Women leaders must often battle sexist stereotypes that label them “too emotional” for effective leadership. A surprising new study shows that when they express calm, happy emotions, however, women are perceived as more effective leaders than men. The effect is most pronounced for leaders in top positions in an organization.
The study, conducted by psychology professor Thomas Sy at UC Riverside and management professor Daan van Knippenberg at Drexel University, is the first to examine prototypes for the types of emotions displayed by leaders and concludes that people use implicit theories of leadership emotions when evaluating leader effectiveness.
Cognitive leadership prototypes, known as implicit theories of leadership, have been well-studied. Research consistently finds that effective leaders are seen as intelligent, dynamic, and charismatic, among other qualities. Men are also thought to be seen as possessing more of these qualities than women. [Read more…] about Leader effectiveness may depend on emotional expression
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