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Running head: GENDER & LEADERSHIP STYLES

Gender and Leadership Styles


Sherine Mitto
GR 501: Organization Behavior and Development
International College of the Cayman Islands

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Abstract

The achievements or down falls of a company relies on the effectiveness and quality of
leadership, mainly on the part of the senior managers. As such, we see that no other role in an
organization has received more interest than that of the leader because it is said that the
management of staff depends on the quality of the organizational leadership. However, over the
years, it has been said that women and men are different in their leadership styles. Many
researchers support this theory, while many others do not. Based on that fact, this research paper
will look into the association between gender and leadership styles as several studies indicate
that different leadership styles do affect an organizations effectiveness and performance. With a
systematic literature review, and a more in-depth exploration and examination of gender on
leadership styles, this analysis will highlight similarities and differences with leadership styles
adopted by both females and males in managerial positions. Also, this paper will highlight three
different leadership styles behaviors engaged by people as it is said to make a difference in the
leader's performance and productivity at work. As researchers debate the notion that there is a
differentiation in a managers leadership styles behaviors and company productivity.

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Introduction

Over the ages, it has been said that women and men are different in their leadership
styles. But, think about it, are women and men truly different when it comes to being a leader?
Popular management literature has shown controversy positions where it highlights fundamental
traits that donate to the different positions claimed. On the other hand, social science research
supports a similarity position, claiming that all factors considered, indicate that both men and
women lead in parallel ways (Engen & Willemsen, 2009). So it brings the question, what is
leadership? There are however countless definitions of leadership and many researchers who
have made an attempt to explore this concept. Nonetheless, they all focus on the same theoretical
orientation taken (Dr. Chandan, 2014). As such, one of the many definitions states that leadership
is a process which exists in society worldwide that governs or influences followers (Bennis,
2007). Still, leadership can be defined by role differentiation, personality, interactions,
persuasion or a combination of all (Dr. Chandan, 2014). Regardless of the numerous definitions,
many have indulged in a leader-follower relation as studies have shown that people can easily
identify leadership traits in one another where evidence reveals that leaders take little to no time
to step up to a task or any challenges that may emerge (Zheng, 2016 and Van Vugt & De Cremer,
1999). Due to that fact, it has become necessary to learn and understand the historical
evolvement of the concept of a leader and their leadership styles because it has become clear that
we are in an era of influential leaders (Dr. Chandan, 2014).

Leadership is required at every level in all organizations (Dr. Chandan, 2014).


Consequently, achievements or down falls of a company relies on the effectiveness and quality of
leadership, mainly on the part of the senior managers. In todays society where companies are

GENDER & LEADERSHIP STYLES

more competitive in relation to their human resources, the only way to run an efficient and
fruitful organization is to hire great leaders, whether these individuals are male or female (Dr.
Chandan, 2014). As such, we see that no other role in an organization has received more interest
than that of the leader because it is said that the management of staff depends on the quality of
the organizational leadership (Dr. Chandan, 2014 and Ph. D Riggio, 2010). But, this transform
from efficient leaders into effective leadership is in response to the fast changing society where
leaders play a vital position in the accomplishment of the organization goals and objectives as
they create a climate that influences employees behavior and attitudes (Zheng, 2016). Still, the
concept of leadership is not new as research has shown that this topic has been studied numerous
of times due to various reasons, including the gender differences in leadership styles around the
world (Dr. Chandan, 2014). Based on that fact, this research paper will look into the association
between gender and leadership styles as several studies indicate that different leadership styles
do affect an organizations effectiveness and performance. With a systematic literature review,
and a more in-depth exploration and examination of gender on leadership styles, this analysis
will highlight similarities and differences with leadership styles adopted by both females and
males in managerial positions. Also, this paper will highlight three different leadership styles
behaviors engaged by people as it is said to make a difference in the leader's performance and
productivity at work. As researchers debate the notion that there is a differentiation in a
managers leadership styles behaviors and company productivity.

Literature Review
While many researchers would support the theory that women and men are tremendously
dissimilar in the way in which they take charge at work, Kanter (1977) disputes that not only do

GENDER & LEADERSHIP STYLES

women and men are not different in their leadership approach, but that a manager acclimates his
or her leadership style to their environment and also attune to what is conventional of them in a
senior management role, ignoring all gender influences on their leadership style (Kanter, 1977 &
Merchant, 2012). Kanter further expressed that female and male managers act lesser
stereotypical of their gender character when they obtain the equivalent leadership roles due to the
fact that they are limited to the standards in relation to the conduct of their performance of the
given senior management position instead of leading according to their gender labels. Where
Foels, Driskell, Mullen, & Salas (2000) also agreed that leadership is conditional based on
situational factors. Other researchers that back no gender differential in leadership styles express
that experiments that tried to compare women and men leaders run short of internal legitimacy as
they are often over-dependent on case studies or historical reviews (Bartol & Martin, 1986 and
Bass, 1981, 1990). As such, this line of literature demonstrates that neither women nor men are
superior in leadership roles, but that a leadership style's effectiveness is conditional on diverse
features of a group and organizational surroundings (Foels, Driskell, Mullen, & Salas, 2000).
According to Riggio (2008), contingency theory highlights that there is no good style of
leadership, instead, effective leadership relies on the dealings of a leaders' behavior and their
situation (Riggio, 2008). This advocates that followers are essential, if not more important than
the person in charge in determining which leadership style best fits the work environment
(Merchant, 2012).

But since then, new studies has proven otherwise (Merchant, 2012). According to
Merchant (2012), one of the main mechanism that adds to leadership style is the social
relationship or interaction amongst a leader and their follower or a manager and their

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subordinates (Merchant, 2012). This relation is, by nature, affected by intrapsychic processes, as
well as gender-role acclimatization and the values and attitudes connected with these roles. As
such, evidence has shown that this is where women and men extensively contrast in their
management methods as women, by essence of their communication techniques, care about
relationships at work more than men, implying that women managers may foster closer
connection with their staff than men leaders. In addition, men's status and power-oriented
communication style suggest a further controlling, authoritative leadership styles (Merchant,
2012). Women, on the other hand, take a more relationship-oriented communication styles as
they are more expressive, polite in conversations and tentative than men, who are power-hungry.
Many psychology academic researches on gender difference have indicated that while men use
language and tone of voice to achieve tangible outcomes as men value their independence,
women use talking as a tool to strengthen relationships and build a social connection with
colleagues (Oshagbemi & Gill, 2003).

Due to the personality traits, studies state that there is truly a difference in leadership
behaviors endorsed by men and women and suggest the position vary largely which ultimately
affect the overall performance of a business. Some of the familiar leadership characteristics
linked with women leadership styles versus men leadership styles are as followed:

Women leadership styles:

Task-focused Completing task that is assigned are extremely important to female


managers. Also completing the daily work is critical as its shows as a sign of smooth
operations and running of the company effectively (Oshagbemi & Gill, 2003).

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Promote Cooperation and Collaboration Cooperation and collaboration are seen as the
best and the only way to be effective and productive as a group or company (Oshagbemi

& Gill, 2003).


Indirect Communication Female leaders usually indirectly communicate with their
subordinates by assigning a task to that employee and giving them that opportunity to

work independently, accomplishing a goal (Oshagbemi & Gill, 2003).


Mentoring and Training Others Most females are nurturing from birth, and they are
often times good mentors as they use their talking skills to encourage others (Oshagbemi
& Gill, 2003).

Men leadership styles:

Focus on Performance Anyway to get to the top is a males motivation behind their
leadership styles. Doing ones best is the only thing that matters in relation to attaining

successful business operations (Oshagbemi & Gill, 2003).


Direct Communication Male managers often times provide employees with precise
instructions and define staff responsibilities, so they all know and learn their roles

(Oshagbemi & Gill, 2003).


Like to Create Competition Male managers usually promote employees to be
competitive as a little competition amongst staff could not hurt because they aim to push
their employees (Oshagbemi & Gill, 2003).

At present, there are various classifications of patterns of leadership behaviors, and styles
used during research. This research paper will focus on autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire
leadership styles (Connelly, 2016). As these styles of leadership encompassed the classical styles
of management detected in traditional crowds and businesses ("Authoritarian, Democratic &

GENDER & LEADERSHIP STYLES

Laissez-Faire Leadership Research", n.d.). The dimension of these three leadership have
dissimilar effects on the direction of people and their place of work in relation to the settings
most suitable for each leadership style, the functions of leadership, the roles of followers, and the
leadership styles' rapport to control and influence ("Authoritarian, Democratic & Laissez-Faire
Leadership Research", n.d.). For instance, autocratic to democratic leadership extent from the
managers not granting interference of lower level employees decision and leading more
autocratically, to the managers behaving more democratically and inviting subordinates to
participate in making decisions, and then to laissez-faire managers, who do not intervene in the
subordinates work affairs or wholly avoid their responsibilities as their manager (Engen &
Willemsen, 2009 & Ph. D Namusonge & Koech, 2012). A pioneer of social psychologist, Kurt
Lewin (1890-1947), identified and defined the differences between the three leadership
behaviors or styles creating the concept of leadership climate that influenced the leader-follower
relationships, group problem-solving strategies or risk-taking and team morale when dealing
with employees; the various components are now elaborated (Connelly, 2016 and "Authoritarian,
Democratic & Laissez-Faire Leadership Research", n.d.).

Autocratic Leadership Styles


Autocratic leadership also referred to as authoritarian leadership, are characterized as
domineering due to the individuals control over every move or input for the group.
("Authoritarian, Democratic & Laissez-Faire Leadership Research", n.d.). This type of leadership
styles makes policies and decisions based on their own personal beliefs and ideas, and usually,
don't accept followers or subordinate's advice. Such manager tends to distant themselves from
their employees as its a sign of being in control or authority. The functions of authoritarian

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manager typically include problem-solving whereas the aspects of authoritarian followers


(employees) comprise adhering to the managers instructions without questions or comments as
there is an unspoken understanding of everyone's role in this sort of organization ("Authoritarian,
Democratic & Laissez-Faire Leadership Research", n.d.). It has been stated that this leadership
styles often leads to employees dissatisfaction, absenteeism and high employment turnover for
the company (Gastil, 1994). However, such leadership style is necessary for companies and
business setting with a steady stream of new staff, large-scale coordination of group assignments
and restricted decision-making time or resources. As such, research has shown a company that
promotes autocratic leadership may not be suited for potential and current employees who seek
or desire to participate in decision-making processes and share their opinions.

Democratic Leadership Style


Democratic leadership also refers to as participative leadership, characterized by
collective decision-making, active employee involvement, camaraderie, restrained criticism and
fair praise ("Authoritarian, Democratic & Laissez-Faire Leadership Research", n.d.). This type of
leadership styles offer their employees support and choices in relation to decision making and
projects as all workers are supported to share thoughts, even though the manager retains the
ultimate say over decisions; in addition, empowering staff, and facilitating group deliberations.
These managers believe in equal participation, self-determination, and inclusiveness, resulting in
subordinates feeling more engaged and appreciated in the process. As such, this leadership styles
also affects democratic followers which enables individual responsibility for the team,
willingness to be held responsible for their decision or actions, open to preserve their group's
autonomy, motivated to take on the role of leader if required, and enthusiasm to work alongside

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their leaders ("Authoritarian, Democratic & Laissez-Faire Leadership Research", n.d.).


Therefore, fostering employees creativity and professional growth as they are able to influence
their own appraisal outcome, work hard and earn promotions instead of just a monetary reward.
Although, this approach can lead to task happening a little slower, it usually ends well for those
companies who appreciate quality over quantity in production. Research has indicated that
democratic leadership not only increases employees job satisfaction, but also to the most
effective leaders to higher contribution from members, develops employees social skills and
improves group morale ("Authoritarian, Democratic & Laissez-Faire Leadership Research",
n.d.).

The Laissez-Faire Leadership Style


Laissez-faire leadership also refers to as delegative leadership, characterized as
uninvolved with their employees and followers as this leader is hands-off and allows its staff to
carry out all the decisions ("Authoritarian, Democratic & Laissez-Faire Leadership Research",
n.d.). Allowing total freedom to all employees and has no distinct way of attaining goals. This
types of leadership behavior or styles make no policies or decisions and provide minimum
guidance. In addition, Laissez-faire managers have very little to no power within their company,
making this leadership the lowest productivity among employees due to the absent of the leader.
As the functions of this leader include trusting their subordinates to make appropriate decisions
on their own as they usually hire well trained and reliable employees in such company
("Authoritarian, Democratic & Laissez-Faire Leadership Research", n.d.). It is said that the role
of laissez-faire followers comprise self-monitoring, problem-solving, and producing successful
end products. Therefore, Laissez-faire leadership is obviously not a good fit for employees who

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require direction, feedback, praise, or flexibility (Gastil, 1994). Nonetheless, Laissez-faire


leaders are most victorious for employees who are self-directed and highly qualified in their
profession.

Understanding the role that autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire leadership styles play
an important fact in understanding the manager and their leadership styles. There is, however, no
one top style of leadership. The effectiveness of a singular style is reliant on the business
environment and situation. To many, it has become apparent that there is a disparity between
women and men leadership patterns. Still, ongoing research has indicated no consistent pattern
of gender differences in leadership behavior and styles (Oshagbemi & Gill, 2003). As statistics
has revealed that women think females can be hostile and aggressive leaders more than male
counterparts, as they are also risk-takers and willing to make decisions quickly. This has become
an appealing topic as more women representation in top management roles have grown
significantly over the past several years (Oshagbemi & Gill, 2003). Although leadership is just a
phrase that is often used in conversation, most scholars have come to the conclusion that the
perception of leadership does not attribute to just one particular attribute. Making the study of
gender and leadership styles critical to research as everyone wants to learn the impact it has on a
company performance. And for this, the below will synthesize and compare the leadership styles
of women and men.

Gender and Leadership Styles


As noted by Yukl (1994), leadership is a climate or method of influencing others to
achieve a goal whether in business or life which ultimately impacts a person or employees

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behavior, motivation, and attitude. As such, indicating that a leader is a coach and a risk-taker for
attaining something better today than yesterday. For many years, men have long dominated
leadership roles in complex organizations in politics, government, science, education, and other
popular professions, where women senior managers in the corporate world have been scarce.
However, society has seen a change as more females have entered more leaderships positions
within the above-mentioned industries, bring question to the subject of gender and leadership in
regards to the 1) how is leadership a gendered concept and 2) what are the determinant
differences between women and men (Mason, n.d. and Boundless, 2016). During a 2008 survey
conducted by the Pew Research Center, sixty-nine percent of two thousand, two hundred and
twenty-five response stated that women and men were equally good leaders and that differences
were only in the character attribute (Boyd, 2016). Evidence has shown that there are inherent
distinction between female and male gender. And according to John Grays famous book, Men
are from Mars, Women are from Venus also highlighted the differences in both sexes
communication styles, their goals, values and needs (Robbins & Judge, 2014 and Gray, 1993).
Another popular book known to the public is You Just Dont Understand: Women and Men in
Conversation by Deborah Tannen (Tannen, 1990). This well-known literature addressed the
dissimilarities in communication approaches between women and men where she stated that such
disparity across gender starts at an early age. Ms. Tannen observed that girls established close
relationships with one another simply by talking, "talk is the essence of intimacy" (Tannen,
1990). Whereas boys generate relationships with one another by physically doing things together,
indicating, those behaviors are central to their friendship (Tannen, 1990). As such, understanding
these disparities are key to creating and maintaining a successful connection between people as
they are able to be mindful of how another style of communication and therefore adapting to

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one's leadership style accordingly. But putting ones sex aside, a leader is someone who sees
what needs to be accomplished, know they can make it happen and jumps straight into the task.

For a long time it has been said that only through leadership a company is effectively
directed and as a result, it becomes more coherent and cohesive. However, this belief was geared
towards only men leaders contribution as many people back then thought that males were
natural born leaders, whereas women were thought of as child-bearers and housewives (Zaccaro,
Gulick, & Khare, 2008). This bias about women started a revolution for females entering the
workforce in large numbers, climbing the ladder to be top manager positions and changing the
game of companies' leadership styles. Branding women's' leadership style as relationshiporiented, while men are more goal-oriented. Although the role of personality plays a major part
in understanding leadership styles, there has been a contentious concerns in the literature, present
studies reveal that individuals character do play an important, sometimes limited, behaviors in
leadership effectiveness (Zaccaro, Gulick, & Khare, 2008). Individuals traits have been one
argument attempted to explain the dimensions between the differences of women and men style
of leadership because people associate masculine traits and feminine traits to being a successful
leader.

As such, I conducted my own investigation where I sort two managers opinion on


leadership styles in the Cayman Islands and San Francisco, based on their experiences and
knowledge of gender and leadership styles. The first interviewee was the Vice President and
Senior Global Financial Crimes Compliance Manager of Merrill Lynch Bank & Trust Company
(Cayman) Ltd, Mr. Ariel Tatum who has been working in the financial industry for over eleven

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years (A. Tatum, personal communication, November 24, 2016). And the second interviewee was
an Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Organization, Leadership and
Communication of University of San Francisco, Dr. Kevin Lo, who has been working and
studying in the field of organizational behaviors for over ten years (K. Lo, personal
communication, November 11, 2016). Via email with one interviewee and a physical interview
with the other, both men were asked the same questions and not surprising, their responses were
total opposites. The first question was what character traits make a good leader and why? (Mitto,
2016), Mr. Tatum stated that a good leader has a host of qualities primarily including being
technically and emotionally intelligent, inspiring, decisive, empathetic and honest. He explained
that those qualities primarily drove results from staff. However, the issue of honesty is a tricky
one as one has to appear to be honest such that staff believed in what the manager or leader was
saying. He further stated that technical and emotional intelligence and being organized helped
foster innovation and progress, while empathy sets one up for being able to deal with person
issues and stress levels as will possessing emotional intelligence. Mr. Tatum concluded and
advised that all great leaders are inspiring as they can keep the wheels churning over long
periods when moments of stress and complacency set in; they get the best out of their employees
generally (A. Tatum, personal communication, November 24, 2016). Dr. Lo response to the same
question stated that self-aware and resilient were the most important character traits needed to be
deemed a good leader. He advised that self-awareness is important because peoples behaviors
affect both themselves and those around them. He also explained that if people did not know
their impact on others, they could not be as effective. As such, stressing that resilience was key
because there will always be contingencies both personally and professionally (K. Lo, personal
communication, November 11, 2016).

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Based on their response, the follow-up question was who do you believe make better
leaders, men or women? And why? (Mitto, 2016). According to both men, they did not believe
gender played a factor in being good leader as Mr. Tatum advised that there was no clear
distinction because there are men who are pushovers and empathetic which are traits typically
expected of a woman; and there are also women who are dominating and obsessed with progress
or success which are typical when you think of male leaders. Mr. Tatum explained that history
has shown that both men and women have their place. And expressed that it all depended on the
followers and the circumstance, what it calls for and who possesses that (A. Tatum, personal
communication, November 24, 2016); and Mr. Lo highlighted that both men and women could
be effective leaders. He also stated that there was a historical trend of more men being in
leadership positions, but that does not have to be the case (K. Lo, personal communication,
November 11, 2016). It was interesting to see that both were unbiased as they held leadership
positions in their organization. And despite being located hundreds of miles away from one
another and in two different professions, both men stated that democratic or participatory
leadership was to the most prevalent form of leadership styles used within the workplace.
However, Mr. Tatum added that although the most common style was democratic leadership,
many in the Cayman Islands has a dictatorship mindset as managers found ways to insist that
persons do not go against their end game from his experience (A. Tatum, personal
communication, November 24, 2016). Research shows that there is somewhat of a myth to the
perpetuated idea that gender affects leadership styles or performance at work. After further
discussions with Mr. Tatum, I learned that being a good leader took patience and social skills as
not all managers are leaders and there was a distinctive difference between the two as a manager
only delegates task, tries to control individual activities and bring employees into the desired

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direction with limited coaching. Whereas, a leader manages by inspiring others, lead by example,
promote continuous improving and places emphasis on the coaching aspect and the well-being of
their people.
The San Fran Experience
During my San Francisco seminar trip, I attended an organizational behavior lecture
presented by Dr. Kevin Lo, who spoke on organizational behavior, management, and
communication. Dr. Lo highlighted that the concept of identity and perception of others in the
workplace were interconnected the organizational behavior as he then asked students to guess his
nationality and race (K. Lo, personal communication, November 11, 2016). This was his way of
addressing stereotypes of what is expected of management and organizational behavior. Dr. Lo
then indicated that people were a product of their previous experiences, so different places one
have lived and the different culture and climate one was or are exposure to will shape the
individual or manager. He defined organizational behavior as the study of how people think and
act in their work environment; focusing on behaviors at work and of ones self. He stated that
behaviors were driven by psychology, based on how people think and behave at work. And
defined management as working efficiently and effectively with others to attain the companys
goal (K. Lo, personal communication, November 11, 2016). He elaborated and explained that
effectiveness is about doing the right things, while efficiency is doing things well.

Dr. Lo expressed that one fact of life is that we will always work people, regardless of
profession so it is important to understand how others think and it would provide a rationale for
their actions, especially at work (K. Lo, personal communication, November 11, 2016). He
identified the three levels of management which was 1) individual, 2) group team and 3)

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organizational; he stated that all three components build on one another where the foundation lies
with understanding individuals which will lead to a domino effect of understanding groups or
teams and then the organization as a whole (K. Lo, personal communication, November 11,
2016). Dr. Lo also addressed resilience and stated that it was one of the most desired qualities
that employers look out for when hiring future employees (K. Lo, personal communication,
November 11, 2016).

At the end of his presentation, I learned about human resilience and the culture of
organizational resilience as this trait fostered open communications, dedication to the mission
and group cohesion. I found it fascinating to hear that resilience was not a trait that individual
possess, but a behavior and action cultivated by an individual. While learning which leadership
trait demonstrate to be more beneficial for a companys performance, I realized that social
identity was the biggest player with influencing leaders behavior and styles as a person achieves
their self-concept not only from their personal identity, but also regarding who they are not.

Application of the Learning


My trip to San Francisco has encouraged me to look beyond the horizon as society and
business cultures are changing. It may seem reasonable to believe that a leader's social setting,
such as type of company, the hierarchical level, and a particular group would influence the
functions of a particular leadership style. I learned however that as human we spend our time on
what we deem important, confirming that people work off their own self-interest, regardless if
they hold a senior manager or subordinate position. Yet, the trait theory stated that humans are
born with special characteristics such as intelligence, dependability, adaptability, persistence, and

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relational competence (Dr. Chandan, 2014). Providing reassurance that individuals' character and
perception influences their behavior in an organization. As noted above, the topic of gender and
leadership styles have been studied for years, and as a result, there is a mountain of data to help
hypothesize a theory on the topic of leaders and their styles.

Nonetheless, it is clear that different leadership styles could affect a companys


performance and effectiveness. Still, a leadership style is just a pattern of behavior engaged by a
manager when dealing with employees. As noted by Lewin, Lippit and White (1939), autocratic,
democratic and laissez-faire were the three traditional leadership styles known to research
(Bhatti, Maitlo, Shaikh, Hashmi, & Shaikh, 2012). Each leadership style possessed its own
characteristics and objective of a leader. I learned that an autocratic leader can be beneficial in a
group project setting where strong leadership is needed in order to get task accomplished
efficiently and quickly (Cherry, 2016). Whereas, a Democratic leader is a motivator who strive to
include all parties of the group and encourages creativity and ideas from all. As for a laissez-faire
leader, this individual is most effective in a group setting where employees hold the skill to work
solo and are highly educated (Cherry, 2016). With all this talk about leader and leadership styles,
it brought the question of what gender was a better leader, was it the females or males. As this
was a great debated among all the scholarly articles I read, I concluded that there were consistent
gender differences in leadership as most managers lead by what is requested from them on a big
picture of the company. Both women and men can be task-oriented leaders and then switch to
being a relationship-oriented leader from minutes after as people or good managers learn how to
be adaptable based on their environment (Cuadrado, Navas, Molero, Ferrer, & Morales, 2012).
Dr. Lo and Mr. Tatum shared a similar opinion as seen above and when asked to elaborate it

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response indicated that such theory or myths were based on stereotypes of societys expectation
on gender. However, many researchers found that women in leadership roles did tend to lean
more towards democratic and participative styles than men. And males were more geared
towards being more autocratic or directive based on the idea of having masculine traits.
Regardless, these disparities take the shape of overlapping distributions of men and women as
the differences are small (Chaluvadi, 2015).

Limitations
In reference to my San Francisco trip, I was unable to gather extensive data on my gender
and leadership styles research topic as the seminar was more focused on technology and new
innovations, and not some much management or organizational behaviors. Due to that fact, I
focused above on the one presentation and lecturer, Dr. Kevin Lo as he was an expert in the field,
as he was the Department Chair of Organization, Leadership & Communication at the University
of San Francisco. Another limitation faced during this semester and on trip was psychically
meeting and talking with my San Francisco connection, Dr. Lo as his schedule could not
accommodate an interview at my requested date and time. I would have loved to sit and talk to
Dr. Lo as he brings years of knowledge and experience to the table in relations to management
behavior and employees behavior at work. Nonetheless, he was willing to assist me via email as
he answered three interview questions for my study conducted which his responses were very
informative.

Although the San Francisco seminar was more technology based, I can honestly admit to
learning a lot about the technology industry, the many start-up businesses and the new

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innovations being established. The theme of the trip become collaboration and social business as
many companies within the technology industry donated their time, skills and resources to
develop new innovations; great examples were Chain who worked by many financial institutions
to better asset them and their clients with the transfer of assets and the Dr. Al-Abdullah lecture,
who addressed the evaluation of technology (i.e. self-driving cars and Tricoder devices) and
explained how society would change by the year 2020. At the end of the trip, I took away several
valuable lessons from each site visits and presentations as all the lecturers or tours were
informative, knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

As for my research on the topic, the scholarly articles I selected to review and analyze
fell short with strong evidence of leadership styles being determined by gender and instead noted
opinions and general theories on the subject. In addition, many of the scholarly articles used a
random sample of data which also limited or provided unreliable results in relation to the
research topics as it chooses a leadership style from other factors such as personality traits, then
just gender. As such, those the studies demonstrated that males used contrasting leadership styles
from females, which created the inequality found among the positions held and the promotion
earned for top ranks in a company. In addition to the previously stated, the paradox of the "glass
ceiling" concept was brought up constantly as the studies emphasized and explained the
obstacles, discrimination, and biases within an organization which resulted in the elimination of
many women in senior management positions (Fletcher, 2004).

Summary and Conclusion

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There are two notions behind gender difference and leadership styles, where some
scholars argue that women and men use the same management style and practice the same
leadership techniques in their work environment, others researchers claim that women and men
are totally different in the leadership styles, influence tactics, communication styles and even
characteristic traits (Dr. Chandan, 2014). The bulk of research examined the gender similarities
as well as differences among leadership styles. Although there are studies that stated men and
women differ in management styles as men use more goal-orientated behavior, while women use
more people-oriented leadership behavior, arguments from non-supporters advised that such
comparison is difficult to grasp as women and men are never in the same specific leadership
roles, especially in the middle-eastern countries. Still, many researchers highlighted that there
were certain basic qualities or characteristics that most people associate with leadership such as
independent, assertive, risk taker and self-sufficient (Gedney, 1999). And as such, most people
would agree that managers who possess those attributes would be deemed as a good leader.

The researchers also noted the differences in relation to the stereotypes stated about
women and men which indicated that women leaders are more empathic, nurturing, and
approachable than the opposite sex leaders, in addition to the cons of females leaders such as
mode-swings and being emotional. Men managers, on the other hand, are labeled more driven,
focuses and action-oriented when it came to completing on tasks (Ph. D Riggio, 2010).
Nonetheless, gender differences in leadership adopted by women and men vary worldwide as
such, giving life to systematic literature reviews on the research topic in conjunction with
biological, gender stereotypes, and societal factors (Krinzman, 2015). While there are glaring
discrepancies among the leaders, multiple examinators stated that they did not think one

GENDER & LEADERSHIP STYLES

22

leadership sex was better or poorer than the other in relation to leading a company. As noted
above, there is a novel worthy difference between women and men leadership styles in the work
environment. Regardless, of the contradicting judgments, it should be noted that a great leader
has the ability to tailor and understanding the strengthens and weaknesses of an organizational,
and as such impacting the way they lead. Because being flexible and having an understanding
can allow a leader to better perform their duties and also make the organization profits (Dr.
Chandan, 2014 and Krinzman, 2015).

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