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The role of androgyny in leader prototypes over four decades

The role of androgyny in leader prototypes over four decades Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of psychological androgyny, a construct that represents a combination of masculinity and femininity, in explaining changes in descriptions of a good manager over time. Design/methodology/approach – Samples of the same two populations were surveyed at four different points in time spanning four decades ( N = 1,818). Findings – Good-manager descriptions became increasingly similar in masculinity and femininity over time, or increasingly androgynous according to the balance conceptualization of androgyny. However, both good-manager masculinity and good-manager femininity declined over time, with masculinity declining to a greater extent, which accounted for the greater similarity in these scores. As a result, according to the high masculinity/high femininity conceptualization of androgyny, good-manager descriptions actually became decreasingly androgynous and more “undifferentiated”. Overall, the trend in leader prototypes over time was toward less emphasis on traits associated with members of either sex. Research limitations/implications – Limitations of two alternative methods of analyses and the survey instrument are acknowledged. What constituted a good manager may have depended on the context. Further scholarly attention to the concept of an undifferentiated leadership style is recommended. Practical implications – People may be moving beyond leader prototypes based on the simple application of gender stereotypes. Changes in leader prototypes over the past four decades may contribute to enhancements in women’s societal status. Social implications – Leader prototypes may disadvantage women less than in the past. Originality/value – Results suggest that the role of androgyny in leader prototypes is declining according to the high masculinity/high femininity conceptualization. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Gender in Management An International Journal Emerald Publishing

The role of androgyny in leader prototypes over four decades

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References (64)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1754-2413
DOI
10.1108/GM-07-2013-0082
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of psychological androgyny, a construct that represents a combination of masculinity and femininity, in explaining changes in descriptions of a good manager over time. Design/methodology/approach – Samples of the same two populations were surveyed at four different points in time spanning four decades ( N = 1,818). Findings – Good-manager descriptions became increasingly similar in masculinity and femininity over time, or increasingly androgynous according to the balance conceptualization of androgyny. However, both good-manager masculinity and good-manager femininity declined over time, with masculinity declining to a greater extent, which accounted for the greater similarity in these scores. As a result, according to the high masculinity/high femininity conceptualization of androgyny, good-manager descriptions actually became decreasingly androgynous and more “undifferentiated”. Overall, the trend in leader prototypes over time was toward less emphasis on traits associated with members of either sex. Research limitations/implications – Limitations of two alternative methods of analyses and the survey instrument are acknowledged. What constituted a good manager may have depended on the context. Further scholarly attention to the concept of an undifferentiated leadership style is recommended. Practical implications – People may be moving beyond leader prototypes based on the simple application of gender stereotypes. Changes in leader prototypes over the past four decades may contribute to enhancements in women’s societal status. Social implications – Leader prototypes may disadvantage women less than in the past. Originality/value – Results suggest that the role of androgyny in leader prototypes is declining according to the high masculinity/high femininity conceptualization.

Journal

Gender in Management An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 2, 2015

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