Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 41 No. 1 (2022): Advancing Women in Leadership Journal

Gender and Organizational Culture: Perceptions of Leadership Style and Effectiveness

July 13, 2018


The purpose of this paper was to demonstrate changes in the definition of effective leadership and present an argument for how the shift relates to evident changes in perceptions of women leaders. Perceptions of effectiveness estimations for female and male executives were compared, while taking into consideration organizational culture. Scenario methodology was used to manipulate gender, leadership styles, and organizational culture through an experimental online survey looking for differences in perceptions of effectiveness. Findings, in part 1, show that female executives were viewed as more transformational than male executives with no significant differences in perceptions of leadership effectiveness. Leadership style mediated relations between leader gender and perceptions of leadership effectiveness. In part 2, organizational culture was shown to increase the associations of gender and leadership style with expectations of effectiveness. Female leaders may over time be perceived as effective as male leaders, if the present shift in definitions of effective leadership styles continue to align with female gender roles and organizational cultures embrace collective practices. However, this paradigmatic change is slow and women continue to be stereotyped in leadership roles. This paper gives an explanation for why nil results are becoming more prevalent in the literature on gender in leadership. 


  1. Abele, A., & Wojciszke, B. (2007). Agency and communion from the perspective of self versus others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 751-763.
  2. Adams, S. M., Guptan, A., & Leeth, J. D. (2009). Are female executives over-represented in precarious leadership positions? British Journal of Management, 20, 1-12.
  3. Avolio, B. J., Bass, B. M., & Jung, D. I. (1999). Re-examining the components of transformational and transactional leadership using the multifactor leadership questionnaire. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 72, 441-462.
  4. Awamleh, R., & Gardner, W. L. (1999). Perceptions of leader charisma and effectiveness: The effects of vision content, delivery, and organizational performance. Leadership Quarterly, 10, 345-373.
  5. Barrow, J. (1977). The variables of leadership: a review and conceptual framework. Academy of Management Review, 2, 231-251.
  6. Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership: Good, better, best. Organizational Dynamics, 13, 26-40.
  7. Bass, B. M. (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision. Organizational Dynamics, 8, 19-31.
  8. Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1993). Transformational leadership and organizational culture. Public Administration Quarterly, 17, 112-121.
  9. Bass, B. M., Riggio, R. E. (2006). Transformational Leadership (2nd ed.). Psychology Press: New York, NY.
  10. Becker-Blease, J. R., Elkinawy, S., & Stater, M. (2010). The impact of gender on voluntary and involuntary executive departure. Economic Inquiry, 48, 1102-1118.
  11. Birnbaum, M. H. (2004). Human research and data collection via the internet. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 803-832.
  12. Cabrera, S. F., Sauer, S. J., & Thomas-Hunt, M. C. (2009). The evolving manager stereotype: The effects of industry gender typing on performance expectations for leaders and their teams. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33, 419-428.
  13. Christman, D., & McClellan, R. (2008). "Living on barbed wire": Resilient women administrators in educational leadership programs. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44, 3-29.
  14. Cuddy, A. J. C., Fiske, S. T., & Glick, P. (2004). When professionals become mothers, warmth doesn't cut the ice. Journal of Social Issues, 60, 701-718.
  15. Cuddy, A. J. C., Fiske, S. T., & Glick, P. (2008). Warmth and competence as universal dimensions of social perception: The Stereotype Content Model and the BIAS Map. In: M. P. Zanna (Ed.) Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 40. New York: Academic Press, pp 61-149.
  16. Cundiff, N. L. (2006, unpublished manuscript). Effect of gender and ethnicity on perceptions of prototypical leadership. Thesis, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL.
  17. Duehr, E. E., & Bono, J. E. (2006). Men, women, and managers: Are stereotypes finally changing? Personnel Psychology, 59, 815-846.
  18. Eagly, A. H. (2005). Achieving relational authenticity in leadership: Does gender matter? The Leadership Quarterly, 16, 459-474.
  19. Eagly, A. H. (2007). Female leadership advantage and disadvantage: Resolving the contradictions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31, 1-12.
  20. Eagly, A. H., & Carli, L. L. (2003). The female leadership advantage: An evaluation of the evidence. Leadership Quarterly, 14, 807-834.
  21. Eagly, A. H., & Carli, L. L. (2007). Through the labyrinth: The truth about how women become leaders. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
  22. Eagly, A. H., & Johannesen-Schmidt, M. C. (2001). The leadership styles of women and men. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 781-797.
  23. Eagly, A. H., & Johnson, B. T. (1990). Gender and leadership style: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 108, 233-256.
  24. Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109, 573-598.
  25. Furst, S. A., & Reeves, M. (2008). Queens of the hill: Creative destruction and the emergence of women as organizational leaders. Leadership Quarterly, 19, 372-384.
  26. Garcia-Retamero, R., & Lopez-Zafra, E. (2006). Prejudice against women in male-congenial environments: Perceptions of gender role congruity in leadership. Sex Roles, 55, 51-61.
  27. Heilman, M. E. (2001). Description and prescription: How gender stereotypes prevent women's ascent up the organizational ladder. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 657-674.
  28. Hofstede, G., & Hofstede, G. J. (2005). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (2nd ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  29. Hogg, M. A. (2001). A social identity theory of leadership. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 184-200.
  30. Hoobler, J. M., Wayne, S. J., & Lemmon, G. (2009). Bosses' perceptions of family-work conflict and women's promotability: Glass ceiling effects. The Academy of Management Journal, 52, 939-957.
  31. Hopkins, M. M., & Bilimoria, D. (2008). Social and emotional competencies predicting success for male and female executives. Journal of Management Development, 27, 13-35.
  32. Hogue, M. & Lord, R. G. (2007). A multilevel, complexity theory approach to understanding gender bias in leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 18, 370-390.
  33. House, R. J., Hanges, P. J., Ruiz-Quintanilla, S. A., Dorfman, P. W., Javidan, M., Dickson, M.; et al. (1999). Cultural influences on leadership and organizations: Project GLOBE. In W. F. Mobley, M. J. Gessner, &V. Arnold (Eds.) Advances in global leadership (Vol.1, pp. 171-233). Stamford, CT: JAI.
  34. Jago, A. G., & Vroom, V. H. (1982). Sex differences in the incidence and evaluation of participative leader behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 67, 776-783.
  35. Judge, T.A., Piccolo, R.F., & Ilies, R. (2004). The forgotten ones? The validity of consideration and initiating structure in leadership research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 36-51.
  36. Kalev, A. (2009). Cracking the glass cages? Restructuring and ascriptive inequality at work. American Journal of Sociology, 114, 1591-1643.
  37. Koenig, A. M., Eagly, A. H., Mitchell, A. A., & Ristikari, T. (2011). Are leader stereotypes masculine? A meta-analysis of three research paradigms. Psychological Bulletin, 137, 616-642.
  38. Landy, F. J. (2008). Stereotypes, bias, and personnel decisions: Strange and stranger. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 1, 379-392.
  39. Lee, P. M., & James, E. H. (2007). She'-e-os: gender effects and investor reactions to the announcements of top executive appointments. Strategic Management Journal, 28, 227-241.
  40. Lord, R. G., & Brown, D. J. (2001). Leadership, values, and subordinate self-concepts. Leadership Quarterly, 12, 133-152.
  41. Lord, R. G., Brown, D. J., & Freiberg, S. J. (1999). Understanding the dynamics of leadership: The role of follower self-concepts in the leader/follower relationship. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 78, 167-203.
  42. Lord, R. G., Brown, D. J., Harvey, J. L., & Hall, R. J. (2001). Contextual constraints on prototype generation and their multilevel consequences for leadership perceptions. Leadership Quarterly, 12, 3311-3338.
  43. Lord, R. G., Foti, R. J., & De Vader, C. L. (1984). A test of leadership categorization theory: Internal structure, information processing, and leadership perceptions. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 34, 343-378.
  44. Lord, R. G., & Maher, K. J. (1993). Leadership and Information Processing: Linking Perceptions and Performance. New York, NY: Rutledge.
  45. Lord, L. A., & Preston, A. (2009). Understanding leadership experiences the need for story sharing and feminist literature as a survival manual for leadership. Gender and Education, 21, 769-777.
  46. Martell, R. F., Lane, D. M., & Emrich, C. (1996). Male-female differences: A computer simulation. American Psychologist, 51, 157-158.
  47. Martins, L. L., Milliken, F. J., Wiesenfeld, B. M., & Salgado, S. R. (2003). Racioethnic diversity and group members' experiences: The role of the racioethnic diversity of the organizational context. Group & Organization Management, 28, 75-106.
  48. Nielsen, S., & Huse, M. (2010). The contribution of women on boards of directors: Going beyond the surface. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 18, 136-148.
  49. Paris, L. D., Howell, J. P., Dorfman, P. W., & Hanges, P. J. (2009). Preferred leadership prototypes of male and female leaders in 27 countries. Journal of International Business Studies, 40, 1396-1405.
  50. Parry, K. W., & Proctor-Thomson, S. B. (2002). Perceived integrity of transformational leaders in organizational settings. Journal of Business Ethics, 35, 75-96.
  51. Paul, J., Costley, D. L., Howell, J. P., Dorfman, P. W., & Trafimow, D. (2001). The effects of charismatic leadership on followers' self-concept accessibility. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31, 1821-1844.
  52. Pirson, M. A., & Lawrence, P. R. (2010). Humanism in business - Towards a paradigm shift. Journal of Business Ethics, 93, 553-565.
  53. Prasad, R. M. (2009). Loan hurdles: Do banks discriminate against women entrepreneurs? Academy of Management Perspectives, 23, 91-93.
  54. Powell, G. N., Butterfield, D. A., & Parent, J. D. (2002). Gender and managerial stereotypes: Have the times changed? Journal of Management, 28, 177-193.
  55. Riggio, R. E., Chaleff, I., & Lipman-Blumen, J. (Eds., 2008). The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Create Great Leaders and Organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  56. Ryan, M. K., & Haslam, S. A., (2007). The glass cliff: Exploring the dynamics surrounding the appointment of women to precarious leadership positions. The Academy of Management Review, 32, 549-572.
  57. Schaffers, H., Gareis, K., Stanoevska-Slabeva, K., & Vartiainen, M. (2008). The role of collaborative working environments in enabling global businesses. Accessed online Feb. 2nd 2011 at
  58. Schein, V. E. (1973). The relationship between sex role stereotypes and requisite management
  59. characteristics. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 57, 95-100.
  60. Schein, V. E. (2001). A global look at psychological barriers to women's progress in management. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 675-688.
  61. Scott, K. A., & Brown, D. J. (2006). Female first, leader second? Gender bias in the encoding of leadership behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 101, 230-242.
  62. Seltzer, J., & Bass, B. M. (1990). Transformational leadership: Beyond initiation and consideration. Journal of Management, 16, 693-703.
  63. Sobel, M. E. (1982). Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. In S. Leinhardt (Ed.), Sociological Methodology, (pp. 290-312). Washington DC: American Sociological Association.
  64. Sobel, M. E. (1986). Some new results on indirect effects and their standard errors in covariance structure analysis. Sociological Methodology, 159-186.
  65. Stanley, C. A. (2009). Giving voice from the perspective of African American women leaders. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 11, 551-561.
  66. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
  67. Triandis, H. C. (2004). The many dimensions of culture. Academy of Management Executive, 18, 88-93.
  68. Tyler, J. M., & McCullough, J. D. (2009). Violating prescriptive stereotypes on job resumes: A self-presentational perspective. Management Communication Quarterly, 23, 272-287.
  69. Yukl, G., O'Donnell, M., & Taber, T. (2009). Influence of leaders' behaviors on the leader-member exchange relationship. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 24, 289-299.