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Abstract

The relationship between sex role stereotypes and characteristics perceived as necessary for management success was examined among 497 male and 328 female management students in the U.S., Great Britain and Germany. Three forms of the 92-item Schein Descriptive Index were used to define sex role stereotypes and characteristics of successful managers. The results revealed that males in all three countries perceive that successful middle managers possess characteristics, attitudes and temperaments more commonly ascribed to men in general than to women in general. The pattern of results among females varied across cultures. German females sex type the managerial position to almost the same degree as the males. British females also sex type the managerial position, but to a lesser extent than their German counterparts. U.S. females do not sex type the managerial position, but see women and men as equally likely to possess characteristics necessary for managerial success. The implications of these outcomes for the advancement of women in management worldwide are discussed.