Transformational leadership (TL) and leader–member exchange (LMX) literatures provide theoretical frameworks and accompanying empirical evidence for studying the relationship between leader behavior and effectiveness. Although prior attention has been given to gender differences in leadership style and leader effectiveness the moderating effects of the sex of the leader and subordinate on the leadership–leader effectiveness relationship have not been investigated. In a field study of employees from a manufacturing plant we examined whether leader and subordinate sex and the sex composition of the leader–subordinate dyad moderated the linkages of each set of leader behaviors (i.e. TL and LMX) with actual evaluations of leader effectiveness provided by the leader's subordinates and direct supervisor. Although female leaders were rated as more effective than male leaders overall a fine-grained analysis of leader–subordinate dyads revealed that the male leaders benefited more than the female leaders from the use of transformational leadership in the leader behavior–leader effectiveness relationship. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
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