ERIC Number: ED193125
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Political Leadership for Women: A Statement of the Case, An Education in Tactics.
Browning, Larry Davis; Gilchrist, James Allen
This paper reports on a study of the components of political leadership and emphasizes problems of women in attaining positions of political leadership. The authors use the term political leadership to describe the decision-making mechanism within organizations. First they review their survey of the personnel of a large organization. Respondents were asked how they thought about their organization in terms of issues including politics, satisfaction and loyalty, organizational flexibility, and perceptions of elitism. Responses of men and women were compared. The more women saw the organization as being political, the more likely they were to view it in a negative (elite) rather than positive (flexible) way and the less likely they were to be satisfied and loyal to it. Men saw the organization as political and were more positive and satisfied at higher levels within it. A review of literature revealed that political behavior is predominant at high levels of decision making within organizations and that informal friendship and information-sharing coalitions are vital to successful leaders. Women are poorly prepared for high level leadership positions because of their early socialization to be nurturing, role conflicts between masculine and feminine behaviors, and the tendency of male leaders to want to keep their power cliques homogeneous. The authors suggest that women seeking political leadership develop coalitions to generate support, operate opportunistically, disclose positions strategically, always have an option when negotiating, use humor, and be clear on willingness to take risks. (AV)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Comparative Analysis, Decision Making, Females, Group Dynamics, Leadership Qualities, Males, Organizational Climate, Organizations (Groups), Political Power, Power Structure, Research Methodology, Role Conflict, Role Perception, Sex Differences, Social Science Research, Socialization
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.