Leader-member exchange and subjective well-being: the moderating role of metacognitive cultural intelligence

Huong Le, Zhou Jiang, Katrina Radford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study examines employees' metacognitive cultural intelligence as a moderator in the relationship between leader-member exchange (LMX) and employees' subjective well-being. Design/methodology/approach: We tested the conceptual model using regression analysis from a sample of 462 migrant workers in Australia. Findings: The results demonstrated that employees' metacognitive cultural intelligence moderated the relationship between LMX and employees' subjective well-being in such a way that the effect was stronger among those employees with lower levels of metacognitive cultural intelligence. Research limitations/implications: The cross-sectional design, with self-reporting at one point in time, could affect a causal relationship among variables, although each relationship was built on strong theoretical perspectives. However, prior research emphasizes that a single source is not considered to be an issue when interactions are examined. Practical implications: One way to improve metacognitive cultural intelligence for global leadership effectiveness could be through the introduction of diversity and cross-cultural training, such as didactic programs provided either in-house or by external institutions. Originality/value: Drawing on Conservation of Resources theory, this paper contributes to the literature by demonstrating that employees' metacognitive cultural intelligence is a boundary condition that alters the strengths of the LMX–subjective well-being relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-970
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Early online date1 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2021


  • Leader–member exchange
  • Life satisfaction
  • Metacognitive cultural intelligence
  • Migrant
  • Subjective well-being


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