Deeds that Help and Words that Hurt: Helping and Gossip as Moderators of the Relationship Between Leader–Member Exchange and Advice Network Centrality


  • We are grateful to Fulda Erdogan for her help with the field data collection, to Osman Goktug Tanrikulu for his assistance with data entry and to Lauren Simon for her helpful feedback on an earlier version of this paper. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of Academy of Management in Boston, MA.


We examine the relationship between leader–member exchange (LMX) quality and advice network centrality using multisource data from a sample of 250 retail employees and their respective managers in Turkey to test our hypothesized model of value and costs of being sought out for advice. Drawing upon the tenets of network generation theory (Nebus, 2006), we predict that the tendency of focal actors to help others and their own tendency to gossip would be behavioral moderators of the relationship between LMX quality and their advice network centrality. Consistent with network generation theory, our results reveal that LMX quality is positively related to centrality only for those actors with a high tendency to help coworkers and a low tendency to gossip about coworkers, suggesting that behaviors indicating helpfulness and discretion are necessary for high LMX members to maintain a central position in their work group's advice network. Implications and future research directions are discussed.