Previous research has demonstrated that women tend to emerge as leaders less often than men. In the present study, we examined to what extent women's and men's preference to lead is influenced by social context. It was hypothesized that women have a less strong preference to lead than men in a competitive social context, but that there will be no gender differences in preference to lead in a cooperative social context. To examine this, an experiment was conducted in which participants were led to believe that they had to perform a task with others that was either more cooperative or more competitive in nature. Subsequently, participants' willingness to be the leader as well as their intentions to display leading behaviors were measured. Our findings largely confirmed our expectations. It was found that women had a less strong preference to lead than men in a competitive context. No such gender differences, however, were found in a cooperative social context. This study provides support for the idea that, to understand gender differences in leadership emergence, it is important to take the leadership context into account.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2014|
|Event||10th European Conference on Management Leadership and Governance - Croatia, Zagreb, Croatia|
Duration: 13 Nov 2014 → 14 Nov 2014
|Conference||10th European Conference on Management Leadership and Governance|
|Period||13/11/14 → 14/11/14|
- Social Context