This assignment will cover the following: Gender differences in our society The complexity of personality and perception across cultures This assignment is the fourth in a series of assignments that will culminate in a final submission in Week 6. For this assignment, you will read one article and conduct one field application experience. Based on […]
In the article “Women most effective leaders for today’s world” by Northwestern University (2003), the authors postulate that women generally make better leaders in today’s era than men. The research follows a study by Eagly, Marloes L.van Engen, and Johannesen-Schmidt, which sampled 45 published and unpublished works to identify and evaluate different leadership styles practised by both sexes. Consequently, researchers conclude that the difference is not based on the sexual orientation of the individual but discretionary behavioural patterns. In the article, women are generally inclined towards transformational leadership with a tendency to inspire, create, and show commitment; arguably, they also show a positive transactional trait in rewarding good-performing employees (Eagly, Johannesen-Schmidt & Van Engen, 2003). On the other hand, men exhibited more transactional aspects, including using incentives and a laissez-faire style. Arguably, the article sparks a gender discrepancy in how the sexes’ behaviour influences workplace performance. The report concludes that owing largely to the disposition of women towards a superior transformational leadership style, as compared to men’s inferior transactional method, the former is better placed in management positions. According to my evaluation, the report sheds rays of hope on the notion of women in leadership roles and strengthens the view that they should not be held back by gender biases prevalent in the business community. Women’s natural propensity towards leadership success will translate into practical business applications if allowed equal and unbiased opportunities to excel in leadership and culture-related roles. However, the weaknesses in this report are grave; firstly, it assumes that the transformational style is the most successful leadership style available in the business world. Arguably, the business environment is complicated, and an organization’s leadership style should depend on its task and challenges. Therefore, different leadership techniques are used in different situations when necessary contingency plans are incorporated when a particular situation necessitates. Therefore, despite the enormity of attention that gender-linked leadership traits attracted, the theory received lesser study of its applicability in the field, making its success or failure pertinent and speculative (Yukl, 1999). Secondly, managers using transformational leadership can not challenge and motivate workers beyond their comfort zone, making its applicability in the field counterproductive (Sarros & Santora, 2001).
The study reinforces gender-based psychological ideologies that have gained attraction recently. In particular, transformational leadership traits, including better leader-subordinates communication, social boldness, friendship, and cooperativeness, are specifically attributed to women. On the other hand, transactional characteristics ascribed to men include authoritative nature, problem-solving orientations, cultural affinity, and motivation. The variance in leadership traits between genders occurs largely due to the hemispherical differences, rather than culture-based factors, primarily of the grey-white matter percentage in the sexes’ brains (Miner, 2015; Ruigrok, 2014). The article also delves deeper into the social and cultural stereotypes about gender managerial roles and explores what leadership roles suit women best by employing scientific research methods.
The article did little to convince me of its representativeness and credibility of the premise, primarily due to the assumption that a specific gender is more suited to managerial positions since this view is scarcely reflected in today’s corporate world. According to data, women have lagged in convincing investors to pour in investment and securing land deals, a phenomenon partly attributed to the lack of confidence in their managerial style (Zarya, 2013). Additionally, in managerial interviews I have attended, the panel used scientific methods, such as psychological and culture-affinity assessment, to determine whether a person fits into the role rather than gender biases or predispositions.
Total Number of Venture Capital Deals 2017 ($B)
Source: Zarya (2013).
Top 10 rounds led by male founders Top 10 rounds led by male founders
Source: Zarya (2013).
I approached an African friend who is a Maasai female from Tanzania to have a glimpse of preferred leadership traits. She agreed to speak about artistic expression, work, and school; however, she refrained from talking about self-image and relationships. She comes from a community that expresses art through dancing, traditional ornaments, and music; consequently, mentioning the artistic expressions gives her nostalgic homesickness, revealing her strong bond to her culture. However, regarding school and work, she felt that as a woman from a culture that frowns on women’s education, she was living her dreams in a western country. It was evident from our repeated interactions that the ability to go to school and work has positively impacted her life. According to her, gender equality in western countries is at its apex.
Eagly, A. H., Johannesen-Schmidt, M. C., & Van Engen, M. L. (2003). Transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles: a meta-analysis comparing women and men. Psychological Bulletin, 129(4), 569.
Miner, J. B. (2015). Organizational Behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation, culture, and leadership. Routledge.
Ruigrok, A. N., Salimi-Khorshidi, G., Lai, M. C., Baron-Cohen, S., Lombardo, M. V., Tait, R. J., & Suckling, J. (2014). A meta-analysis of sex differences in human brain structure. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 39, 34-50.
Sarros, J. C., & Santora, J. C. (2001). The transformational-transactional leadership model in practice. Leadership & organization development journal, 22(8), 383-394.
Yukl, G. (1999). An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories. The leadership quarterly, 10(2), 285-305.
Zarya, V. (2013, January 31). Founders Got 2% of Venture Capital Dollars in 2017. Accessed http://fortune.com. Retrieved June 3, 2018, from http://fortune.com/2018/01/31/female-founders-venture-capital-2017/
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Published On: 09-03-2017