First Advisor

Dean Frost

Term of Graduation

Spring 1995

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Leadership -- Sex differences, Leadership -- Psychological aspects, Self-presentation



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 65 pages)


Leadership has traditionally been associated with masculine sex-type characteristics. Feminine characteristics have been undervalued or even viewed as a liability. One result of this is a diminished number of women in leadership roles.

Masculine sex-typed characteristics, such as self-reliance, assertiveness and analysis are associated with task-oriented behavior or a production emphasis. However, organizational research has shown that the most effective leaders engage in not only task-oriented behavior but also relationship-oriented behavior. Consideration for employees, or relationship-oriented behavior, has been associated with feminine sex-type characteristics (e.g., compassionate, loyal, and understanding). Thus research indicates that, contrary to popular belief, an individual who displays both masculine sex-typed behaviors (e.g., initiating structure) and feminine sex-typed behaviors (e.g., consideration), would be the most effective leader. This person's psychological gender, as identified by the Bern Sex Role Inventory, would be androgynous. In addition, it has been hypothesized that those individuals who are high self-monitors, or who are the most adaptive to a group's environmental needs would serve as the best leader. This study, then, examines how the presence of androgyny and high self-monitoring affect the leader emergence and leader behavior in small, long-term, work groups.

The results of this study provide few new contributions to the field. In almost all cases, hypotheses were not supported by significant differences in groups of subjects based on psychological gender and self-monitoring. However, differences in outcome measure means, although not significant, were often in the expected direction. Furthermore, exploratory analyses suggest that if the sample size had been larger, many of the hypothesized relationships would have been supported by the results. As suggested above, the sample size, which was smaller than expected, was deemed insufficient to draw out significant relationships.

Suggestions for further research include a larger sample size, the inclusion of variables such as power bases and flexibility, and, in defining leadership for the subjects, a stronger emphasis on process activity.


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