An exploration of stereotypical beliefs about leadership styles: Is transformational leadership a route to women's promotion?

C.J. Vinkenburg, M.L. van Engen, A.H. Eagly, M.C. Johannesen-Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Two experimental studies examined whether gender stereotypes about the transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles constitute an advantage or an impediment for women's access to leadership positions in organizations. The first study investigated the accuracy of descriptive gender stereotypes about leadership styles, showing that participants accurately believe that women display more transformational and contingent reward behaviors, and fewer management-by-exception and laissez-faire behaviors than men. The second study investigated prescriptive stereotypes about the importance of leadership styles for the promotion of women and men to different levels in organizations. Inspirational motivation was perceived as more important for men than women and especially important for promotion to CEO. In contrast, individualized consideration was perceived as more important for women than men and especially important for promotion to senior management. Consistent with these stereotypical beliefs about leadership, women interested in promotion may be well advised to blend individualized consideration and inspirational motivation behaviors. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-21
JournalThe Leadership Quarterly
Volume22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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promotion
leadership
stereotype
Motivation
Organizations
gender
Reward
management
reward
Leadership style
Transformational leadership
Gender stereotypes
Laissez-faire

Cite this

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title = "An exploration of stereotypical beliefs about leadership styles: Is transformational leadership a route to women's promotion?",
abstract = "Two experimental studies examined whether gender stereotypes about the transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles constitute an advantage or an impediment for women's access to leadership positions in organizations. The first study investigated the accuracy of descriptive gender stereotypes about leadership styles, showing that participants accurately believe that women display more transformational and contingent reward behaviors, and fewer management-by-exception and laissez-faire behaviors than men. The second study investigated prescriptive stereotypes about the importance of leadership styles for the promotion of women and men to different levels in organizations. Inspirational motivation was perceived as more important for men than women and especially important for promotion to CEO. In contrast, individualized consideration was perceived as more important for women than men and especially important for promotion to senior management. Consistent with these stereotypical beliefs about leadership, women interested in promotion may be well advised to blend individualized consideration and inspirational motivation behaviors. {\circledC} 2011 Elsevier Inc.",
author = "C.J. Vinkenburg and {van Engen}, M.L. and A.H. Eagly and M.C. Johannesen-Schmidt",
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An exploration of stereotypical beliefs about leadership styles: Is transformational leadership a route to women's promotion? / Vinkenburg, C.J.; van Engen, M.L.; Eagly, A.H.; Johannesen-Schmidt, M.C.

In: The Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 22, 2011, p. 10-21.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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