Respectful leadership: Reducing performance challenges posed by leader role incongruence and gender dissimilarity

Suzanne van Gils*, Niels Van Quaquebeke, Jan Borkowski, Daan van Knippenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

We investigate how respectful leadership can help overcome the challenges for follower performance that female leaders face when working (especially with male) followers. First, based on role congruity theory, we illustrate the biases faced by female leaders. Second, based on research on gender (dis-)similarity, we propose that these biases should be particularly pronounced when working with a male follower. Finally, we propose that respectful leadership is most conducive to performance in female leader-male follower dyads compared with all other gender configurations. A multi-source field study (N = 214) provides partial support for our hypothesis. While our hypothesized effect was confirmed, respectful leadership seems to be generally effective for female leaders irrespective of follower gender, thus lending greater support in this context to the arguments of role congruity rather than gender dissimilarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1590-1610
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Relations
Volume71
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • gender dissimilarity
  • respectful leadership
  • role congruity theory
  • RELATIONAL DEMOGRAPHY
  • FEMALE LEADERS
  • THINK-MANAGER
  • TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP
  • ORGANIZATIONAL ATTACHMENT
  • PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS
  • STEREOTYPE CONTENT
  • SUBORDINATE DYADS
  • JOB-SATISFACTION
  • MEMBER EXCHANGE

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