Chapter 14

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Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour
HROB 2010
Casey Cosgrove

Chapter 14: Women and Leadership Gender, Leadership Styles, and Leadership Effectiveness • Eagly and Johnson (1990) found that, contrary to stereotypic expectations, women were not found to lead in a more inter-personally oriented and less task-oriented manner than men in organizational studies • These differences were found only in settings where behavior was more regulated by social roles, such as experimental settings • The only robust gender difference found across settings that women led in a more democratic, or participative, manner than men • These studies revealed that women were devalued compared with men they led in a masculine manner, when they occupied a typically masculine leadership role (e.g. athletic coaches or mangers in manufacturing plants), and when the evaluators were men ◦ These findings indicate that women's greater use of democratic style appears to be adaptive in that they are using the style that products the most favorable evaluations • Women's styles tend to be more transformational then men's, and women tend to engage in more contingent reward behaviors than men • Although these styles predict effectiveness, recent findings suggest that the devaluation of female leaders by male subordinates have been shown to extend to female transformational leaders • The relative effectiveness of male and female leaders has been assessed in a number of studies • Men and women were equally effective leaders, overall, but there were gender differences such that women and men were more effective in leadership roles that were congruent with their gender • Women are less effective to the extent that the leader role was masculinized • Women are less effective than men were in military positions, but they were somewhat more effective than men were in education, government, and social service organizations, and substantially more effective than men were in middle management positions, where communal interpersonal skills are highly valued • Women are less effective than men were when they supervised a higher proportion of male subordinates or when a greater proportion of male raters assessed the leaders performance • Empirical research supports small differences in leadership style and effectiveness between men and women • Women experience slight effectiveness disadvantages in masculine leader roles, whereas roles that are more feminine offer them some advantages • Women exceed men in the use of democratic or participatory styles and they are more likely to use transformational leadership behaviors and contingent reward style Evidence of the Leadership Labyrinth • Women earn 57% of the bachelors degree, 60% of the master's degree, more than half of the doctorate degrees, and nearly half of the first professional degrees award in the United States and they make up nearly half of the U.S. Labor force • Women represent less than 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs, and hold only 15.7% of the Fortune 500 board seats and a mere 14.4% of the Fortune 500 executive officer positions • In political front, women currently hold only 90 of the 535 seats in the U.S. Congress women of color occupy just 24 seats • Women represent just 6.1% of military officers at the level of brigadier general and rear admiral or higher • The invisible barrier preventing women from ascending into elite leadership positions was initially dubbed the glass ceiling Understanding the Labyrinth • Leadership gap is a global phenomenon whereby women are disproportionately concentrated in lower-level and lower-authority leadership positions than men • The first set of explanations highlights differences in women's and men's investments in human capital • The next category explanations considers gender differences between women and men • The final type of explanations focuses on prejudice and discrimination against female leaders Human Capital Differences • One Prominent set of explanations for the labyrinth is the women have less human capital investment in education, training, and work experience than men ◦ This supposed lack of human capital is said to result in a dearth of qualified women, sometimes called a “pipeline problem” • Numbers reveals that women are indeed in the pipeline but that the pipeline is leaking • Women are obtaining undergraduate degrees at a far higher rate greater or nearly equal to that of men, but they are still vastly underrepresented in top leadership positions • Women ear 45.9% of all law degrees and make up 45.4% of associates, they make up only 19.4% of partners • There is evidence that women experience greater losses than men do after quitting because women are more likely to quit for family related reasons • Domestic and child-rearing expectations impose an added burden on women climbing the leadership ladder • Those who take advantage of workplace leave and flexibility programs are often marginalized, and those who take time off from their careers often find recentry difficult and often enter a lower level than the level they left • Arelated explanation for the leadership gap is that this culturally prescribed division of labor leads women to self-select themselves out of leadership tracks by choosing “mommy track” positions that do not funnel into leadership positions • Although women occupy more than half of all management and professional positions, they have fewer developmental opportunities at work than do men • Having fewer responsibilities in the same jobs as men, women are less likely to receive encouragement, be included in key networks, and receive formal job training than their male counterparts • One important developmental experience that affects career success is effective mentor relationships, and women confront greater barriers to establishing informal mentor relationships than men do • Women are disproportionately represented in business positions that are less visible, have less responsibility, and do not lead to top leadership positions • Women are clustered in the fields of accounting, education, and human resources management • When women are promoted to leadership positions they are more likely than men are to be placed on a “glass cliff” • There is support for the notion that women have less work experience and more career interruptions than men, largely because women assume significantly more domestic responsibility • Women receive less formal training and have fewer developmental opportunities at work than men, both of which likely are related to prejudice against female leaders Gender Differences • One argument in this vein is that women's under representation in elite leadership positions is a result of differences in leadership style and effectiveness • Research indicates that women show the same level of identification with and commitment to paid employment roles as men do, and both women and men view their roles as workers to be secondary to their roles as parents and partners • Empirical research does indicate that women are less likely than men are to promote themselves for leadership positions • Women are more likely to take on informal, as opposed to official, leadership roles and use terms such as facilitator or organizer instead of leader • Men are more likely than women to have the traits necessary for effective leadership • Effective leadership, is marked by an androgynous mixture of traits including intelligence, social skills, initiative, and the ability to persuade • Social science has shown some small sex differences in traits related to effective leadership such as integrity, assertiveness, gregariousness, and risk taking; these differences favor women as much as they do men • One gender difference that advantages men in leadership is that men are more likely than women to ask for what they want • Not only are women less likely to negotiate than men are, the negotiations needed to ascend the leadership hierarchy often are unstructured, ambiguous, and rife with gender triggers – exactly the type of situations that particularly disadvantages women • Women face greater social coasts for initiating negotiation than men do, so their lower levels of negotiation may represent an adaptive response to social disincentives • Women are less effective at leadership, committed to their jobs or motivated for leadership roles than men • Women are less likely to self-promote and negotiate than men • Research show a small sex differences in traits associated with effective leadership, although these differences equally advantage women and men Prejudice • One prominent explanation for the leadership gap revolves around gender biases stemming from stereotyped expectations that women take care and men take charge • Stereotypes are cognitive shortcuts that influence the way people process information regarding groups and group members • People assign characteristics to groups, or individual members of groups, regardless of the actual variation in characteristics between the members • Gender stereotypes are pervasive, well documented, and highly resistant to change • Men stereotype with agentic characteristics such as confidence, assertiveness, independence, rationality, and decisiveness • Women are stereotyped with communal characteristics such as concern for others, se
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