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Gender and managerial level differences in perceptions of effective leadership

Michael K. Muchiri (School of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Arts, Business, Informatics and Education, CQUniversity, Rockhampton, Australia)
Ray W. Cooksey (School of Business Economics and Public Policy, University of New England, Armidale, Australia)
Lee V. Di Milia (School of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Arts, Business, Informatics and Education, CQUniversity, Rockhampton, Australia)
Fred O. Walumbwa (W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 19 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine gender‐ and management‐ level differences in perceptions of effective leadership within a framework of new leadership models that focus on the processes of influencing self and others rather than leadership based on hierarchy.

Design/methodology/approach

A self‐report questionnaire was distributed to a sample of council employees. The responses were analysed using thematic matrix displays.

Findings

Males and non‐management employees (when compared with female and management) perceived effective leadership as that which emphasises fairness, equality and honesty, develops staff, fosters workplace harmony, and is trustworthy. Female employees emphasised communication, decision‐making ability, and supporting the leader as being important to how a work unit could contribute to organizational leadership effectiveness. Employees at the management level underscored vision, supporting the leader, and integrity as being important to how a work unit could contribute to organizational leadership effectiveness. Female and non‐management employees highlighted employee development, contingent reward, communication and vision as being central to how organizational leadership could contribute to the effectiveness of the work unit.

Originality/value

Unlike the literature that differentiates between charismatic and transformational forms of leadership, this paper views these two constructs as both being components of transformational leadership.

Keywords

Citation

Muchiri, M.K., Cooksey, R.W., Di Milia, L.V. and Walumbwa, F.O. (2011), "Gender and managerial level differences in perceptions of effective leadership", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 462-492. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731111146578

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited