Purpose – This exploratory study describes the images of effective leadership and successful organizational advancement held by women in numerous positions in the health care fields. Design/methodology/approach – Surveys of 140 women in the health care field were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. Findings – Differences were found between the characteristics of effective leadership and the characteristics contributing to successful advancement. Women in health care predominantly portray effective leadership in other‐oriented (team or organizationally focused) and stereotypically feminine or gender‐neutral terms. In contrast, successful advancement in organizations was predominantly and almost exclusively described in self‐focused and stereotypically masculine terms. Similarities and differences in the perspectives on leadership effectiveness, career advancement, satisfaction, and development strategies were examined among physicians, nurses, administrators, faculty, and others (scientists and researchers). Research limitations/implications – Implications of the disparate perspectives held by women in health care are discussed and future directions for research are proposed. Originality/value – Since women overwhelmingly dominate employment in the health care field, to explicate their unique perspectives of leadership and career advancement.
Equal Opportunities International – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2006
Keywords: Leadership; Careers; Women; Health services
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