Gender Differences in Leadership Roles

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Difference in Leadership and Followership

Proper and efficient leadership are factors that contribute towards the success of an organisation. Men and women have different behavioural traits that impact leadership and followership characteristics. Women have a more transformational style of leadership compared to men. Transformational leaders establish themselves as role models. They gain their subordinates confidence and trust by helping them develop their full potential (Eagly & Carli, 2007). 

Men, on the other hand, display a transactional form of leadership. This style of leadership focuses on supervision and performance. Eagly and Carly (2007), describe this style of leadership as one in which leaders reward junior staff for meeting objectives and punishing those who do not. Men in command prefer a competitive environment. A well-known leader, the late Steve Jobs, used to set up interdepartmental completions and got positive results. Women on the contrary favour a cooperative environment, thus they strive to promote collaboration among team members.

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Cunninghum and Roberts (2012), stated that neurological differences between men and women explain that women are more emotional to situations. Women tend to be more risk-averse than men. When confronted with uncertainty and stress women will avoid unnecessary risks (Mahone, 2012). Scientists also claim that neuropsychiatric differences between girls and boys make boys more susceptible to distractions when working (Mahone, 2012). This difference causes women to perform better on detail-oriented projects.

Differences in Managing Men and Women

The difference in psychology and behavior between genders make it necessary to apply different managerial tactics when dealing with men and women. For example, men are more likely to have direct communication and frank discussions about issues such as performance. However, women often communicate indirectly, and it will be the manager’s responsibility to pick up the nonverbal cues in addition to what is spoken (Winters, 2012).

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  1. Eagly, A., & Carli, L. (2007, September). Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership. Retrieved from Havard Businness Review: https://hbr.org/2007/09/women-and-the-labyrinth-of-leadership
  2. Filho, A. M., & Pimenta , C. L. (2015). Study of the Leadership Styles considering Gender Differnces. Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 15-22.
  3. Schuh S, H. B. (2014). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Journal of Business Ethics, 363-379.
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