The impact of gender on global leadership effectiveness: Building a model for female global leaders

by Hoffman, Margot L., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 200 pages; 3554837


The primary focus of this study was to identify the characteristics of leadership effectiveness for women in senior global leadership positions and propose a theoretical framework describing the relationship among these characteristics. The qualitative grounded theory study analyzed the extent female leaders need different skills to be effective global leaders and key skills and behaviors they need to advance into and be effective in global leadership roles. Ten women and 12 men, who have successfully ascended into global senior leadership positions in U.S.-based multinational companies, contributed to the findings by providing valuable insight based on their experiences. The study revealed in principle that men and women require the same skills to be effective global leaders. However, the reality is that female managers require additional skills to overcome a number of unique challenges they encounter as they advance up the corporate ladder. Two theories that are grounded in the data were introduced in this study. The first theory, the fractured ladder, conceptualizes the path female managers need to navigate to advance into global leadership positions. The second theory is a taxonomy for effective global leadership, which provides a framework for global leaders to be effective in their roles and applies to both genders. The taxonomy is founded on core values and principles with adaptation skills at the apex and a common trait consisting of energy, drive and focus threaded throughout all the attributes. A consensus was not reached on the relationship of the remaining attributes, which include communication and team building, business knowledge and savvy, cultural intelligence and global mindset, and inquisitiveness and learner. This is likely because the relationships depend on the specific role of the global executive and where they are located in the organization.

AdviserJanet Salmons
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsWomen's studies; Management; Gender studies
Publication Number3554837

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