The purpose of this research is to explore and examine the differences in approaches in implementing organizational changes based on the gender of the leader. The gender differences in leadership need to be acknowledged, studied, and embraced for organizations to reach their full potential. …
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According to the research findings there has been a growing involvement of women in the workforce in recent decades and they can be seen participating actively in business and economic development. However, there still exists an imbalance in the male-female ratio in the workforce, and there is a substantial earnings gap between the genders. This inequality is more apparent in the case of women in management. The smaller number of women in top management is indicative of the fact that women do not get to climb the higher echelons in organizations easily. Some researchers call this situation as the glass ceiling, indicating that women, who are meritorious and capable, too may not be able to break the ceiling and enter the realm of top management because of their gender. There has been some research undertaken to assess the reason for the existence of a glass ceiling – or the lack of women who are deemed qualified to occupy positions in upper management. Men are often considered to be more competent than women and it is presumed that men have the leadership qualities that are needed at the higher positions. Researchers have found masculine organizational culture, which is hostile to the female workers, is also responsible for curbing the growth of female leaders. Men are thought to adopt a masculine leadership style, and even women who do pass through the glass ceiling, are expected to keep away from exhibiting their feminine side (Pai and Vaidya, 2009). Ragins, Singh, and Cornwell (2007) explained that while business organizations are struggling to hold on to their best and brightest women, the persistence of the glass ceiling makes retaining top-notch female talents challenging. Dismantling the glass ceiling requires an accurate understanding of the overt and subtle barriers to advancement faced by women, and the strategies used to overcome these barriers. Women leaders are often considered to be passive, overly relationship-oriented and emotionally unstable (Northouse, 2009). On the other hand, male leaders are often observed as aggressive, direct and task oriented - qualities which are perceived as attributes of good leaders (Weyer, 2007). The available research has indicated that the general concept of leadership may be one-dimensional and perceived from a masculine point of view (Pai and Vaidya, 2009; Kargwell, 2008; Weyer, 2007; Tibus, 2010; Caykoylu, 2010; Biernat, 2003). The masculine leaders are considered to be more task-oriented and exercise their authority to discipline, correct or reward the employees on the basis of the employees performance (Spurgeon and Cross, 2008). Men are associated with this masculine style of leadership owing to their gender (Thewlis, Miller and Neathy, 2004), while women are considered to follow a more feminine approach which involves being passive and giving importance to relationships over tasks (Thomas and Thomas, 2008). There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that a more relationship oriented leadership style leads to better employee motivation and performance in
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