Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women leaders perceived as effective as male counterparts, study reports

Date:
April 30, 2014
Source:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Summary:
When it comes to being perceived as effective leaders, women are rated as highly as men, and sometimes higher - a finding that speaks to society's changing gender roles and the need for a different management style in today's globalized workplace, according to a meta-analysis. While men tend to rate themselves as significantly more effective than women rate themselves, when ratings by others were examined, women came out ahead on perceptions of effectiveness, according to the study.

When it comes to being perceived as effective leaders, women are rated as highly as men, and sometimes higher -- a finding that speaks to society's changing gender roles and the need for a different management style in today's globalized workplace, according to a meta-analysis published by the American Psychological Association.

"When all leadership contexts are considered, men and women do not differ in perceived leadership effectiveness," said lead researcher Samantha C. Paustian-Underdahl, PhD, of Florida International University. "As more women have entered into and succeeded in leadership positions, it is likely that people's stereotypes associating leadership with masculinity have been dissolving slowly over time."

While men tend to rate themselves as significantly more effective than women rate themselves, when ratings by others were examined, women came out ahead on perceptions of effectiveness, according to the study, published in APA's Journal of Applied Psychology.

Paustian-Underdahl and her colleagues expanded on "role congruity theory," which postulates that there is greater prejudice toward women as leaders because the stereotypical woman isn't seen as possessing leadership qualities. "Women are typically described and expected to be more communal, relations-oriented and nurturing than men, whereas men are believed and expected to be more agentic, assertive and independent than women," they wrote. The researchers expanded upon the theory by applying it to both men and women, arguing that "As organizations have become fast-paced, globalized environments, some organizational scholars have proposed that a more feminine style of leadership is needed to emphasize the participative and open communication needed for success."

The researchers analyzed 99 data sets from 58 journal publications, 30 unpublished dissertations or theses, 5 books and 6 other sources (e.g., white papers, unpublished data). Sample sizes ranged from 10 to 60,470 leaders. The mean sample size was 1,011 and the average age of leaders (across the 40 samples in which age was reported) was 39. The studies were published between 1962 and 2011. Eighty-six percent of the samples reported data from studies conducted in the United States or Canada.

When looking only at ratings submitted by others (as opposed to self-ratings), women were seen as more effective leaders than men in middle management, business and education organizations, according to the study. Additionally, women were seen as more effective when they held senior-level management positions. The researchers theorize that some of this effect could be due to a "double standard of competence," meaning some people presume that women leaders have to be extra competent to get into top positions.

"These findings are surprising given that men on average continue to be paid more and advance into higher managerial levels than women," said Paustian-Underdahl. "Future research needs to examine why women are seen as equally (or more) effective leaders than men, yet are not being rewarded in the same ways."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association (APA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Samantha C. Paustian-Underdahl, Lisa Slattery Walker, David J. Woehr. Gender and perceptions of leadership effectiveness: A meta-analysis of contextual moderators.. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2014; DOI: 10.1037/a0036751

Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association (APA). "Women leaders perceived as effective as male counterparts, study reports." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430101652.htm>.
American Psychological Association (APA). (2014, April 30). Women leaders perceived as effective as male counterparts, study reports. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430101652.htm
American Psychological Association (APA). "Women leaders perceived as effective as male counterparts, study reports." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430101652.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins