In sports organizations, women are still under-represented, especially compared with their share of the general population. This holds true for management and leadership positions in particular, which could be explained by the lack of congruence between the female gender role and leader role. Therefore, the theoretical framework underpinning this study is based on role congruity theory. The research question is whether the share of women on the board and among members influences the perceived severity of organizational problems faced by sports organizations. This postulation is examined for a representative sample of sports clubs in Germany (n = 13,068). Analyses of variance are conducted with the severity of organizational problems and the share of women on the board and among club members. The results show that the share of women on the board and among members has a significant negative impact on the severity of organizational problems. Sports clubs with a high share of women on the board and among members perceive the severity of organizational problems as smaller on average. This finding is related to female leadership style, which might serve as one possible explanation. Based on these results, it is recommended that sports clubs appoint more women to management positions. This study provides empirical evidence that the often postulated increase in the share of women can be beneficial to sports organizations.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 31, 2011
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