19 Ağustos 2014 Salı

Effects of Gender Roles to Leadership


Females and males have unique sexual identities defining their gender. Besides these, the individuals have feminine and masculine characteristics which are supposed to be different from their original sex. This concept was driven after finding unsatisfactory results for the effect of sex to leadership.  For this concept there were made many studies based on the researches that are shown below:

·           Bales theory of leadership
·           Role congruity theory
·           Diagnostics Ratio Approach 

These theories and the other studies will be handled in the following text.

Bales’ Theory Of Leadership

Bales and Slater in studies of the psychology of leadership developed a theory that there were two kinds of leadership functions:[1]

·           Task leadership: Best ideas, move things along
·           Process leadership: Held group together, often used humor, facilitator, and friendliness.

Bales’ theory of leadership style was developed in the laboratory using groups of male undergraduates. Bales found that in such groups, two types of leadership specialists emerged:[2]

·         A task oriented expert who was concerned with the instrumental functions related to achievement of group goals and
·         A social emotional expert whose concern was the morale and cohesiveness of the group. 

Bales found that these leadership roles were generally independent and that they were usually fulfilled by different people. However later research has demonstrated that one single person can show both characteristics. After this finding, he has concluded that these two characteristics are complementary and necessary for the harmony of the groups. It is a very important research showing the effects of sex roles to the leadership.

Role Congruity Theory of Leadership 

The role congruity theory advanced by Eagley and Karau focuses on the differences between two roles, gender roles and leadership roles. Because males are typically thought to occupy and possess the skills for leadership roles, a potential prejudice occurs when females occupy the position. Prejudice toward female leaders follows from the incongruity that many people perceive between the characteristics of women and the requirements of leader roles.[3]

Role congruity theory also addresses the norms of gender roles. Because leadership is not a typical social role for women, female participation in such a role can lead to negative evaluations due to the failure to meet the requirements of their gender role. In thinking about female leaders, people would combine their largely divergent expectations about leaders and women, whereas in thinking about male leaders, people would combine highly redundant expectations. Research has shown that women who attain success in typically male occupations are less liked and more derogated than equally successful men.

The “role congruity theory” of prejudice toward female leaders proposes that perceived incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles leads to two forms of prejudice:[4]

·         Perceiving women less favorably than men as potential occupants of leadership roles and
·         Evaluating behavior that fulfills the prescriptions of a leader role less favorably when it is enacted by a woman.  

One consequence is that attitudes are less positive toward female than male leaders and potential leaders. Other consequences are that it is more difficult for women to become leaders and to achieve success in leadership roles. Evidence from varied research paradigms substantiates that these consequences occur, especially in situations that heighten perceptions of incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles. When women possess the agentic quality of dominance consistent with the leader role, the incongruence between masculinized task demands and gender stereotypes mitigate against women's leadership emergence.[5] 

This theory shows that there are strong barriers against the feminine sex role in the emergence of leadership. The masculinized task demands are not found to be appropriate with the feminine characteristic type of leadership.

Diagnostics Ratio Approach 

Diagnostics Ratio approach is used for measuring the stereotypes. When comparing one social group to another, the diagnostics ratio is derived from Bayes’s rule in the forms of odds and probabilities.  

The diagnostics ratio serves as a useful index of stereotyping by formally expressing the extent to which a behavior is seen as more probable in one group versus another on the basis only of knowledge of group membership. Using the leadership behavior mentoring as an example the diagnostic ratio is calculated by forming a ratio of the percentage of male managers and female managers believed to mentor.[6] 

Diagnostics ratio:        p(mentoring behavior / male managers)

p(mentoring behavior / female managers)

A ratio of 1.0 indicates that gender has no diagnostic value in predicting whether the perceived likelihood of a leader behavior differs for male managers versus female managers. Ratios differing from 1.0 are of diagnostic value in predicting if the perceived likelihood of a leader behavior is greater for male managers (diagnostic ratio>1.0) or greater for female managers (diagnostic ratio<1 .0="" o:p="">

In a sample study, diagnostic-ratio measurement strategy was used for a more comprehensive view of leadership. One hundred and fifty-one managers (95 men and 56 women) judged the leadership effectiveness of male and female middle managers by providing likelihood ratings for 14 categories of leader behavior. As expected, the likelihood ratings for some leader behaviors were greater for male managers, whereas for other leader behaviors, the likelihood ratings were greater for female managers or were no different. Leadership ratings revealed some evidence of a same-gender bias. Providing explicit verification of managerial success had only a modest effect on gender stereotyping. The merits of adopting a probabilistic approach in examining the perception and treatment of stigmatized groups are discussed.[7]


[1] Stanford California State Library, “David Kennedy - The Warrior and the President”, http://institute21.stanford.edu/Current_Programs/2000_Institute/Presenters/papers/summary/summ-kennedy.htm,
[2] Karen Korabik, “Androgyny and Leadership Style”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol.9, No.4-5, (April-May 1990), p. 283.
[4] Eagly AH, Karau SJ, “Role Congruity Theory Of Prejudice Toward Female Leaders”, Psychological Review, Vol.3, No.109, (July 2002), p. 573.
[5] Barbara A.Ritter, Janice D.Yoder, “Gender Differences in Leader Emergence Persist Even For Dominant Women: An Updated Confirmation Of Role Congruity Theory”, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Issue 340207, (2004), p. 187.
[6] Richard F.Martell, Aaron L.Desmet, “A Diagnostic-Ratio Approach To Measuring Beliefs About The Leadership Abilities Of Male And Female Managers”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol.86, No.6, (2001), p. 1224.
[7] Martell, Desmet, p. 1223.

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