Demographics and leadership philosophy: exploring gender differences

Andrew Korac‐Kakabadse (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Nada Korac‐Kakabadse (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Andrew Myers (International Consultant, Clifton Reynes, Buckinghamshire, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Publication date: 1 July 1998


Leadership philosophy is explored through gender and other demographic characteristics in the Australian Public Service (APS), at the federal government level. Leadership philosophy is conceptualised as the leader’s attitudes, values and behaviour. Gender differences in characteristics of leaders (executives and middle managers) are examined in terms of strategic behaviour, management style, work‐related values, adoption of information technology, perceived organisational morale, family/work conflict and personal, work and family satisfaction. The gender differences are investigated using questionnaire responses from a sample of 750 respondents, of which 569 were male and 145 female. The APS findings are compared with a Cranfield study conducted in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), where gender differences are explored in terms of management and strategic orientation. A sample of 515 chief executives, medical, clinical, HR and financial directors, chairpersons and other non‐executive directors, consists of 406 male and 108 female respondents. The APS study reveals that there are no significant gender differences in the majority of measured characteristics. Similarly in the NHS Trusts study, no significant gender differences are found in terms of management and strategic orientation. The conclusion reached is that other demographic characteristics are influential in forming leadership philosophies, namely job and organisational tenure and experience of senior management responsibilities, thus highlighting the importance of organisational demographics and their impact on leadership attitudes and practice.



Korac‐Kakabadse, A., Korac‐Kakabadse, N. and Myers, A. (1998), "Demographics and leadership philosophy: exploring gender differences", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 351-388.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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