This investigation examined self-related behavioral differences in terms of broad leadership styles using a methodology that minimized biases inherent in research designs previously employed to investigate this area. Subjects consisted of 40 males and 41 females who served in the role of leader, and who instructed both a male and a female subordinate in a card-sorting task. Experimental sessions were tape-recorded and transcribed, after which judges classified word phrases into various language categories. Factor analysis of the language categories yielded two factors of verbal behavior within a leadership situation: a socially oriented style and a task-oriented style. In contrast to generally accepted stereotypes, results indicated that within the present experimental context male leaders preferred to use phrases that indicated a more social style than female leaders. However, both male and female leaders used language that indicated a task-oriented approach to a significantly greater degree when instructing a female rather than a male subordinate. Implications and interpretations of the results are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology