ERIC Number: ED227434
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Sex Differences on Leader Influence and Performance Evaluations.
Knight, Patrick A.; Saal, Frank E.
Although leadership has been a major research topic for decades, the study of women in leadership positions is a recent phenomenon. To examine the effects of selection agent expertise and various gender factors upon the influence and perceived expertise of male and female leaders, and upon group cohesiveness, both male (N=69) and female (N=80) leaders were selected by an agent (male or female, expert or nonexpert) to lead groups whose task involved ranking the importance of areas of study for either a "masculine" or "feminine" academic major. After completing the rankings, group members answered questionnaires and received feedback indicating the group's average ranks and also the leader's ranking. Based on this feedback, students reranked the items and completed a second questionnaire. Data analyses showed that while the influence of the leaders was unaffected by the manipulations, ratings of expertise and group cohesiveness were affected. Leaders selected by experts were given higher expertise ratings than were those selected by nonexperts, as were leaders working on masculine as opposed to feminine tasks. Also, in the feminine task condition, perceived expertise was higher for female leaders chosen by female agents. Cohesiveness ratings were highest for groups with leaders chosen by experts, except for groups with male leaders and masculine tasks, where cohesiveness ratings were higher when the agent was a nonexpert. Given the gender differences found here, ratings of leader characteristics could systematically discriminate against either male or female leaders when compared to influence measures. (Author/PAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).