Perceptions of female leadership: An exploration of the views of top university women in Australia and America

Kerry Tilbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The problem with female leadership is that men and women in organisations really do not value it enough. There are many contributors to this current problem. Firstly, the gendered aspect of leadership remains a controversial and contested area within the management literature. Leadership is by no means a gender neutral term. It has been historically defined and maintained by the dominant male, 'heroic' style. There are other complications because even the supporters of female leadership are uneasy with this concept. Additionally, it is difficult to ascertain whether there is a distinctly 'female' style of leadership or if these qualities are part of a generic skill set possessed by all good leaders and managers. Perhaps it is unsurprising that upwardly mobile female executives would be reticent to identify as exemplars of female leadership in a world largely dominated by male leaders. This paper explores these issues and is derived from research which explored the perceptions of 24 top women academic/administrative managers working in Australian and American universities from 1998-2005.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-173
Number of pages12
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Human Resources Management
Volume9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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