Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Bradley Thompson

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Kipi Fleming

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Colleen P Ramos


Several studies have centered around the effects of positive leader–member exchange and low employee turnover. Research has been expanded to include the effects of dual leadership on employee turnover. This qualitative phenomenological study examined how the leader–member exchange relationship and dual leadership affect employee turnover intentions in a Head Start program. A purposive sampling technique was used to gather information. The goal of this study was to examine the subjective experiences of employees’ relationships with supervisors. Standardized, open-ended interview questions were used to gather information from subordinates. Additionally, a survey was used to rate leader-member exchange experiences of subordinates. Participants were interviewed via WebEx and Zoom platforms due to COVID restrictions. Supervisors completed an open-ended questionnaire describing their support and determining employee satisfaction. Results indicated that turnover intentions were impacted by positive and negative leader–member exchange relationships. Positive followership characteristics affected turnover intentions. Subordinate relationships with both leaders mirrored each other. Specifically, when the leader–member exchange relationship with the immediate supervisor was low, attempts for a positive relationship with the site manager did not change a subordinate’s intent to quit. Finally, supervisor views of leader–member exchange engagement were misinterpreted as group engagement. Based on the study’s findings, it is recommended that both supervisors understand the need for ongoing, consistent face-to-face engagement that goes beyond job tasks. Terms such as “open-door policy” and “available when needed” should be clearly explained and separated from the rule of staff engagement. Supervisors should be trained in synchronization and social contagion’s impact on new employees. Staff mentors and increased engagement through communication are essential. If the new employee does not have strong followership characteristics, it is the responsibility of both supervisors to connect regularly with the employee to develop a strong leader–member exchange relationship.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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