Exploring leader -member exchange and organizational citizenship behavior in a college setting: The influence of the fraternity housemother
This study examined the impact of housemothers in an all-male national Greek fraternity. Specifically, it asked if the link established between Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) in the workplace is also present in organizational settings on college campuses, an important question because the housemother is an organizational leader whose voice is missing in both the college and leadership literature and because the housemother is often overlooked as a source of support in helping counteract fraternity problems like alcohol abuse and hazing.
This study used LMX7 and OCB measures to establish that there was a correlation between the LMX of a housemother and fraternity member and his organizational citizenship behaviors. A survey that included Likert scales and demographic questions was used to measure perceptions of satisfaction with various aspects of fraternity living and to determine if fraternity chapters experience fewer problems with alcohol abuse and hazing if a housemother is present.
The preliminary study surveyed 218 undergraduate and alumni members of the fraternity at its biennial national convention. The survey was replicated with 204 undergraduate members of the same fraternity in four Midwestern chapters (two with housemothers and two without). The researcher personally administered the surveys at all locations. The researcher also traveled to five Midwestern chapters of the fraternity where she interviewed five housemothers to explain the outcomes of the quantitative studies.
In addition to establishing that there was a correlation between the LMX of a housemother and fraternity member and that member's organizational citizenship behaviors, important findings included fraternity members reporting a higher incidence of chapters forbidding alcohol in their houses if a housemother was present and the members' reported belief that a housemother was one of the factors that makes a positive difference in the fraternity.