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What she said, what he said: local elected officials' views of effective leadership behaviors

Lauren Dula (Department of Public Administration, Binghamton University, SUNY , Binghamton, New York, USA)
Maja Husar Holmes (Department of Public Administration, West Virginia University, Morgantown , West Virginia, USA)
Willow S. Jacobson (School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Kristina T. Lambright (Department of Public Administration, Binghamton University, SUNY , Binghamton, New York, USA)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 15 February 2021

Issue publication date: 12 April 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study advances understanding of the behaviors local elected officials believe effective leaders display, whether these behaviors tend to be associated with a particular gender and if beliefs vary by gender.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from focus groups with local elected officials in a US state, participants were asked to identify behaviors of effective elected officials. Focus group demographic data allowed for responses to be matched by the participants' gender.

Findings

Men and women local elected officials differ little in their beliefs about what behaviors make leaders effective. The most commonly mentioned behaviors are more likely to be associated with women or are gender-ambiguous.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the leadership literature by examining local elected officials' beliefs about effective leadership behaviors and if these beliefs differ by a respondent's gender.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Torrie Edwards, School of Education, UNC Chapel Hill, and Patrice Roesler, School of Government, UNC Chapel Hill, for their guidance and assistance with this research project.

Citation

Dula, L., Holmes, M.H., Jacobson, W.S. and Lambright, K.T. (2021), "What she said, what he said: local elected officials' views of effective leadership behaviors", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 133-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPL-10-2020-0107

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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