Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Ralph Olinde

Second Advisor

Kacoo Olinde


The Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) model (e.g., Cashman, Dansereau, Graen, & Haga, 1976; Dansereau, Cashman, & Graen, 1973) contends that leaders react differently with individual followers, rather than treating them homogeneously. Specifically, it assumes that leader behavior depends on relationships with individual work unit members. It further contends that followers vary in their perceptions of and reactions to leader behaviors. Followers, based on their interpersonal relationships (exchanges) with a leader, tend to form two qualitatively different groups, an in-group (higher quality) and an out-group (lower quality). Previous research has documented that insiders and outsiders may experience very different work outcomes. Factors associated with in-group/out-group status, however, are still unknown. This study explored selected variables hypothesized to be associated with leader-member exchange quality and, thus, group status. Based on a review of the interpersonal dynamics literature, the relationship between the following variables and quality of leader-member exchanges were examined: (a) leader-follower similarity, (b) follower competence, (c) introversion/extraversion, (d) locus of control, and (e) growth need strength. Subjects (84 registered nurses and their managers) completed questionnaires. Similarity, competence, and introversion/extraversion were significantly correlated with follower LMX level. Regression analyses indicated that only similarity and introversion/extraversion were related to group status. Similarity mediated the relationship between competence and group status. Implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations for future research presented.