Perceptions of female leadership: An exploration of the views of top university women

Kerry Tilbrook

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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The gendered aspect of leadership remains a controversial and contested area of the management literature. Leadership is by no means a gender neutral term. Nevertheless, 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. 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. One of the findings from this research was that many of the top women were reluctant to describe themselves as possessing a distinctive 'female' style of leadership. Despite this reluctance to categorise their leadership as gendered, they were happy to acknowledge a distinctive perspective that women bring to organisational life such as a willingness to be change agents and a preference for less authoritarian leadership styles within organisations. It is argued here that this still represents a divergence from prevailing managerial styles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication22nd ANZAM Conference
Subtitle of host publicationManaging in the Pacific century
EditorsMarie Wilson
Place of PublicationAustralia
Pages1-18 CD ROM
ISBN (Electronic)1863081488
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAustralian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference - Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand
Duration: 02 Dec 200805 Dec 2008


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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