in a
less defined and specific fashion. We are not aware of a study that
has used Bernerth et al.’s (2007) scale to mediate the relationship
between some benefit and some reciprocative behavior. Finally,
the third scale, labeled the Social Exchange Relationship Scale
(SERS) in Appendix A, was created for the purposes of this study.
It explicitly asks whether a given relationship is characterized by
the sentiments that Blau (1964) described in his theorizing: mutual
obligation, mutual trust, mutual commitment, and mutual significance.
Method
Sample
Four hundred undergraduate students at a large southeastern
university were recruited for this study from a research pool
consisting of juniors and seniors majoring in business management. Students received course credit for their participation. Participants agreed to complete three online surveys that were presented to them at 3-week intervals. Three hundred and thirty-one
participants completed all three surveys, representing an overall
response rate of 83%. Given the importance of careful responding
in survey studies (Berry et al., 1992; Clark, Gironda, & Young,
2003; Schmitt & Stults, 1985)— especially those using Hinkin and
Tracey’s (1999) methodology—we included a number of careless
respondent checks. These included monitoring the time spent on
the instructions screen, the time spent on the survey as a whole,
and the inclusion of an instructed response item that asked participants to “Please click the circle under __” (Meade & Craig, 2012).
The content of the blank was “2” in the first survey, “4” in the
second, and “1” in the third. These screens resulted in a final
sample size of 234. The participants were 57% male, had an
average age of 21.2 years (SD ! 2.86), and reported the following
604
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
ethnicities: 83% Caucasian, 7% Asian, 6% African American, 3%
Hispanic, and 2% Other. Thirty-nine percent of the participants
were employed. Schriesheim, Powers, Scandura, Gardiner, and
Lankau (1993) argued that undergraduates are an appropriate sample for content validity studies, given that the primary requirement
is the intellectual ability to evaluate the consistency between scale
items and construct definitions. Hinkin and Tracey (1999) echoed
this recommendation when outlining their procedure.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Procedure
Given that social exchange theory is applied to both supervisor
and organization targets, we included both supervisor and organization conditions in our study. As described by Hinkin and Tracey
(1999), the first step in their quantitative approach to content
validation is identifying definitions for the constructs of interest.
Drawing on Blau’s (1964) descriptions, we used the following
definition for social exchange relationships:
Social exchange relationship. “A more invested relationship between
an employee and his/her [supervisor/organization] that is based on—
and motivated by— obligatory exchanges of unspecified favors and
benefits, over an open-ended and long-term time frame.”
Also drawing on Blau’s (1964) descriptions and examples, we
used the following definition for the benefits that are believed to
foster social exchange relationships:
Benefit. “A voluntary, beneficial action by [a supervisor/an organization] that is expected to create a desire to ‘give back’ among
employees.”
Finally, again drawing on Blau’s (1964) descriptions and examples, we used the following definition for the reciprocative behaviors believed to be triggered by social exchange relationships:
Reciprocative behavior. “A voluntary, beneficial action by an employee that is believed, by the employee, to exemplify ‘giving back’
to [a supervisor/an organization].”
The next step of Hinkin and Tracey’s (1999) procedure involves
having respondents rate the correspondence between scale items
and a given construct definition. In our study, participants were
randomly assigned to either the supervisor condition or the organization condition. They then filled out a survey in which the
perceived support, exchange quality, affective commitment, trust,
PCF, and direct measure items were paired with the social exchange relationship definition, the benefit definition, or the reciprocative behavior definition. The definition received at Time 1 was
randomly selected by the survey software. Three weeks later, the
same items were paired with a different definition, which was
randomly selected from the remaining two definitions. The same
process was repeated with the remaining definition 3 weeks after
that. The temporal separation of surveys was performed for two
reasons: (a) to minimize fatigue on the part of participants and (b)
to reduce the likelihood that responses to one definition would be
retained in working memory when responding to other definitions
(Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003). The ordering of
scales within each of the three surveys was randomized to prevent
item context effects (Podsakoff et al., 2003). The survey software
randomly presented all scales to the participants with no restrictions or groupings imposed by the researchers. The order of items
within each scale was not randomized, with items presented in
their published order, as shown in Appendix A.
Participants were asked to indicate the extent to which items
were consistent with the definition provided using this 7-point
scale: 1 ! Item does an extremely bad job of measuring the
concept to 7 ! Item does an extremely good job of measuring the
concept. Consider, for example, a participant in the supervisor
target condition who received the benefit definition on the first
survey, the social exchange relationship definition on the second
survey, and the reciprocative behavior definition on the third survey.
That participant would react to, for example, the perceived support
item, “My supervisor takes pride in my accomplishments,” by first
judging its correspondence to the benefit definition on the 7-point
scale. Three weeks later the same item, when encountered again on
the survey, would be judged against the social exchange relationship definition on the same scale, with that process repeated 3
weeks later with the reciprocative behavior definition. Given the
presence of negatively worded items in some scales, the instructions clarified that some items would measure a concept by indicating high levels of it, and others would measure the concept by
indicating low levels of it.
In the end, each participant wound up with three different mean
levels of correspondence for each scale: a mean for the benefit
definition, a mean for the social exchange relationship definition,
and a mean for the reciprocative behavior definition. The final step
of Hinkin and Tracey’s (1999) procedure was testing the statistical
significance of the differences between those means. We utilized
repeated-measures analyses of variance (ANOVA) to first identify
whether there were significant differences among the three means
as a set. We then performed post hoc pairwise comparisons to test
the specific difference between the social exchange relationship
mean and the benefit mean and the specific difference between the
social exchange relationship mean and the reciprocative behavior
mean. These comparisons were performed with the Sidak–
Bonferroni adjustment (Sidak, 1967). This adjustment corrects for
the familywise error rate for multiple comparisons but has the
advantage of tempering the Bonferroni adjustment’s adverse impact on statistical power (Keppel & Wickens, 2004).
Measures
All of our measures are shown in Appendix A. Because each
scale was administered three times, we provide alphas for each of
the three definitional conditions.
Perceived support. We used Eisenberger, Armeli, Rexwinkel, Lynch, and Rhoades’s (2001) measure of perceived support.
Exchange quality. We used a version of Scandura and
Graen’s (1984) exchange quality scale that was adapted to have
Likert-style anchors instead of idiosyncratic anchors (Lee, Scandura, Kim, Joshi, & Lee, 2012; Liden, Wayne, & Stillwell, 1993;
Tekleab & Taylor, 2003).
Affective commitment. Meyer, Allen, and Smith’s (1993)
measure of affective commitment was utilized.
Willingness to be vulnerable. We measured WBV using an
adaptation of Schoorman, Mayer, and Davis’s (2007) trust scale.
This scale represents an updated version of the measures introduced in Mayer and Davis (1999) and Mayer and Gavin (2005).
Affect-based trust. McAllister’s (1995) measure of ABT was
adapted for use in our study.
SOCIAL EXCHANGE MEASURES
Cognition-based trust. McAllister’s (1995) measure of CBT
was also utilized in our study.
Psychological contract fulfillment. We used Robinson and
Morrison’s (2000) measure of PCF.
Direct measures. Shore et al.’s (2006) measure of social
exchange was included as a direct measure of the construct, along
with Bernerth et al.’s (2007) scale. We also included our four-item
SERS, created for this study.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Results
Table 2 provides our repeated-measures ANOVA results. We
present results for the overall sample and also for the more specific
supervisor and organization conditions, given that some scholars
work exclusively with one target or another. We also provide
item-level results in Appendix A. Given the wider standard errors
for item-level results, we collapse across targets in order to boost
statistical power. In general, the item-level results affirm the
results at the scale level, so we focus on the latter in the discussion
605
below. Note that Table 2 and Appendix A provide the mean level
of definitional correspondence for the social exchange relationship
condition and also provide rWG values to illustrate the withincondition agreement for that correspondence (James, Demaree, &
Wolf, 1984).
The overall F results in Table 2 show that there were significant
differences among a given scale’s mean correspondence for the
benefit, social exchange relationship, and reciprocative behavior
definitions, for all 10 of the scales included in our study. These
overall differences were observed for the complete sample and
also for the supervisor target conditions. In the organization target
condition, these overall differences were observed for all scales
except affective commitment.
Given those significant overall effects, we probed the more
specific patterns using the post hoc pairwise comparisons shown in
Table 2. The table illustrates the mean correspondence difference
when a scale was referenced to the social exchange relationship
definition, relative to both the benefit definition and the recipro-
Table 2
Analysis of Variance Results
Follow-up mean differences
Variable
Perceived support
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
Exchange quality
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
Affective commitment
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
WBV
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
ABT
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
CBT
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
PCF
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
Shore
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
Bernerth
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
SERS
• Supervisor target
• Organization target
SER mean
4.87
4.86
4.88
4.65
4.64
4.65
4.01
3.96
4.06
4.07
4.04
4.10
5.07
5.01
5.12
4.10
4.13
4.08
4.48
4.41
4.54
4.98
4.91
5.03
5.35
5.34
5.35
5.28
5.21
5.34
rWG(J)
.87
.86
.87
.89
.88
.90
.70
.77
.62
.85
.84
.87
.85
.81
.88
.67
.65
.69
.80
.78
.82
.91
.90
.92
.92
.92
.92
.87
.86
.88
Overall F
!
25.85
15.79!
10.60!
19.89!
9.10!
11.31!
6.28!
4.49!
2.41
10.34!
7.47!
3.51!
14.86!
7.72!
7.09!
17.36!
10.78!
7.19!
41.84!
16.15!
25.98!
13.25!
8.47!
5.86!
14.24!
9.48!
5.25!
18.46!
9.11!
9.98!
SER vs. Ben
SER vs. Rec
.12 (.12)
.18 (.19)
.06 (.06)
.27! (.25)
.31! (.28)
.24 (.22)
.23! (.20)
.26 (.25)
.20 (.16)
.20! (.19)
.25! (.25)
.14 (.15)
.33! (.27)
.34! (.27)
.31! (.27)
".11 (.09)
".10 (.08)
".12 (.09)
.08 (.08)
.07 (.08)
.09 (.09)
.21! (.23)
.25! (.28)
.17 (.17)
.30! (.28)
.34! (.33)
.26! (.24)
.33! (.31)
.36! (.36)
.29! (.27)
.52! (.49)
.60! (.56)
.45! (.42)
.44! (.39)
.40! (.35)
.49! (.43)
.27! (.23)
.28! (.27)
.27 (.22)
.30! (.29)
.35! (.33)
.25 (.24)
.44! (.35)
.48! (.36)
.41! (.35)
.31! (.21)
.34! (.23)
.29! (.19)
.67! (.64)
.60! (.58)
.73! (.68)
.31! (.33)
.30! (.32)
.32! (.32)
.35! (.33)
.40! (.37)
.30! (.28)
.43! (.40)
.38! (.36)
.47! (.42)
Note. n ! 234 for the overall sample; n ! 112 for the supervisor target; n ! 122 for the organization target.
Bolded numbers indicate that the scale’s mean definitional correspondence is statistically significantly higher for
the social exchange relationships definition than for both the benefit and reciprocative behavior definitions.
Cohen’s d values are in parentheses next to the mean differences. SER ! social exchange relationship definition;
Ben ! benefit definition; Rec ! reciprocative behavior definition; WBV ! willingness to be vulnerable; ABT !
affect-based trust; CBT ! cognition-based trust; PCF ! psychological contract fulfillment; Shore ! Shore et al.
(2006) scale assessing social exchange relationships; Bernerth ! Bernerth et al. (2007) scale assessing social
exchange relationships; SERS ! Social Exchange Relationship Scale.
!
p # .05.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
606
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
cative behavior definition. For example, the .12 value in the top
row of Table 2 shows that the perceived support scale had a .12
higher level of definitional correspondence when paired with the
social exchange relationship definition rather than the benefit
definition. Because the 95% confidence interval for that difference
included .00, however, it is marked as not statistically significant.
In contrast, the perceived support scale has a .52 higher level of
definitional correspondence when paired with the social exchange
relationship definition rather than the reciprocative behavior definition; this difference was statistically significant. Cohen’s d
values are included in the table in parentheses next to each mean
difference as a measure of effect size.
The scale-level results are presented graphically in Figures 2, 3,
and 4, which again provide results for the complete sample, the
supervisor target condition, and the organization target condition.
A content-valid pattern of results is evidenced in Table 2 and
Figures 2– 4 when a given scale’s mean definitional correspondence is statistically significantly higher for the social exchange
relationship definition than for both the benefit and reciprocative
behavior definitions. Results that adhere to that pattern are bolded
in Table 2 and outlined in black in Figures 2– 4.
Three scales adhered to the content-valid pattern in both the
overall sample and each of the two target conditions: ABT,
Bernerth, and SERS. Four other scales adhered to the content-valid
pattern in the overall sample and with the supervisor target, just not
the organization target: exchange quality, WBV, and Shore. Affective commitment adhered to the content-valid pattern only for
the overall sample. Finally, perceived support, CBT, and PCF
never adhered to the content-valid pattern.1
Focusing solely on the three scales that adhered to the contentvalid pattern in all tests, we further examined whether there were
differences between ABT, Bernerth, and SERS in terms of their
correspondence with just the social exchange relationship definition itself (i.e., just the middle bars in Figures 2– 4). Post hoc
comparisons showed that Bernerth had significantly higher levels
of correspondence than ABT in the overall sample (Mdiff ! .28,
p # .05, Cohen’s d ! .25) and the supervisor target condition
(Mdiff ! .33, p # .05, Cohen’s d ! .29). Post hoc comparisons
showed that SERS had significantly higher levels of correspondence than ABT in the overall sample (Mdiff ! .21, p # .05,
Cohen’s d ! .20) and the organization target condition (Mdiff !
.22, p # .05, Cohen’s d ! .22). Post hoc comparisons found no
significant differences in the levels of correspondence between
Bernerth and SERS in the overall sample, the supervisor target
condition, and the organization target condition.
Supplementary Analyses
Although our Hinkin and Tracey (1999) analyses allowed us to
draw clear distinctions among the social exchange relationship
operationalizations, it remains an open question whether other
kinds of analyses would surface similar implications. We therefore
supplemented our results with a confirmatory factor analysis-based
investigation, with participants recruited with classified ads posted
on the Internet. Participants received $5 for completing a one-time
survey and had to be 18 or older, to work for at least 35 hours per
week, and to not be self-employed. A total of 890 participants
registered, with 691 completing the full survey. The participants
were 43% male, had an average age of 35.9 years (SD ! 11.78),
and reported the following ethnicities: 58% Caucasian, 15% African American, 11% Hispanic, 9% Asian, and 7% Other. They
had an average tenure with their organization of 5.35 years (SD !
5.67) and an average tenure with their supervisor of 3.21 years
(SD ! 3.45).
Participants completed the survey online and were randomly
assigned to either a supervisor target condition or an organization
target condition. The survey included all of the scales in the
Appendix along with an operationalization of both benefits and
reciprocative behavior. Justice (either supervisory or organizational) was used to operationalize benefits and was indicated by
three overall fairness scales (Ambrose & Schminke, 2009; Choi,
2008; Colquitt, Long, Rodell, & Halvorsen-Ganepola, 2013). Citizenship behavior (either OCBS or OCBO) was used to operationalize reciprocative behavior and was indicated by a helping scale
(Van Dyne & LePine, 1998), a voice scale (Van Dyne & LePine,
1998), and a civic virtue scale (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman,
& Fetter, 1990). The survey was administered in three blocks—
justice, social exchange, and citizenship behavior—with the ordering of the blocks randomized. Scale order was then randomized
within blocks, with items presented in their published orders.
Our analysis focused generally on whether fit issues in our
measurement modeling would echo the results observed in our
Hinkin and Tracey (1999) results. To examine this possibility, we
contrasted two different measurement models. Model 1 was a
baseline model with three latent variables: (a) benefits, indicated
by the three overall fairness scales; (b) social exchange relationships, indicated by perceived support, exchange quality, affective
commitment, WBV, ABT, CBT, PCF, Shore, Bernerth, and SERS;
and (c) reciprocative behavior, indicated by helping, voice, and
civic virtue. Model 2 then took that baseline and used the itemlevel Hinkin and Tracey (1999) results in Appendix A to alter the
loadings of some items. For example, the results for the first CBT
item showed that it had significantly higher definitional correspondence for the benefits definition than for the social exchange
relationship definition. That item therefore loaded only on the
benefits factor and not the social exchange relationships factor. As
another example, the results for the first perceived support item
showed that it had equivalent definitional correspondence for the
benefits definition and for the social exchange relationship definition. That item was therefore allowed to load on both the benefits
factor and the social exchange relationships factor.
In contrasting Model 1 with Model 2, we collapsed across the
supervisor and organization targets to boost statistical power. The
resulting comparison is shown in Table 3. Model 2 fit the data
better than Model 1 using a chi-square difference test, a compar1
Although scholars have argued that intellectual ability is the most
critical requirement for participants in content validity studies (Hinkin &
Tracey, 1999; Schriesheim et al., 1993), it is possible that employed
participants could see more nuance in social exchange concepts that could
alter their perceptions of definitional correspondence. To examine this
issue, we asked participants to indicate whether they were currently employed and how many hours per week they worked. Ninety of the 234
participants in our study were employed, working an average of 17.33 hr
per week (SD ! 8.18 hr). Use of employment status as a moderator in our
repeated-measures ANOVAs failed to yield significant product terms for
either an employed versus unemployed dummy variable or a continuous
hours worked variable. Those results suggest that our content validity
results are robust to the employment status of the participant.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
SOCIAL EXCHANGE MEASURES
607
Figure 2. Definitional correspondence levels for overall sample (n ! 234). Scales that exhibit the content-valid
pattern to a statistically significant degree are outlined in black. Ben ! benefit definition; SER ! social
exchange relationship definition; Rec ! reciprocative behavior definition; WBV ! willingness to be vulnerable;
ABT ! affect-based trust; CBT ! cognition-based trust; PCF ! psychological contract fulfillment; Shore !
Shore et al. (2006) scale assessing social exchange relationships; Bernerth ! Bernerth et al. (2007) scale
assessing social exchange relationships; SERS ! Social Exchange Relationship Scale.
ison of confidence intervals for the root mean square error of
approximation (RMSEA), the Akaike information criterion (AIC),
and side-by-side contrasts of other fit indices. The superior fit of
Model 2 illustrates that the Hinkin and Tracey (1999) results surfaced
item-level distinctions that were supported by our factor analyses.
Items that seemed to load (or cross-load) on other definitions in our
Hinkin and Tracey (1999) analyses also seemed to load (or crossload) on other latent variables in our measurement model.
Discussion
Theory and measurement tend to proceed in one of a few
different paths in industrial and organizational psychology. Sometimes, a theory is introduced after empirical testing with measures
or manipulations has already occurred (e.g., Ajzen, 1991; Deci &
Ryan, 1985; Locke & Latham, 1990; Tajfel & Turner, 1986).
Other times, the introduction of a theory is followed quickly by
empirical testing by the theory’s authors or by others (Vroom,
1964; Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996). Still other times, the theory
and its operationalizations are introduced more or less concurrently (Adams, 1965; Bandura, 1977; Hackman & Oldham, 1976).
None of these paths were followed with contemporary social
exchange theory. Organ (1988, 1990) shone a spotlight on concepts that were articulated a quarter century earlier, in an effort to
understand citizenship behavior. Other scholars— especially justice
scholars—then gravitated to those concepts to understand linkages
with what would become that literature’s modal criterion (e.g., Konovsky & Pugh, 1994; Masterson et al., 2000; Moorman et al., 1998).
Given those scholars’ focus on what were still relatively new independent and dependent variables, it is perhaps not surprising that less
attention was paid to the content validity of their chosen mediators.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
608
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
Figure 3. Definitional correspondence levels for supervisor sample (n ! 112). Scales that exhibit the
content-valid pattern to a statistically significant degree are outlined in black. Ben ! benefit definition; SER !
social exchange relationship definition; Rec ! reciprocative behavior definition; PSS ! perceived supervisor
support; LMX ! leader–member exchange; WBV ! willingness to be vulnerable; ABT ! affect-based trust;
CBT ! cognition-based trust; PCF ! psychological contract fulfillment; Shore ! Shore et al. (2006) scale
assessing social exchange relationships; Bernerth ! Bernerth et al. (2007) scale assessing social exchange
relationships; SERS ! Social Exchange Relationship Scale.
What stands out most from our results is that the most oftutilized indicator of social exchange relationships—perceived support (and, especially, POS)—was not shown to be content valid by
Hinkin and Tracey’s (1999) procedure. More than any other measure in our study, perceived support samples not just from the
social exchange relationships conceptual domain but also from the
conceptual domain of benefits— of actions by an exchange partner
that create a desire to reciprocate. In Blau’s (1964) formulation,
such benefits include assistance and appreciation; with perceived
support they include helping, recognition, and consideration
(Eisenberger et al., 1986). In hindsight, this result is understandable because Eisenberger et al. (1986) never intended perceived
support to be an indicator of social exchange relationships but
rather of the kind of treatment that would engender affective
commitment. It was other scholars who cast it as a mediator in the
benefit ¡ social exchange relationship ¡ reciprocative behavior
causal string (e.g., Masterson et al., 2000; Moorman et al., 1998;
Tekleab et al., 2005), even though such studies wind up resembling
a benefit ¡ benefit ¡ reciprocative behavior string.
Although the second most frequent operationalization of social
exchange relationships— exchange quality (and, especially,
LMX)—fit the content-valid pattern in some tests, it did not draw
from the content domain as strongly as other options. Concerns
about the content of exchange quality echo Bernerth et al.’s (2007)
criticisms, when they introduced their scale, that the seminal
exchange quality measures were created before the literature became tightly associated with social exchange theory. That reality
makes the content of some of the items (i.e., knowing where one
stands, having a partner understand one’s needs) somewhat disconnected from the beliefs and sentiments that Blau (1964) used to
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
SOCIAL EXCHANGE MEASURES
609
Figure 4. Definitional correspondence levels for organization sample (n ! 122). Scales that exhibit the
content-valid pattern to a statistically significant degree are outlined in black. Ben ! benefit definition; SER !
social exchange relationship definition; Rec ! reciprocative behavior definition; POS ! perceived organizational support; OMX ! organization–member exchange; WBV ! willingness to be vulnerable; ABT !
affect-based trust; CBT ! cognition-based trust; PCF ! psychological contract fulfillment; Shore ! Shore et al.
(2006) scale assessing social exchange relationships; Bernerth ! Bernerth et al. (2007) scale assessing social
exchange relationships; SERS ! Social Exchange Relationship Scale.
describe social exchange relationships, even as other items evoke
benefits and reciprocative behavior content.
In contrast, our results showed that one of the more infrequently
utilized mediators, McAllister’s (1995) ABT, was among the most
content-valid indicators of social exchange relationships. That
superior validity may be a testament to the fact that McAllister
(1995) was influenced by Clark and Mills’s (1979) discussion of
communal relationships, a conceptualization that has been likened
to Blau’s (1964) social exchange relationship (Cropanzano &
Mitchell, 2005). Regardless, the ABT items seem to explicitly
evoke a relationship while also tapping the sentiments at play in
Blau’s (1964) theorizing—all without inadvertently sampling benefits or reciprocative behavior content. In their review of the
literature, Cropanzano and Mitchell (2005) noted that the findings
regarding trust as an indicator of social exchange mediation were
“promising” but also “sparse” (p. 886). Our results suggest that
such “sparseness” should be addressed using ABT, given that CBT
did not fit the content-valid pattern and WBV did so to a lesser
extent (and only in the overall and supervisor target testing).
Other than ABT, the only scales that fit the content-valid patterns across all tests were two of the direct measures: Bernerth et
al. (2007) and the SERS. Bernerth et al. (2007) fit the pattern by
evoking relationships, having hints of the sentiments described by
Blau (1964), and keeping any mentions of benefits or reciprocation
somewhat vague and undefined. It is somewhat surprising that
Bernerth et al.’s (2007) scale remains so underutilized, given its
performance in our tests. Other than being due to the recency of
its introduction, we suspect, that infrequency is a function of its
cosmetic similarity to exchange quality scales and Shore et al.’s
(2006) scale. Its content looks similar to those more established—
610
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
Table 3
Goodness of Fit Comparisons
Goodness of fit statistic
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Chi-square
• Degrees of freedom
• Chi-square difference
Root-mean-square error of approximation (RMSEA)
• 90% confidence interval
Akaike information criterion (AIC)
Comparative fit index (CFI)
Root-mean-square residual (RMR)
Goodness of fit index (GFI)
Model 1
(baseline model)
Model 2
(Hinkin & Tracey, 1999, adjusted)
11,840.41!
2207
10,245.71!
2156
1,594.7!
.085
[.083, .086]
13,220.67
.98
.069
.65
.105
[.103, .106]
19,128.25
.97
.094
.55
Note. n ! 691.
!
p # .05.
and therefore less controversial— choices, even though the items
do a better job of capturing relationships without evoking benefits
and reciprocative behavior. The SERS, in contrast, fit the pattern
by focusing its instructions solely on relationships and using the
mutual obligation, trust, commitment, and significance sentiments
described by Blau (1964) as its items. Those results, together with
its strong reliability and shorter length, would seem to make it a
worthy option for future exchange-based research. One other option, suggested by a reviewer, would be utilizing an amalgam of
items that fit the content-valid pattern, taken from separate scales.
That sort of amalgam is shown in Appendix B, though we should
caution that it may be controversial to use published items outside
of their published scale structures.
Of course, a natural question becomes, Which of the three
content-valid options is the best choice for scholars in their research? Although future empirical testing will certainly inform the
answer to that question, it seems that ABT would be especially
appropriate when scholars are seeking to contribute to both the
trust literature and the social exchange literature. If not, both
Bernerth et al.’s (2007) scale and the SERS had significantly
stronger content validity in the overall sample. Of those two,
Bernerth et al.’s (2007) scale would be more appropriate when
scholars are seeking to contribute to both the LMX/OMX literature
and the social exchange literature. Given its shorter length, the
SERS would likely be useful in cases where survey space is at a
premium or participant fatigue is a concern (see Donnellan, Oswald, Baird, & Lucas, 2006, for a discussion of such issues).
Limitations and Implications
This study has some limitations that should be noted. For
example, we confined our examination of the social exchange
indicators to supervisor and organization targets. Although those
are the two most common targets in tests of social exchange
theorizing, scholars have begun to examine other targets. For
example, scholars have referenced both exchange quality and
affective commitment to coworkers (e.g., Lavelle et al., 2009; Tse
& Dasborough, 2008), typically in an effort to predict citizenship
targeted at coworkers, often termed OCBI (Williams & Anderson,
1991). It remains unclear how our findings would generalize to
such additional targets. Second, our study utilized undergraduate
business students, who may have less familiarity with social exchange contexts. It should be noted, however, that content knowl-
edge and familiarity are not a requirement of Hinkin and Tracey’s
(1999) technique. Moreover, employment status was not found to
be a significant moderator of our results.
Despite these limitations, our study offers important implications for one of the most oft-evoked theories in industrial and
organizational psychology. In reflecting on the importance of
falsifiability in theory testing, Platt (1964) recounted a quote from
a noted biologist: “A theory which cannot be mortally endangered
cannot be alive” (p. 349). It seems difficult to endanger social
exchange theory—in terms of empirically refuting its core propositions (Bacharach, 1989)—when those propositions can be supported using any of 10 different mediators. That issue only gets
exacerbated when some of those mediators are infused with the
very benefit and reciprocative behavior concepts that they are
supposed to be linking. We hope that our critical examination of
the operationalizations of social exchange relationships will bring
more focus and clarity to the testing of the theory’s propositions
moving forward.
References
Adams, J. S. (1965). Inequity in social exchange. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.),
Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 267–299). New
York, NY: Academic Press.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior
and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179 –211. doi:10.1016/07495978(91)90020-T
Allen, D. G., Shore, L. M., & Griffeth, R. W. (2003). The role of perceived
organizational support and supportive human resource practices in the
turnover process. Journal of Management, 29, 99 –118. doi:10.1177/
014920630302900107
Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1990). The measurement and antecedents of
affective, continuance and normative commitment. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63, 1–18. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8325.1990.tb00506.x
Ambrose, M. L., & Schminke, M. (2009). The role of overall justice
judgments in organizational justice research: A test of mediation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 491–500. doi:10.1037/a0013203
Aryee, S., Budhwar, P. S., & Chen, Z. X. (2002). Trust as a mediator of the
relationship between organizational justice and outcomes: Test of a
social exchange model. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23, 267–
285. doi:10.1002/job.138
Bacharach, S. B. (1989). Organizational theories: Some criteria for evaluation. Academy of Management Review, 14, 496 –515.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
SOCIAL EXCHANGE MEASURES
Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral
change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.84
.2.191
Bernerth, J. B., Armenakis, A. A., Feild, H. S., Giles, W. F., & Walker,
H. J. (2007). Leader–member social exchange (LMSX): Development
and validation of a scale. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28,
979 –1003. doi:10.1002/job.443
Berry, D. T. R., Wetter, M. W., Baer, R. A., Larsen, L., Clark, C., &
Monroe, K. (1992). MMPI-2 random responding indices: Validation
using a self-report methodology. Psychological Assessment, 4, 340 –345.
doi:10.1037/1040-3590.4.3.340
Blau, P. M. (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York, NY:
Wiley.
Choi, J. (2008). Event justice perceptions and employees’ reactions: Perceptions of social entity justice as a moderator. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 93, 513–528. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.93.3.513
Clark, M. E., Gironda, R. J., & Young, R. W. (2003). Detection of back
random responding: Effectiveness of MMPI-2 and Personality Assessment Inventory validity indices. Psychological Assessment, 15, 223–
234. doi:10.1037/1040-3590.15.2.223
Clark, M. S., & Mills, J. (1979). Interpersonal attraction in exchange and
communal relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
37, 12–24. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.37.1.12
Colquitt, J. A. (2001). On the dimensionality of organizational justice: A
construct validation of a measure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86,
386 – 400. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.86.3.386
Colquitt, J. A., LePine, J. A., Piccolo, R. F., Zapata, C. P., & Rich, B. L.
(2012). Explaining the justice–performance relationship: Trust as exchange deepener or trust as uncertainty reducer? Journal of Applied
Psychology, 97, 1–15. doi:10.1037/a0025208
Colquitt, J. A., Long, D. M., Rodell, J. B., & Halvorsen-Ganepola, M. D.
K. (2013). Adding the “in” to justice: A qualitative and quantitative
investigation of the differential effects of justice and injustice. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Coyle-Shapiro, J. A. M., & Conway, N. (2004). The employment relationship through the lens of social exchange. In J. A. M. Coyle-Shapiro,
L. M. Shore, M. S. Taylor, & L. Tetrick (Eds.), The employment
relationship: Examining psychological and contextual perspectives (pp.
5–28). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Cropanzano, R., & Byrne, Z. S. (2000). Workplace justice and the dilemma
of organizational citizenship. In M. Van Vugt, T. Tyler, & A. Biel
(Eds.), Collective problems in modern society: Dilemmas and solutions
(pp. 142–161). London, United Kingdom: Routledge.
Cropanzano, R., & Mitchell, M. S. (2005). Social exchange theory: An
interdisciplinary review. Journal of Management, 31, 874 –900. doi:
10.1177/0149206305279602
Cropanzano, R., Prehar, C. A., & Chen, P. Y. (2002). Using social
exchange theory to distinguish procedural from interactional justice.
Group & Organization Management, 27, 324 –351. doi:10.1177/
1059601102027003002
Cropanzano, R., & Rupp, D. E. (2008). Social exchange theory and
organizational justice: Job performance, citizenship behaviors, multiple
foci, and a historical integration of two literatures. In S. W. Gilliland,
D. P. Skarlicki, & D. D. Steiner (Eds.), Research in social issues in
management: Justice, morality, and social responsibility (pp. 63–99).
Greenwich CT: Information Age.
Cropanzano, R., Rupp, D. E., & Byrne, Z. S. (2003). The relationship of
emotional exhaustion to work attitudes, job performance, and organizational citizenship behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 160 –
169. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.1.160
Cropanzano, R., Rupp, D. E., Mohler, C. J., & Schminke, M. (2001). Three
roads to organizational justice. In G. R. Ferris (Ed.), Research in
personnel and human resource management (Vol. 19, pp. 1–113). New
York, NY: Elsevier Science.
611
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and selfdetermination in human behavior. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
Donnellan, M. B., Oswald, F. L., Baird, B. M., & Lucas, R. E. (2006). The
Mini-IPIP scales: Tiny-yet-effective measures of the Big Five factors of
personality. Psychological Assessment, 18, 192–203. doi:10.1037/10403590.18.2.192
Eby, L. T., Allen, T. D., Hoffman, B. J., Baranik, L. E., Sauer, J. B.,
Baldwin, S., . . . Evans, S. C. (2013). An interdisciplinary meta-analysis
of the potential antecedents, correlates, and consequences of protégé
perceptions of mentoring. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 441– 476. doi:
10.1037/a0029279
Eisenberger, R., Armeli, S., Rexwinkel, B., Lynch, P. D., & Rhoades, L.
(2001). Reciprocation of perceived organizational support. Journal of
Applied Psychology, 86, 42–51. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.86.1.42
Eisenberger, R., Huntington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 500 –
507. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.71.3.500
Eisenberger, R., Karagonlar, G., Stinglhamber, F., Neves, P., Becker, T. E.,
Gonzalez-Morales, M. G., & Steiger-Mueller, M. (2010). Leader–
member exchange and affective organizational commitment: The contribution of supervisor’s organizational embodiment. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 95, 1085–1103. doi:10.1037/a0020858
Eisenberger, R., Stinglhamber, F., Vandenberghe, C., Sucharski, I. L., &
Rhoades, L. (2002). Perceived supervisor support: Contributions to
perceived organizational support and employee retention. Journal of
Applied Psychology, 87, 565–573. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.87.3.565
El Akremi, A., Vandenberghe, C., & Camerman, J. (2010). The role of
justice and social exchange relationships in workplace deviance: Test of
a mediated model. Human Relations, 63, 1687–1717. doi:10.1177/
0018726710364163
Foa, E., & Foa, U. (1980). Resource theory: Interpersonal behavior as
exchange. In K. J. Gergen, M. S. Greenberg, & R. H. Willis (Eds.),
Social exchange: Advances in theory and research (pp. 77–94). New
York, NY: Plenum Press.
Folger, R., & Cropanzano, R. (2001). Fairness theory: Justice as accountability. In J. Greenberg & R. Cropanzano (Eds.), Advances in organizational justice (pp. 1–55). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Gerstner, C. R., & Day, D. V. (1997). Meta-analytic review of leader–
member exchange theory: Correlates and construct issues. Journal of
Applied Psychology, 82, 827– 844. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.82.6.827
Graen, G. B., & Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-based approach to
leadership: Development of leader–member exchange (LMX) theory of
leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level, multi-domain perspective. Leadership Quarterly, 6, 219 –247. doi:10.1016/1048-9843
(95)90036-5
Greenberg, J., & Scott, K. S. (1996). Why do workers bite the hands that
feed them? Employee theft as a social exchange process. In B. M. Staw
& L. L. Cummings (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol.
18, pp. 111–156). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1976). Motivation through the design of
work: Test of a theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16, 250 –279. doi:10.1016/0030-5073(76)90016-7
Hinkin, T., & Tracey, J. (1999). An analysis of variance approach to
content validation. Organizational Research Methods, 2, 175–186. doi:
10.1177/109442819922004
Hom, P. W., Tsui, A. S., Wu, J. B., Lee, T. W., Zhang, A. Y., Fu, P. P., &
Li, L. (2009). Explaining employment relationships with social exchange and job embeddedness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94,
277–297. doi:10.1037/a0013453
Huang, X., Iun, J., Liu, A., & Gong, Y. (2010). Does participative leadership enhance work performance by inducing empowerment or trust?
The differential effects on managerial and non-managerial subordinates.
Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31, 122–143. doi:10.1002/job.636
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
612
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
James, L. R., Demaree, R. G., & Wolf, G. (1984). Estimating within-group
interrater reliability with and without response bias. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 69, 85–98. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.69.1.85
Karriker, J. H., & Williams, M. L. (2009). Organizational justice and
organizational citizenship behavior: A mediated multifoci model. Journal of Management, 35, 112–135. doi:10.1177/0149206307309265
Keppel, G., & Wickens, T. D. (2004). Design and analysis: A researcher’s
handbook (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Kerlinger, F. N., & Lee, H. B. (2000). Foundations of behavioral research.
Forth Worth, TX: Harcourt.
Kickul, J. R., Neuman, G., Parker, C., & Finkl, J. (2001). Settling the score:
The role of organizational justice in the relationship between psychological contract breach and anticitizenship behavior. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 13, 77–93. doi:10.1023/A:1014586225406
Konovsky, M. A., & Pugh, S. D. (1994). Citizenship behavior and social
exchange. Academy of Management Journal, 37, 656 – 669. doi:10.2307/
256704
Kozlowski, S. W. J. (2012). The Oxford handbook of organizational
psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Lavelle, J. J., Brockner, J., Konovsky, M. A., Price, K. H., Henley, A. B.,
Taneja, A., & Vinekar, V. (2009). Commitment, procedural fairness, and
organizational citizenship behavior: A multifoci analysis. Journal of
Organizational Behavior, 30, 337–357. doi:10.1002/job.518
Lee, K., Scandura, T., Kim, Y., Joshi, K., & Lee, J. Y. (2012). Examining
leader–member exchange as a moderator of the relationship between
emotional intelligence and creativity of software developers. Engineering Management Research, 1, 15–28. doi:10.5539/emr.v1n1p15
Lester, S. W., Kickul, J. R., & Bergmann, T. J. (2007). Managing employee
perceptions of the psychological contract over time: The role of employer social accounts and contract fulfillment. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28, 191–208. doi:10.1002/job.410
Liao, H., Joshi, A., & Chuang, A. (2004). Sticking out like a sore thumb:
Employee dissimilarity and deviance at work. Personnel Psychology, 57,
969 –1000. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2004.00012.x
Liden, R. C., Wayne, S. J., & Stillwell, D. (1993). A longitudinal study on
the early development of leader–member exchanges. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 78, 662– 674. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.78.4.662
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (1990). A theory of goal setting and task
performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Malatesta, R. M., & Byrne, Z. S. (1997, April). The impact of formal and
interactional procedures on organizational outcomes. Paper presented at
the conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, St. Louis, MO.
Masterson, S. S., Lewis, K., Goldman, B. M., & Taylor, M. S. (2000).
Integrating justice and social exchange: The differing effects of fair
procedures and treatment on work relationships. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 738 –748. doi:10.2307/1556364
Mayer, R. C., & Davis, J. H. (1999). The effect of the performance
appraisal system on trust for management: A field quasi-experiment.
Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 123–136. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.84
.1.123
Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. (1995). An integrative
model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review, 20,
709 –734.
Mayer, R. C., & Gavin, M. B. (2005). Trust in management and performance: Who minds the shop while the employees watch the boss?
Academy of Management Journal, 48, 874 – 888. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2005
.18803928
McAllister, D. J. (1995). Affect- and cognition-based trust as foundations
for interpersonal cooperation in organizations. Academy of Management
Journal, 38, 24 –59. doi:10.2307/256727
McAllister, D. J., Lewicki, R. J., & Chaturvedi, S. (2006). Trust in
developing relationships: From theory to measurement. In K. M. Weaver
(Ed.), Academy of Management proceedings (pp. G1–G6). doi:10.5465/
AMBPP.2006.22897235
Meade, A. W., & Craig, S. B. (2012). Identifying careless responses in
survey data. Psychological Methods, 17, 437– 455. doi:10.1037/
a0028085
Meyer, J. P., Allen, N. J., & Smith, C. A. (1993). Commitment to organizations and occupations: Extension and test of a three-component
conceptualization. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 538 –551. doi:
10.1037/0021-9010.78.4.538
Montes, S. D., & Irving, P. G. (2008). Disentangling the effects of promised and delivered inducements: Relational and transactional contract
elements and the mediating role of trust. Journal of Applied Psychology,
93, 1367–1381. doi:10.1037/a0012851
Moorman, R. H., Blakely, G. L., & Niehoff, B. P. (1998). Does organizational support mediate the relationship between procedural justice and
organizational citizenship behavior? Academy of Management Journal,
41, 351–357. doi:10.2307/256913
Mowday, R. T., Porter, L. W., & Steers, R. M. (1982). Employee–
organization linkages: The psychology of commitment, absenteeism, and
turnover. New York, NY: Academic Press.
Organ, D. W. (1988). Organizational citizenship behavior: The good
soldier syndrome. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Organ, D. W. (1990). The motivational basis of organizational citizenship
behavior. In L. L. Cummings & B. M. Staw (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 12, pp. 43–72). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Platt, J. R. (1964, October 16). Strong inference. Science, 146, 347–353.
doi:10.1126/science.146.3642.347
Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003).
Common method bias in behavioral research: A critical review of the
literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology,
88, 879 –903. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879
Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Moorman, R. H., & Fetter, R. (1990).
Transformational leader behaviors and their effects on followers’ trust in
leader, satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behaviors. Leadership
Quarterly, 1, 107–142. doi:10.1016/1048-9843(90)90009-7
Robinson, S. L., Kraatz, M. S., & Rousseau, D. M. (1994). Changing
obligations and the psychological contract: A longitudinal study. Academy of Management Journal, 37, 137–152. doi:10.2307/256773
Robinson, S. L., & Morrison, E. W. (1995). Psychological contracts and
OCB: The effect of unfulfilled obligations on civic virtue behavior.
Journal of Organizational Behavior, 16, 289 –298. doi:10.1002/job
.4030160309
Robinson, S. L., & Morrison, E. W. (2000). The development of psychological contract breach and violation: A longitudinal study. Journal of
Organizational Behavior, 21, 525–546. doi:10.1002/1099-1379
(200008)21:5#525::AID-JOB40$3.0.CO;2-T
Robinson, S. L., & Rousseau, D. M. (1994). Violating the psychological
contract: Not the exception but the norm. Journal of Organizational
Behavior, 15, 245–259. doi:10.1002/job.4030150306
Rosen, C. C., Chang, C.-H., Johnson, R. E., & Levy, P. E. (2009).
Perceptions of the organizational context and psychological contract
breach: Assessing competing perspectives. Organizational Behavior and
Human Decision Processes, 108, 202–217. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2008.07
.003
Rousseau, D. M. (1990). New hire perceptions of their own and their
employer’s obligations: A study of psychological contracts. Journal of
Organizational Behavior, 11, 389 – 400. doi:10.1002/job.4030110506
Rupp, D. E., & Cropanzano, R. (2002). The mediating effects of social
exchange relationships in predicting workplace outcomes from multifoci
organizational justice. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision
Processes, 89, 925–946. doi:10.1016/S0749-5978(02)00036-5
Scandura, T. A., & Graen, G. B. (1984). Moderating effects of initial
leader–member exchange status on the effects of a leadership interven-
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
SOCIAL EXCHANGE MEASURES
tion. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69, 428 – 436. doi:10.1037/00219010.69.3.428
Schmitt, N., & Stults, D. M. (1985). Factors defined by negatively keyed
items: The result of careless respondents. Applied Psychological Measurement, 9, 367–373. doi:10.1177/014662168500900405
Schoorman, F. D., Mayer, R. C., & Davis, J. H. (2007). An integrative
model of organizational trust: Past, present, and future. Academy of
Management Review, 32, 344 –354. doi:10.5465/AMR.2007.24348410
Schriesheim, C. A., Powers, K. J., Scandura, T. A., Gardiner, C. C., &
Lankau, M. J. (1993). Improving construct measurement in management
research: Comments and a quantitative approach for assessing the theoretical adequacy of paper-and-pencil and survey-type instruments.
Journal of Management, 19, 385– 417. doi:10.1016/0149-2063(93)
90058-U
Schwab, D. P. (1980). Construct validity in organizational behavior. In
L. L. Cummings & B. M. Staw (Eds.), Research in organizational
behavior (Vol. 2, pp. 3– 43). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Shore, L. M., Tetrick, L. E., Lynch, P., & Barksdale, K. (2006). Social and
economic exchange: Construct development and validation. Journal of
Applied Social Psychology, 36, 837– 867. doi:10.1111/j.0021-9029.2006
.00046.x
Sidak, Z. (1967). Rectangular confidence regions for the means of multivariate normal distributions. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 62, 626 – 633.
Song, L. J., Tsui, A. S., & Law, K. S. (2009). Unpacking employee
responses to organizational exchange mechanisms: The role of social
and economic exchange perceptions. Journal of Management, 35, 56 –
93. doi:10.1177/0149206308321544
Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup
behavior. In S. Worchel & W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 7–24). Chicago, IL: Nelson Hall.
Tekleab, A. G., Takeuchi, R., & Taylor, M. S. (2005). Extending the chain
of relationships among organizational justice, social exchange, and
employee reactions: The role of contract violations. Academy of Management Journal, 48, 146 –157. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2005.15993162
Tekleab, A. G., & Taylor, M. S. (2003). Aren’t there two parties in an
employment relationship? Antecedents and consequences of organization–
613
employee agreement on contract obligations and violations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24, 585–608. doi:10.1002/job.204
Tse, H. H. M., & Dasborough, M. T. (2008). A study of exchange and
emotions in team member relationships. Group & Organization Management, 33, 194 –215. doi:10.1177/1059601106293779
Van Dyne, L., & LePine, J. A. (1998). Helping and voice extra-role
behaviors: Evidence of construct and predictive validity. Academy of
Management Journal, 41, 108 –119. doi:10.2307/256902
Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation. New York, NY: Wiley.
Walumbwa, F. O., Cropanzano, R., & Hartnell, C. A. (2009). Organizational justice, voluntary learning behavior, and job performance: A test
of the mediating effects of identification and leader–member exchange.
Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30, 1103–1126. doi:10.1002/job
.611
Wayne, S. J., Shore, L. M., Bommer, W. H., & Tetrick, L. E. (2002). The
role of fair treatment and rewards in perceptions of organizational
support and leader–member exchange. Journal of Applied Psychology,
87, 590 –598. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.87.3.590
Wayne, S. J., Shore, L. M., & Liden, R. C. (1997). Perceived organizational support and leader–member exchange: A social exchange perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 40, 82–111. doi:10.2307/
257021
Weiss, H. M., & Cropanzano, R. (1996). Affective events theory: A
theoretical discussion of the structure, causes and consequences of
affective experiences at work. In B. M. Staw & L. L. Cummings (Eds.),
Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 18, pp. 1–74). Greenwich,
CT: JAI Press.
Williams, L. J., & Anderson, S. E. (1991). Job satisfaction and organizational commitment as predictors of organizational citizenship behaviors.
Journal of Management, 17, 601– 617. doi:10.1177/01492063910
1700305
Yang, J., Mossholder, K. W., & Peng, T. K. (2009). Supervisory procedural
justice effects: The mediating roles of cognitive and affective trust.
Leadership Quarterly, 20, 143–154. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2009.01.009
Zhao, H., Wayne, S. J., Glibkowski, B. C., & Bravo, J. (2007). The impact
of psychological contract breach on work-related outcomes: A metaanalysis. Personnel Psychology, 60, 647– 680. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570
.2007.00087.x
Appendix A
Scale Items for Variables Used as Indicators of Social Exchange Relationships
Follow-up mean
differences
Scales and scale items
Perceived support (Eisenberger et al., 2001)
(Benefit % ! .83; SER % ! .75; reciprocative behavior
% ! .87)
• My supervisor/organization takes pride in my
accomplishments.
SER
mean
rWG
Overall
F
SER vs.
Ben
SER vs.
Rec
5.13
.62
10.21!
.06 (.04)
.41! (.29)
(Appendices continue)
614
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
Appendix A (continued)
Follow-up mean
differences
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Scales and scale items
• My supervisor/organization
well-being.
• My supervisor/organization
his or her/its well-being.
• My supervisor/organization
goals and values.
• My supervisor/organization
me. (R)
• My supervisor/organization
need a special favor.
SER
mean
rWG
Overall
F
SER vs.
Ben
SER vs.
Rec
5.24
.58
22.01!
.07 (.04)
.62! (.42)
5.24
.58
2.88
.09 (.07)
.24 (.16)
5.16
.53
24.87!
.12 (.09)
.68! (.46)
3.26
.21
7.76!
.23 (.13)
.45! (.28)
5.17
.61
25.50!
.13 (.11)
.74! (.51)
4.67
.51
11.20!
.33! (.22)
.39! (.27)
4.73
.62
20.13!
.38! (.28)
.56! (.40)
3.71
.54
2.78
.18 (.13)
.22 (.17)
4.72
.56
16.23!
.17 (.12)
.62! (.43)
4.64
.47
18.92!
.26 (.17)
.69! (.44)
4.94
.49
2.28
.21 (.14)
.21 (.14)
5.14
.58
11.41!
.38! (.27)
.42! (.30)
4.70
.20
3.91!
.21 (.12)
.33! (.19)
4.71
.43
5.14!
.33! (.21)
.29 (.18)
4.74
.36
1.56
.17 (.10)
.18 (.11)
3.31
.24
3.98!
.24 (.14)
.33! (.20)
really cares about my
values my contributions to
strongly considers my
shows little concern for
is willing to help me if I
Exchange quality (Scandura & Graen, 1984)
(Benefit % ! .88; SER % ! .84; reciprocative behavior
% ! .92)
• I usually know where I stand with my
supervisor/organization.
• My supervisor/organization understands my problems
and needs well enough.
• My supervisor/organization recognizes my potential
some but not enough. (R)
• Regardless of how much power my
supervisor/organization has built, he or she/it would be
inclined to use his or her/its power to help me solve
problems at work.
• I can count on my supervisor/organization to “bail me
out” at his or her/its expense when I really need it.
• I have enough confidence in my
supervisor/organization to defend and justify his or
her/its decisions when he or she/management is not
present to do so.
• My working relationship with my
supervisor/organization is effective.
Affective commitment (Meyer et al., 1993)
(Benefit % ! .82; SER % ! .81; reciprocative behavior
% ! .79)
• I would be very happy to spend the rest of my career
with this supervisor/organization.
• I really feel as if this supervisor’s/organization’s
problems are my own.
• My supervisor/This organization has a great deal of
personal meaning for me.
• I do not feel like “part of the family” with my
supervisor/organization. (R)
• I do not feel “emotionally attached” to my supervisor/
organization. (R)
• I do not feel a strong sense of “belonging” with my
supervisor/to my organization. (R)
3.42
.26
3.91!
.24 (.14)
.29! (.17)
3.21
.20
2.44
.21 (.12)
.23 (.14)
Willingness to be vulnerable (Schoorman et al., 2007)
(Benefit % ! .80; SER % ! .75; reciprocative behavior
% ! .85)
• My supervisor/organization keeps my interests in mind
when making decisions.
4.87
.59
20.80!
.10 (.08)
.63! (.44)
(Appendices continue)
SOCIAL EXCHANGE MEASURES
615
Appendix A (continued)
Follow-up mean
differences
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Scales and scale items
• I would be willing to let my supervisor/organization
have significant influence over my future in this
company.
• If my supervisor/management asked why a problem
occurred, I would speak freely even if I were partly to
blame.
• I feel comfortable being creative because my
supervisor/organization understands that sometimes
creative solutions do not work.
• It is important for me to have a good way to keep an
eye on my supervisor/management. (R)
• Increasing my vulnerability to criticism by my
supervisor/organization would be a mistake. (R)
• If I had my way, I wouldn’t let my
supervisor/organization have any influence over
decisions that are important to me. (R)
Affect-based trust (McAllister, 1995)
(Benefit % ! .91; SER % ! .88; reciprocative behavior
% ! .91)
• My supervisor/organization and I have a sharing
relationship. My supervisor/management and I can
freely share our ideas, feelings, and hopes.
• I can talk freely to my supervisor/management about
difficulties I am having at work and know that my
supervisor/management will want to listen.
• My supervisor/organization and I would both feel a
sense of loss if I could no longer work there.
• If I shared my problems with my
supervisor/organization, I know that my supervisor/
management would respond constructively and
caringly.
• I would have to say that my supervisor/organization
and I have both made considerable emotional
investments in our working relationship.
Cognition-based trust (McAllister, 1995)
(Benefit % ! .91; SER % ! .90; reciprocative behavior
% ! .94)
• My supervisor/organization approaches his or her job/
its business with professionalism and dedication.
• Given my supervisor’s/organization’s track record, I
see no reason to doubt his or her/its competence and
preparation.
• I can rely on my supervisor/organization not to make
my job more difficult by carelessness.
• Most people, even those who aren’t very familiar with
my supervisor/organization, trust and respect him or
her/it [as a fellow employee].
• Other work associates of mine [who must interact
with my supervisor] consider him or her/my
organization to be trustworthy.
SER
mean
rWG
Overall
F
SER vs.
Ben
SER vs.
Rec
4.62
.43
3.98!
.16 (.11)
.30! (.19)
4.74
.48
5.48!
.32! (.22)
.27! (.18)
4.28
.38
2.17
.12 (.07)
.23 (.14)
3.43
.48
1.49
.16 (.11)
.12 (.08)
!
3.33
.43
5.01
.24 (.17)
.31! (.21)
3.23
.37
3.86!
.28! (.18)
.24 (.14)
5.28
.60
15.11!
.37! (.28)
.55! (.40)
5.12
.56
8.29!
.30! (.21)
.40! (.28)
4.75
.41
4.85!
.31! (.20)
.30! (.20)
5.11
.59
12.50!
.30! (.22)
.51! (.36)
5.08
.49
10.34!
.36! (.25)
.46! (.31)
4.41
.11
17.21!
".25! (.14)
.32! (.17)
4.37
.22
10.28!
".07 (.04)
.33! (.18)
4.16
.29
15.85!
".25 (.15)
.40! (.23)
4.36
.20
8.05!
".13 (.08)
.26! (.14)
4.54
.24
14.80!
".03 (.02)
.45! (.25)
(Appendices continue)
616
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
Appendix A (continued)
Follow-up mean
differences
Scales and scale items
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
• If people knew more about my supervisor/this
organization and his or her/its background, they would
be more concerned and monitor my supervisor’s/its
performance more closely. (R)
Psychological contract fulfillment (Robinson &
Morrison, 2000)
(Benefit % ! .75; SER % ! .62; reciprocative behavior
% ! .79)
• Almost all of the promises made by my supervisor/
organization have been kept so far.
• I feel that my supervisor/organization has come
through in fulfilling the promises made to me when I
was hired.
• So far my supervisor/organization has done an
excellent job of fulfilling his or her/its promises to
me.
• I have not received everything promised to me in
exchange for my contributions. (R)
• My supervisor/organization has broken many of his or
her/its promises to me even though I’ve upheld my
side of the deal. (R)
Shore (Shore et al., 2006)
(Benefit % ! .86; SER % ! .84; reciprocative behavior
% ! .86)
• My supervisor/organization has made a significant
investment in me.
• The things I do on the job today will benefit my
standing with this supervisor/organization in the long
run.
• There is a lot of give and take in my relationship with
my supervisor/organization.
• I worry that all my efforts on behalf of my supervisor/
organization will never be rewarded. (R)
• I don’t mind working hard today—I know I will
eventually be rewarded by my supervisor/organization.
• My relationship with my supervisor/organization is
based on mutual trust.
• I try to look out for the best interest of my supervisor/
organization because I can rely on my
supervisor/organization to take care of me.
• Even though I may not always receive the recognition
from my supervisor/organization I deserve, I know my
efforts will be rewarded in the future.
Bernerth (Bernerth et al., 2007)
(Benefit % ! .94; SER % ! .94; reciprocative behavior
% ! .93)
• My supervisor/organization and I have a two-way
exchange relationship.
• I do not have to specify the exact conditions to know
my supervisor/organization will return a favor.
• If I do something for my supervisor/organization, my
supervisor/organization will eventually repay me.
SER vs.
Ben
SER vs.
Rec
.06 (.04)
.10 (.07)
41.38!
.08 (.06)
.81! (.57)
.62
37.26!
".07 (.06)
.73! (.51)
5.31
.58
44.13!
".03 (.02)
.85! (.55)
3.59
.30
7.96!
.20 (.12)
.47! (.30)
3.26
.11
8.60!
.21 (.12)
.49! (.29)
5.15
.55
25.65!
.05 (.04)
.66! (.44)
5.24
.63
5.83!
.33! (.26)
.20 (.15)
5.12
.55
5.50!
.21 (.16)
.30! (.22)
3.71
.27
4.51!
.33! (.20)
.11 (.07)
5.12
.60
3.93!
.12 (.09)
.29! (.21)
5.27
.61
15.78!
.33! (.24)
.53! (.39)
5.33
.61
3.95!
.10 (.08)
.26! (.20)
4.87
.60
1.86
.20 (.15)
.10 (.07)
5.67
.64
10.70!
.37! (.30)
.28! (.23)
5.36
.59
19.70!
.47! (.35)
.66! (.49)
5.26
.55
8.89!
.29! (.22)
.40! (.29)
SER
mean
rWG
2.78
.47
5.09
.63
5.15
(Appendices continue)
Overall
F
.45
SOCIAL EXCHANGE MEASURES
617
Appendix A (continued)
Follow-up mean
differences
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Scales and scale items
• I have a balance of inputs and outputs with my
supervisor/organization.
• My efforts are reciprocated by my
supervisor/organization.
• My relationship with my supervisor/organization is
composed of comparable exchanges of giving and
taking.
• When I give effort at work, my
supervisor/organization will return it.
• Voluntary actions on my part will be returned in some
way by my supervisor/organization.
Social Exchange Relationship Scale (ad hoc)
(Benefit % ! .91; SER % ! .86; Reciprocative Behavior
% ! .93)
Below are several terms that can be used to describe a
work relationship. For each, please indicate whether
that term accurately describes your relationship with
your supervisor/organization.
My relationship with my supervisor/organization is
characterized by:
• Mutual obligation
• Mutual trust
• Mutual commitment
• Mutual significance
SER
mean
rWG
Overall
F
SER vs.
Ben
SER vs.
Rec
5.06
.59
6.82!
.29! (.22)
.33! (.25)
5.37
.65
5.79!
.22! (.18)
.32! (.24)
5.41
.58
7.52!
.29! (.23)
.34! (.26)
5.32
.61
4.79!
.17 (.12)
.30! (.22)
5.31
.61
3.66!
.28! (.21)
.17 (.12)
5.35
5.38
5.46
4.91
.58
.65
.70
.57
19.99!
18.18!
9.09!
6.03!
.55! (.42)
.39! (.30)
.26! (.22)
.12 (.09)
.53! (.41)
.49! (.39)
.36! (.30)
.32! (.23)
Note. n ! 234. Coefficient alpha is reported for each definitional condition. (R) denotes a negatively worded item. SER !
social exchange relationship definition; Ben ! benefit definition; Rec ! reciprocative behavior definition.
p # .05.
!
(Appendices continue)
618
COLQUITT, BAER, LONG, AND HALVORSEN-GANEPOLA
Appendix B
Scale Items for Amalgamated Measure of Social Exchange Relationships
Follow-up mean
differences
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Scale item
(Benefit % ! .92; SER % ! .88; reciprocative
behavior % ! .92)
• My supervisor/organization and I have a twoway exchange relationship. (Bernerth)
• My relationship with my supervisor/organization
is composed of comparable exchanges of giving
and taking. (Bernerth)
• My efforts are reciprocated by my supervisor/
organization. (Bernerth)
• I do not have to specify the exact conditions to
know my supervisor/organization will return a
favor. (Bernerth)
• My supervisor/organization and I have a sharing
relationship. My supervisor/management and I
can freely share our ideas, feelings, and hopes.
(ABT)
• My relationship with my supervisor/organization
is based on mutual trust. (Shore)
• If I do something for my
supervisor/organization, my
supervisor/organization will eventually repay
me. (Bernerth)
• My working relationship with my supervisor/
organization is effective. (Exchange Quality)
• I can talk freely to my supervisor/management
about difficulties I am having at work and know
that my supervisor/management will want to
listen. (ABT)
• If I shared my problems with my supervisor/
organization, I know that my
supervisor/management would respond
constructively and caringly. (ABT)
• I would have to say that my
supervisor/organization and I have both made
considerable emotional investments in our
working relationship. (ABT)
• I have a balance of inputs and outputs with my
supervisor/organization. (Bernerth)
SER
mean
rWG
Overall
F
SER vs.
Ben
SER vs.
Rec
5.67
.64
10.70!
.37! (.30)
.28! (.23)
5.41
.58
7.52!
.29! (.23)
.34! (.26)
5.37
.65
5.79!
.22! (.18)
.32! (.24)
5.36
.59
19.70!
.47! (.35)
.66! (.49)
5.28
.60
15.11!
.37! (.28)
.55! (.40)
5.27
.61
15.78!
.33! (.24)
.53! (.39)
5.26
.55
8.89!
.29! (.22)
.40! (.29)
5.14
.58
11.41!
.38! (.27)
.42! (.30)
5.12
.56
8.29!
.30! (.21)
.40! (.28)
5.11
.59
12.50!
.30! (.22)
.51! (.36)
5.08
.49
10.34!
.36! (.25)
.46! (.31)
5.06
.59
6.82!
.29! (.22)
.33! (.25)
Note. n ! 234. The scale from which the items were taken is noted in parentheses after each item. SER !
social exchange relationship definition; Ben ! benefit definition; Rec ! reciprocative behavior definition;
Bernerth ! Bernerth et al. (2007) scale assessing social exchange relationships; ABT ! affect-based trust;
Shore ! Shore et al. (2006) scale assessing social exchange relationships.
!
p # .05.
Received September 7, 2012
Revision received February 17, 2014
Accepted February 24, 2014 !
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Correction to Colquitt et al. (2014)
In the article “Scale Indicators of Social Exchange Relationships: A Comparison of Relative
Content Validity,” by Jason A. Colquitt, Michael D. Baer, David M. Long, and Marie D. K.
Halvorsen-Ganepola (Journal of Applied Psychology, Advance online publication. April 7, 2014.
doi:10.1037/a0036374), the first sentence in the caption for Figure 4 should have been: “Definitional correspondence levels for organization sample (n !122).” All versions of this article have
been corrected.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037049
Download

Scale Indicators of Social Exchange Relationships: David M. Long