The question whether women and men differ in leadership styles has been largely discussed in academic as well as popular literature (Eagly and Carli, 2007). However, an overview of the past 30 years of research on gender and leadership still yielded mixed findings on the existence of gender differences in leadership behaviour (Barbuto et al., 2007). These inconsistent findings persist even when focusing only on the new paradigm leadership styles, the so-called ‘full-range leadership theory’ (FRLT). The FRLT is academically acknowledged to adequately assess leadership behaviour because it assesses a ‘full range’ of leadership styles (Avolio and Bass, 2004). The FRLT is mostly measured with the extensively psychometrically tested measure ‘the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire’, covering effective transformational leadership, transactional leadership and ineffective laissez-faire leadership. Roughly sketched, a transformational leader intrinsically motivates co-workers to contribute to the realization of the organization’s goals whereas a transactional leader falls back on trade-offs to make sure that the targets are met. A laissez-faire leader fails to assume leadership responsibility.
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