Gender typing in stereotypes and evaluations of actual managers

Hanna Li Kusterer (Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)
Torun Lindholm (Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)
Henry Montgomery (Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 28 June 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine gender‐related management stereotypes, perceived gender bias and evaluations of actual managers, and to directly compare stereotypes and ratings of actual managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were distributed to employees in the bank and insurance sector, and 240 participants rated their actual managers and stereotypes of male and female managers.

Findings

Men evaluated the female manager stereotype more positively on communal attributes, and the male manager stereotype more positively on agentic attributes. Women evaluated the female manager stereotype more positively on both communal and agentic attributes, but perceived a higher degree of gender bias in favor of male managers than men did. Actual male and female managers were rated similarly. Still, ratings of actual male managers corresponded more with stereotypes of male than female managers, and ratings of actual female managers corresponded more with stereotypes of female than male managers.

Research limitations/implications

Future research needs to determine the direction of association between stereotypes and evaluations of actual managers, and the relative importance of agentic over communal attributes.

Practical implications

While women appeared biased in favor of their own gender, men may underestimate the difficulties that female managers encounter. Managers and human resource practitioners should notice these different views, and recognize that gender equality is not achieved in Sweden.

Originality/value

The present study contributes with data from an egalitarian society with a positive view of female managers, and a direct comparison of stereotypes and workplace evaluations.

Keywords

Citation

Li Kusterer, H., Lindholm, T. and Montgomery, H. (2013), "Gender typing in stereotypes and evaluations of actual managers", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 561-579. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-01-2013-0012

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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