How LMX and marketing capabilities guide and motivate customer-facing employees’ learning

Hiu Kan Ada WONG, Crystal Xinru WU*, Paul WHITLA, Robin Stanley SNELL

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Employees’ learning orientation represents their level of motivation to learn at work and improve their job performance. This may be an important success factor for firms that are encountering competitive market conditions. This paper draws on social learning theory to predict that leader-member exchange (LMX) and perceptions among customer-facing employees of the marketing capabilities of their own firm are antecedents of the employees’ learning orientation, which in turn leads to their improved job performance. We further hypothesize the positive impact of LMX and perceived marketing capabilities on job performance. Data from 224 employees in China were used to test the hypotheses. Results indicate that LMX and perceived marketing capabilities promote employees’ learning orientation and that LMX leads to improvements in employees’ job performance. Practical implications for increasing employees’ learning orientation are explained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date15 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Lingnan University Faculty Research Grant no. DB14B1 and by Lingnan University Direct Grant no. DR17B2.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Leader-member exchange (LMX)
  • Learning orientation
  • Marketing capabilities
  • Social learning theory


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