1 NMIMS Management Review 2004, Vol 16 No 1 & 2, pp. 1-6.
Impact of Gender and Transformational Leadership on Organizational Culture Shelly Kawatra and Venkat R. Krishnan
Abstract. An experiment was conducted to study the impact of leader’s feminine traits and transformational leadership on organizational culture, using a sample of 109 MBA students from a leading management institute in India. A 2x2 design with four leadership scenarios—transformational feminine leader, transformational masculine leader, feminine leader, and absence of a leader—was used, and 54 characteristics of organizational culture were measured. Results of (non-parametric) Kruskal Wallis and Median tests show that feminine leadership enhances people-orientation, collaboration, and team-orientation and reduces aggressiveness, competitiveness, and resultsorientation. Transformational leadership enhances competitiveness, achievement-orientation, performance expectations, results-orientation, innovation, and using opportunities, and reduces stability, predictability, and security of employment. Results also show that transformational leadership and femininity together enhance achievement-orientation and reduce stability.
Studies have shown that leadership has an impact on the culture of an organization. The management style and beliefs of the leader influence the culture of the organization (Schein, 1984, 1990). Various authors have studied the differences between men and women leaders but not much work has been done on the impact of the traits of a leader on the culture of an organization. This experimental study looked at culture as a function of gender traits and transformational leadership. We examined the kind of culture that leaders with high feminine and transformational traits create. The transformational leaders have been perceived to be feminine. Therefore, it makes an interesting case to study the effect of femininity and transformational leadership together on culture. Theory and Hypotheses Although psychologists have used the concepts of group norms and climate for a long time, the concept of culture has been used only in the last few decades. It is an important factor in the development process of individuals as members in an organization and thus an important variable to study. Organizational Culture The culture of an organization is defined as “a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new
2 members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems” (Schein, 1984: 1). To understand an organization, studying its culture is of prime importance. Dimensions of culture. Deal and Kennedy (1982) identified business environment, values, heroes, the rites and rituals, and the cultural network as the elements of organizational culture. In a sample of US firms, O’Reilly, Chatman, and Caldwell (1991) identified seven dimensions of organizational culture using an instrument they developed, the organizational culture profile (OCP)—innovative, stable, respecting of people, outcome-oriented, detailoriented, team-oriented, and aggressive. Using OCP and a sample of 15 US firms, Chatman and Jehn (1994) found evidence that innovation, stability, people-orientation, outcomeorientation, an emphasis on being easygoing, attention to detail, and team-orientation were pervasive organizational culture themes. Determinants of culture. The vision, management style, personality, and beliefs of leaders influence the organizational culture (Schein, 1984, 1990, 1993; Schneider et al., 1995). They provide tangible role models for employees to follow (Deal & Kennedy, 1982). Founder’s goals result in the enactment of specific policies and practices to achieve these goals, and the combination of goals and their resulting policies and practices yields unique...
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