Social resources at a time of crisis: How gender stereotypes inform gendered leader evaluations

Authors


Correspondence to: Floor Rink, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, Groningen, The Netherlands.

E-mail: f.a.rink@rug.nl

Abstract

Research suggests that women are more likely than men to be selected for leadership positions when organizations are in a performance crisis, a phenomenon labeled the glass cliff. Two scenario studies demonstrate that the glass-cliff effect is attenuated when organizational stakeholders support the decision to appoint a new leader (i.e., indicating that the new leader can rely on social resources). The glass-cliff effect remains when this decision is not fully supported (i.e., indicating that the new leader is unable to rely on social resources). This moderation seems driven by beliefs that men are more likely to possess agentic leadership traits and women more communal leadership traits. When there is no performance crisis, these gendered beliefs are less influential, and thus, social resources do not inform people's leader evaluations. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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