Effects of Gender, Education, and Age Upon Leaders’ Use of Influence Tactics and Full Range Leadership Behaviors

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Effects of Gender, Education, and Age upon Leaders’ Use
of Influence Tactics and Full Range Leadership Behaviors
John E. Barbuto Jr & Susan M. Fritz & Gina S. Matkin &
David B. Marx
Published online: 5 January 2007
# Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007
Abstract Relationships of gender, age, and education to
leadership styles and leaders’ influence tactics were
examined with 56 leaders and 234 followers from a variety
of organizations. Leadership behaviors were measured with
the Multi-factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ—rater
version). Influence tactics were measured with Yukl’s
Influence Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ). Multivariate
Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was used to test
behavioral differences attributed to leaders’ gender, age, and education groups, as well as the interaction of age and
education with gender. Results show that gender produced a
small direct effect on leadership behaviors. The interaction of gender and education produced consistent differences in
leadership behaviors. Implications for future research are
provided, and a call for re-analysis of previously published work is advised.
Keywords Gender . Influence tactics . Leadership
For every study that has shown differences in leadership
behaviors based on gender (e.g., Carless, 1998; Druskat,
1994; Helgeson, 1990; Rosener, 1990; Thacker, 1995),
another has shown no differences at all (e.g., Bartol &
Martin, 1986; Bass & Stogdill, 1990; Nieva & Gutek, 1981;
van Engen, van der Leeden, & Willemsen, 2001). Some
researchers (e.g., Eagly, Johannesen-Schmidt, & van
Engen, 2003; Leithwood & Jantzi, 1997; Lewis, 1998;
Thacker, 1995) have called for inclusion of contextual
variables and use of more complex research designs to test
the effect of gender on leadership behavior. We have
answered this call by testing the interaction effects of age and educational level of leaders as a possible explanation
for some of the mixed findings over the past 30 years in
gender and leadership research.
Demographic variables such as gender, age, and educational
level have been used to predict many behaviors,
including effectiveness (Eagly, Karau, & Makhijani, 1995;
Thompson, 2000), communication style (Kirtley & Weaver,
1999), decision making (Ganzel, 1999; Radecki & Jaccard,
1996), productivity (Kovar & Overdorf, 1995; Wilson &
Hossain, 1999), participation (Itzhaky & York, 2000;
O’Connor, 1996; Williamson, 2000), conflict style (Chusmir & Mills, 1989; Duane, 1989; P. S. Sorenson, Hawkins, &
R. L. Sorenson, 1995), success (Blank & Levesque, 1993;
Chusmir & Parker, 1992; Sutherland, 1999), and power
(Jenkins, 2000; Lips, 2000). Although a great deal of
research has concerned the relationship between leadership
and gender, few researchers have explored the relationship
between leadership and age, and fewer still the relationship between leadership and educational level. In the present
study, we examined all three variables as predictors of Full Range Leadership and influence tactics.
The Full Range Leadership model, operationalized by
Bass (1985), encompasses laissez-faire (lack of leadership), transactional, and transformational leadership behaviors.
Transactional leadership is characterized as management by
exception (corrective actions) and contingent rewards
(tangible exchanges). Transformational leadership is characterized as idealized influence (symbol of the vision),
individualized consideration (strong one-on-one relationship, developmental growth), intellectual stimulation (encouragement of new thinking patterns), and inspirational
Sex Roles (2007) 56:71–83
DOI 10.1007/s11199-006-9152-6
G. S. Matkin (*)
Department of Agricultural Leadership Education
and Communication, University of Nebraska—Lincoln,
300 Ag Hall, P.O. Box 830709, Lincoln, NE 68588-0709, USA
e-mail: gmatkin@unlnotes.unl.edu
J. E. Barbuto Jr : S. M. Fritz : G. S. Matkin : D. B. Marx
University of Nebraska—Lincoln,...
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