J Appl Psychol 2014 Nov 28;99(6):1129-45. Epub 2014 Apr 28.
Department of Management, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Despite evidence that men are typically perceived as more appropriate and effective than women in leadership positions, a recent debate has emerged in the popular press and academic literature over the potential existence of a female leadership advantage. This meta-analysis addresses this debate by quantitatively summarizing gender differences in perceptions of leadership effectiveness across 99 independent samples from 95 studies. Results show that when all leadership contexts are considered, men and women do not differ in perceived leadership effectiveness. Yet, when other-ratings only are examined, women are rated as significantly more effective than men. In contrast, when self-ratings only are examined, men rate themselves as significantly more effective than women rate themselves. Additionally, this synthesis examines the influence of contextual moderators developed from role congruity theory (Eagly & Karau, 2002). Our findings help to extend role congruity theory by demonstrating how it can be supplemented based on other theories in the literature, as well as how the theory can be applied to both female and male leaders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).