Male Versus Female Leadership Styles: Is There a Difference

Topics: Leadership, Management, Gender Pages: 8 (1913 words) Published: March 5, 2011
Table of contents
2.Gender and Leadership styles1
2.1Transformational leadership style1
2.2Transactional leadership style2
3.Gender differences in leadership styles3
4.Summary and conclusion4
Reference List / Works Cited Page5
Declaration of Authorship6

Table of Tables

Table 1: Classification of values according to stereotypes


Ralph Stogdill (1950, p.3) defined leadership as a process of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal-setting and goal achievement. According to Andrzej A. Huczynski and David A. Buchanan (p. 695), the above definition has three components. First it defines leadership as an interpersonal process in which one individual seeks to shape and direct the behavior of others. Second, it sets leadership in a social context, in which the other members of the group to be influenced are subordinates or followers. Third, it identifies a criterion for effective leadership in term of goal achievement, which is one practical objective of leadership theory and research. There are numerous approaches and styles to leadership based on different assumptions and theories which include autocratic and democratic leadership; directive and participative leadership; active and passive leadership and many more. However, this document will focus mainly on transactional and transformational leadership styles, developed by James MacGregor Burns.

Gender and Leadership styles

The analysis about women and men in management positions has been the focus of the possible differences found in their leadership styles. The masculine stereotype is linked to concepts like rationality, reason, intellect, action, productivity and competition whereas the feminine one is focused on emotions, passivity, gentleness, and reproduction (Muñoz, 2005). This comparison of male and female stereotypes outlines the opposite qualities of both genders. Undoubtedly, the masculine stereotypes possess stronger and more active characteristics than the female ones and can therefore be seen as essential management attributes (Powell & Graves, 2003, p. 45). Finding the differences in managerial positions means an advance towards the development of new models as well as a plea for female leadership styles in opposition to male ones. This feminine style would be characterized by emphasizing cooperation in front of competition and equality in front of hierarchy. These differences are used against women to justify discrimination situations. The most relevant aspect that threatens the access of women to the top management positions, in the most industrialized countries, is linked to the persistent stereotype that associates the management with masculine gender. According to this point of view, the manager function is observed as something “masculine”. Due to this fact, in equal conditions, a male candidate seems to be more qualified than a female one (Munduate, 2003). There is also another study that points toward the same direction. It shows that the stereotype of the manager position from an international perspective is really discouraging for women. When a group of female mangers is in contrast with a group of male mangers, the last group used to be linked to the typical characteristics of a manager: leadership ability, ambition, competitiveness, desire of responsibility, competition and analytical ability, whereas women do not use to have these correct attributes (Sánchez-Apellániz, 1997, p.86). According to all these statements, two styles of leadership can be defined: The transactional and the transformational leadership styles.

1 Transformational leadership style

Transformational leaders utilize a symbolic and emotional approach to stimulate their followers by making them more conscious of the significance and values of task outcomes, thus activating their higher‐order needs, encouraging them to rise above self-interests for the benefit of the...

Cited: |Andrzej A. Huczynski and David A. Buchanan (2007) Organizational Behaviour, sixth edition, p.695 |
|Bass, B.M, Avolio, B.J, Atwater, L (1996), "The transformational and transactional leadership of men and women", Applied Psychology: An|
|Bass, B.M. (1985), Leadership and Performance beyond Expectations, Free Press, New York, NY. |
| |
|Bass, B. M., B. J. Avolio, et al. (2003). "Predicting unit performance by assessing transformational and transactional leadership." |
|Journal of Applied Psychology 88(2): pp.207-218 |
|Burke, S., Collins, K.M. (2001), "Gender differences in leadership styles and management skills", Women in Management Review, Vol. 16 |
|No.5, pp.244-57
|Grant, J. (1988), "Women as managers: what they can offer to organizations", Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 16 No.3, pp.56-63 |
|Loden, M
|Munduate L., (2003), “Género y liderazgo: Diferencias entre hombres y mujeres en el acceso a los puestos directivos” in Revista de |
|Psicología Social, 2003, 18 (3), pp.1-5 |
|Muñoz J., (2005), “Cuales son las habilidades mas buscadas entre los directivas? Cuáles son específicamente femeninas?” in Estudio |
|sobre habilidades directivas en la mujer, pp.10-13 |
|Powell, G., & Graves, L. (2003). Women and men in management (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication, Inc. |
|Stogdill, R.M
|Rosener, J. (1990), "Ways women lead", Harvard Business Review, Vol. 68 No.6, pp.119-125. |
| |
|Rosener, J.B, McAllister, D, Stephens, G (1990), Leadership Study: International Women’s Forum, Graduate School of Management, Irvine, |
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