Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version

October 2004


Published in The Journal of Agricultural Education, volume 45 (2004), pages 3-18. Used by permission.
The Journal of Agricultural Education (JAE) is a publication of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). Its back issues are available online at


Leader-member exchange (LMX) generally refers to the leadership process centered on the interactions between leaders and direct reports. The basic premise of high quality leader-member exchange relationships holds that direct reports gain tremendous benefits through these partnerships. LMX is perhaps the most commonly researched theory of leadership. However, few studies have specifically examined the role of dyad members’ sex as a predictor of quality LMX. Several studies investigating the role of dyad members’ sex and quality LMX examined the effect of sex in an aggregated variable, demographic similarity, which often included other demographic characteristics such as age, education level and race, yielding mixed results. This article’s purpose is to (a) review the evolution of leader-member exchange theory, (b) examine literature regarding potential effects of sex of dyad members on quality leader-member exchanges, and (c) discuss implications and future research concerning the role of dyad members’ sex and leader-member exchanges.