The Role Of Gender And Its Effect On Leadership Styles

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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
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