Original Research

Time-use preference and adaptation in relational exchanges

Angela Glover, Charlene Lew
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1452 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1452 | © 2021 Angela Glover, Charlene Lew | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 August 2020 | Published: 13 April 2021

About the author(s)

Angela Glover, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa
Charlene Lew, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Orientation: Similarity of leaders and members encourage positive relational exchanges. However, the role of different time-use preferences, and how leaders and members adapt to the preferences of others in relational exchanges have not yet been studied.

Research Purpose: This research explores how time-use preference plays a role in the dyadic relationships between leaders and members within leader–member exchange (LMX) theory.

Motivation for the study: We argue that differences between the time-use preferences of leaders and team members result in relational adaptations.

Research approach/design and method: The qualitative research design employed semi-structured interviews with nine leaders and 11 employees in a major retail bank in South Africa and data were analysed through thematic analysis.

Main findings: The research shows the nature of time-use preference in varying relational exchanges, discover how time-use preferences manifest and how leaders and members adapt to one another’s preferences.

Contribution/value add: The study contributes to time-use preference literature by illustrating how polychronic and monochronic preferences may manifest in the workplace. Furthermore, we contribute to an understanding of the nature of relational exchanges in LMX theory by illustrating the influence of polychronicity on dyadic relationships and discuss how leaders and members adapt their preferences.

Practical/managerial implications: We propose a framework of the dynamics of time-use preference-based relational entrainment and provide practical considerations to help mitigate the negative impacts that differing preferences can have.


leader-member adaptation; monochronicity; polychronicity; relational exchanges; time-use preference


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