Gender and leadership style A field study in different organizational contexts in Germany

Gender and leadership style A field study in different organizational contexts in Germany Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether German male and female leaders differ in their leadership behavior, focusing on transactional vs transformational leadership styles. Design/methodology/approach – A field study in which followers were asked to evaluate their respective leaders was conducted in three different organizational contexts in Germany using questionnaires: a recreational sports club ( n = 183), a government agency ( n = 267), and a public transport services company ( n = 203). Additionally, students ( n = 518) were asked to evaluate historical world‐class leaders in terms of their leadership styles after a standardized presentation of their life and leadership style using biographies, essays, and movies. Findings – Results in all four samples show that female leaders were perceived as exhibiting more transformational leadership behavior than male leaders. Moreover, female leaders were evaluated as more effective and as producing more satisfaction than their male counterparts. Research limitations/implications – Self‐report data were used and leadership was assessed from the perspective of the followers. Future research should also include leaders' and peers' perspectives. Originality/value – The finding that women have a more transformational leadership style than men is extended to another cultural context. The importance of analyzing different organizational contexts is highlighted. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Equal Opportunities International Emerald Publishing

Gender and leadership style A field study in different organizational contexts in Germany

Equal Opportunities International, Volume 28 (7): 16 – Sep 25, 2009

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0261-0159
DOI
10.1108/02610150910996399
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether German male and female leaders differ in their leadership behavior, focusing on transactional vs transformational leadership styles. Design/methodology/approach – A field study in which followers were asked to evaluate their respective leaders was conducted in three different organizational contexts in Germany using questionnaires: a recreational sports club ( n = 183), a government agency ( n = 267), and a public transport services company ( n = 203). Additionally, students ( n = 518) were asked to evaluate historical world‐class leaders in terms of their leadership styles after a standardized presentation of their life and leadership style using biographies, essays, and movies. Findings – Results in all four samples show that female leaders were perceived as exhibiting more transformational leadership behavior than male leaders. Moreover, female leaders were evaluated as more effective and as producing more satisfaction than their male counterparts. Research limitations/implications – Self‐report data were used and leadership was assessed from the perspective of the followers. Future research should also include leaders' and peers' perspectives. Originality/value – The finding that women have a more transformational leadership style than men is extended to another cultural context. The importance of analyzing different organizational contexts is highlighted.

Journal

Equal Opportunities InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 25, 2009

Keywords: Gender; Leadership; Transformational leadership; Transactional leadership; Germany

References

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