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At the end of the road? On differences between women and men in leadership behaviour

Jon Aarum Andersen (Faculty of Social Sciences, Lillehammer University College, Lillehammer, Norway)
Per H. Hansson (Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 19 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore behavioural differences between women and men in managerial positions and suggest explanations for differences and similarities.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to eliminate any effects of organizational differences on leadership behaviour, this study had public managers responding to questionnaires that measured their leadership style, decision‐making style, and motivation profile.

Findings

Statistical analyses of data from three groups of Swedish public managers (n=385) revealed virtually no significant differences in behaviour between female and male managers. Regardless of whether there is a female or male majority of employees or a female or male majority of managers, no effect on leadership behaviour occurs.

Originality/value

A number of studies indicate that managers' behaviour is different in different types of organizations. This study suggests, therefore, that, independent of gender, organizational and demographic characteristics modify leadership behaviours, thus explaining similarities in leadership behaviour.

Keywords

Citation

Aarum Andersen, J. and Hansson, P.H. (2011), "At the end of the road? On differences between women and men in leadership behaviour", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 428-441. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731111146550

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited