Leadership: Why gender and culture matter

Author(s): Ayman R, Korabil K


For decades, understanding of leadership has been largely based on the results of studies carried out on White men in the United States. We review major theories and models of leadership as they pertain to either gender or culture. We focus on 3 approaches to leadership: trait (including leadership categorization or implicit leadership theory), behavioral (including the two-factor, transformational–transactional leadership, and leader–member exchange models), and contingency (i.e., contingency model of leadership effectiveness and normative decision making). We discuss how dynamics related to either culture or gender (e.g., stereotypes and schemas, ingroup–outgroup interaction, role expectations, power and status differentials) can have an important impact on many aspects of leadership.

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