Who Leads More and Why? A Mediation Model from Gender to Leadership Role Occupancy

Journal of Business Ethics 139 (3):473-483 (2016)
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Previous research has shown that female leaders lead slightly more effective than male leaders. However, women are still underrepresented in higher management. In this study, we seek to contribute to a deeper understanding of this paradox by proposing and testing an innovative model that integrates different research streams on gender and leadership. Specifically, we propose power motivation and transformational leadership as two central yet opposing dynamics that underlie the relation between gender and leadership role occupancy. We tested this model in a sample of 256 employees. Results provided support for the proposed relations. These findings contribute to a more detailed and comprehensive understanding for central dynamics that link gender and leadership role occupancy. Moreover, they provide important insights for interventions that are targeted at reducing the gender gap in leadership. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.



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