A study of women leadership styles and the glass ceiling

by Koneck, Carolyn M., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2006, 107 pages; 3239058


Women have played an integral role in the workforce throughout history; however, they have been dramatically underrepresented in upper management. Women accounted for 50% of all workers in the high paying management, professional, and related occupations (Women in the Labor Force, 2005). Nevertheless, the percentage of women in upper management positions is in the single digits (Tyson, 2003). Research explaining why it is difficult for women to transcend the "Glass Ceiling" (Hymowitz & Schelhardt, 1986) from middle to upper level management remains in its infancy. This study was designed to build upon research on transcending the glass ceiling. This study utilized the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) to assess the leadership styles of women in middle and upper management positions. Transformational and transactional leadership style subscales were compared to the respondent's current management level. This study sought to find if there is a correlation between leadership style and level of management. The MLQ may be utilized solely as a leader self-survey or in conjunction with a survey completed by others that rate the leader. This study employed the leader self-survey to ascertain the leadership style of the respondent. The majority of the women in middle and upper management scored as transformational leadership style. Middle management women were asked if they aspired to upper management. The findings of this study showed that a significant percentage of middle mangers do not aspire to upper level management due to a work-life balance priority. The results of this study imply that women can be gender role congruent and successful simultaneously.

AdviserDeborah Vogele-Welch
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsWomen's studies; Management; Occupational psychology; Gender studies
Publication Number3239058

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