The effects of stereotypical communication on the perception of leadership behavior for male and female leaders
Willis, Toni L.
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The goal of the present study was to investigate how affiliative and agentic styles of communication affect the perception of leadership behavior (initiating structure and consideration) for male and female leaders. One hundred and thirty students from SUNY New Paltz participated in this study. Four scenarios, each containing the description of either a male or female leader using an affiliative or an agentic style of communication were developed for this study. The Initiating Structure and Consideration subscales from the LBDQ XII were administered to measure perception of leadership behavior. A 2x2 MANOVA was used to analyze the effects of gender and communication styles on the perception of consideration and initiating structure behaviors for described leaders. There was a main effect found for both gender and communication style on the perception of initiating structure behaviors. Additionally, a main effect for communication style and an interaction between communication and leader gender was found for consideration behaviors. These results demonstrate the way in which implicit prototypes and stereotypes generate expectancies that contribute to the overestimation and underestimation of leadership behavior for both male and female leaders.