GENDER DIFFERENCES IN LEADERSHIP

Xiao Zheng

Abstract


In recent times, the relationship between gender and leadership styles has emerged as a significant research area. Impact of gender over leadership practices are widely investigated by academics all over the globe, still this research area does not come without ambiguities due to contradictory views given by theorists. Some supporters’ hypothesized similarities found among leadership styles adopted by men and women at managerial positions, supporting the view that paid employees are anticipated to adhere to standardized instructions. On the contrary, several researchers theorized that the leadership styles adopted by male and female leaders are significantly different, mainly due to biological differences and variations in personality traits. With a systematic literature review, several researches are explored and evaluated, examining the impact of gender on leadership styles adopted, and also on the organizational performance. The study found that women tend to adopt a more transformational and democratic/participative leadership style whereas men were observed to adopt more autocratic and punishment-oriented leadership styles. Studies also found that the leadership style mostly adopted by women proves to be beneficial for organizational effectiveness, mainly integrating the system of reward, motivation, expectation and enthusiasm among others. It is suggested that further research should be undertaken to explore whether women intentionally change their leadership behaviors in male dominated organizations and whether they would pose to adopt different leadership styles given a different organization to work in.

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