The Role Of Gender And Its Effect On Leadership Styles

Better Essays

The Role of Gender in Leadership

For long, the idea of leadership has been associated with men, as evidenced by the idea of “masculinity”, a core idea of the 20th century leadership theories (Lord, DeVader & Alliger, 1986). While it is now commonly accepted in the western world that being a woman is not incompatible with being a leader - even though their num-ber remains limited (Joy, 2008), the question of the role of gender remains. Are there different leadership traits according to the genre? Is there a “feminine” and a “mascu-line” way to lead? In this paper, we try to determine to what extent gender has an im-pact on leadership styles. First, we will look at empirical evidences of the role of gen-der in leadership. We will then …show more content…

In employments settings, this translates as two different leaderships styles, one being more task-oriented – primarily agentic; the other being more interpersonally oriented – primarily communal (Bales, 1976). Thus, male leaders are more likely than female leaders to use target-focused and authoritative management styles. They also tend to adopt an autocratic leadership style and don’t consult their colleagues very often. They use a command-and-control leadership style. On the other hand, female leaders are more likely to be collaborative and adopt a more democratic leadership style (Ea-gly and Johnson, 1990).
Transformational and transactional leadership styles (Burns, 1978) also provide a good framework to study the role of gender in leadership. Transformational leader-ship works by appealing to moral values of followers. Such leaders strive to gain con-fidence of their followers by behaving as role models and want to inspire them (Bass, 1990). On contrary, transactional leadership relies on followers’ self-interest. These leaders tend to give rewards based on results, and follow the patterns of management-by-exception (Bass, 1996). Transformational leadership has communal characteris-tics, and therefore, female leaders leadership styles are often closer to transformation-al leadership rather than

Get Access