Synergistic supervision and the student affairs mid-level manager : a social exchange perspective
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This study explored whether synergistic supervision (Winston & Creamer, 1997) received by mid-level student affairs professionals was related to such social exchange (Blau, 1964) factors as the supervisory relationship's quality and the professional's perceived level of supervisor and organizational support. Survey data analyses from a sample of mid-level student affairs professionals revealed a significant, positive relationship between synergistic supervision and leader-member exchange (LMX), perceived supervisor support (PSS), and perceived organizational support (POS). Regression analyses found synergistic supervision predictive of LMX and PSS, with all four researcher-developed synergistic supervision subscales as significant predictors. Decision-making inclusiveness and exhibiting support for divisional work unit were significant for predicting POS. Regression analyses revealed LMX and PSS as significant predictors of synergistic supervision. Additionally, LMX and PSS were significant predictors of decision-making inclusiveness, exhibiting interest in personal/professional development, and fair and equitable treatment of others. All three social exchange factors were significant for predicting exhibiting support for divisional work unit. Findings highlight supervisors' need to better understand mid-level professionals' developmental needs and interests and for professionals to articulate needs and interests to supervisors.
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