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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




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


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.


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.


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.



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.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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