Essay: Conceptual Design of the Dissertation
A study conducted by Caliper, a New Jersey based management consulting firm, determined that women in leadership positions are more persuasive, can take risks, and are driven by a need to get things done (Aalberg & Jenssen, 2000, pp.17-32). This is in stark contrast to the culturally accepted view that women are gentle, nurturing, and empathetic. According to Bickel, ambition, rationality, and decisiveness are associated with men. Grove’s (2005) study offers another revelation; female leaders score higher on social and emotional skills, and further, they score higher ratings of charismatic leadership from their followers than men do.
Gender bias is another issue that has been exhaustively covered by literature. In Norway, for instance, Aalberg & Jenssen (2000) provide evidence that gender equality ranks high. This is despite findings from their study which reveal that male speakers elicit more authority than their female counterparts. A supposition could therefore be made that gender equality in Norway is a necessary intervention by the state in order to level the political playing field (Anne, 2002). Without it, women may not be able to advance to leadership positions based on their leadership qualities (Falk & Kenski, 2003).
It is critical to evaluate the various positions taken by researchers into the traits exhibited by successful women leaders. The purpose of this literature review, therefore, is to elicit a common position among scholars on the prevailing leadership traits in successful women leaders. Further, it will be prudent to examine how women leaders have overcome gender bias. These two issues are an important area of study whose result may offer a model for women aspiring to positions of leadership in the public and private sector.
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