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As women increasingly enter leadership roles that traditionally have been occupied mainly by men, the possibility that the leadership styles of women and men differ continues to attract attention. The focus of these debates on sameness versus difference can obscure the array of causal factors that can produce differences or similarities. Adopting the perspective of social role theory, we offer a framework that encompasses many of the complexities of the empirical literature on the leadership styles of women and men. Supplementing Eagly and Johnson's (1990) review of the interpersonally oriented, task-oriented, autocratic, and democratic styles of women and men, we present new data concerning the transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles.