Navigating the leadership labyrinth
Sparks, Taylor Elizabeth
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Using a large sample of managers occupying executive level positions in organizations in the United States, this study explores the intersection of gender and leadership by examining how direct reports‘ perceptions of male versus female leaders‘ communal and agentic behaviors influence perceptions of (a) their overall performance, (b) their promotability, and (c) the extent to which these leaders display characteristics and behaviors associated with managerial derailment. Agentic and Communal scales were developed and Meade and Fetzer‘s (2009) procedure for examining test bias as well as relative weights analysis were employed to address hypotheses and research questions. Overall, our findings fail to substantiate any major differences in men and women‘s leadership effectiveness. Instead, findings present abundant support for the combination of both agentic and communal behaviors as being most effective, and thus, neither men nor women should find themselves particularly advantaged in this respect.