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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2007

Birgit Weyer

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to provide a theoretical explanation for the persistence of the glass ceiling keeping women from assuming leadership positions.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to provide a theoretical explanation for the persistence of the glass ceiling keeping women from assuming leadership positions.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodological approach of this paper is to compare and contrast social role theory and expectation states theory as theoretical underpinnings to explain the persistence of a glass ceiling for women leaders.

Findings

Both social role theory and expectation states theory belong to the structural/cultural models describing differences between the genders. Social role theory and expectation states theory explicate diverse reasons for the emergence of these differences. However, both theories propose that gender differences will result in evaluation bias against women.

Practical implications

As a result of evaluation bias against women, the glass ceiling phenomenon keeping women from assuming top leadership positions continues to occur.

Originality/value

This paper is being written on the 20 year anniversary of the term glass ceiling being coined. It adds to the body of literature by closely examining two structural/cultural theories as possible causes to an invisible barrier which keeps women leaders from entering top level management positions.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

Birgit Weyer

The purpose of this study is to determine if observed ratings on a multi‐source feedback (MSF) instrument reflect the same cognitive constructs of leadership across…

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2100

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to determine if observed ratings on a multi‐source feedback (MSF) instrument reflect the same cognitive constructs of leadership across multiple rating pairs based on rater and ratee gender.

Design/methodology/approach

The independent variables of this quantitative research study are MSF rater and ratee gender. The dependent variables are leadership constructs reflected by MSF ratings. During phase I of the data analysis, five models of leadership constructs are built. During phase II of the data analysis, the five models are compared against each other to discover if the same factors determine the cognitive constructs of leadership comprising each model.

Findings

Findings from this study indicate that constructs of leadership across multiple rating pairs reflect the same cognitive constructs of leadership. Measurement equivalence for the MSF instrument under investigation has been established.

Practical implications

It is concluded that the MSF instrument is free of bias, thus not contributing to the existence of a “glass ceiling” keeping women from entering top‐level leadership positions. The potential for a “social epidemic” in the near future whereby the glass ceiling will be shattered and many women will enter into top leadership positions is confirmed.

Originality/value

Findings are contrary to the conclusions drawn from the literature review of social role theory, expectation states theory, and leadership categorization theory. This study fills a gap in the empirical body of knowledge, by including a large number of female managers.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

Adelina Broadbridge

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984

Abstract

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 August 2007

Adelina Broadbridge

Downloads
2040

Abstract

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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