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Gender and leadership? Leadership and gender? A journey through the landscape of theories

Steven H. Appelbaum (John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Lynda Audet (Consumer Medicines, Bristol Myers Squibb, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Joanne C. Miller (Egon Zehnder International, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 February 2003



The purpose of this article was to examine the following three questions: Are women’s leadership styles truly different from men’s? Are these styles less likely to be effective? Is the determination of women’s effectiveness as a leaders fact‐based or a perception that has become a reality? Conclusions revealed: Question one: Yes, women’s leadership style is, at this point, different from men’s but men can learn from and adopt “women’s” style and use it effectively as well. In other words, effective leadership is not the exclusive domain of either gender and both can learn from the other. Question two: No, women’s styles are not at all likely to be less effective; in fact, they are more effective within the context of team‐based, consensually driven organizational structures that are more prevalent in today’s world. Question three: The assessment that a woman’s leadership style is less effective than a man’s is not fact‐based but rather driven, by socialization, to a perception that certainly persists. The inescapable reality is that, within the senior ranks of corporate north America (and elsewhere), women remain conspicuous by their absence.



Appelbaum, S.H., Audet, L. and Miller, J.C. (2003), "Gender and leadership? Leadership and gender? A journey through the landscape of theories", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 43-51.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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