Get access

Leadership, Gender and Sense-making

Authors

  • Louise Grisoni,

    Corresponding author
    1. Bristol Business School, University of the West of England
      *Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1QY, e-mail: Louise.Grisoni@uwe.ac.uk
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mick Beeby

    1. Bristol Business School, University of the West of England
    Search for more papers by this author

*Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1QY, e-mail: Louise.Grisoni@uwe.ac.uk

Abstract

This article examines the nature of sense-making processes in teams and considers the extent to which leadership as a sense-making process is impacted by gender. We conducted an in-depth inquiry into the decision-making behaviour of two single-gender teams and a third, mixed gender team, as they worked together to produce gender-specific leadership schema in an experimental setting. Our research question was, ‘To what extent is leadership as a sense-making process impacted by gender?’ The article reports on the design, conduct and outcomes of this research project. We found that using a meeting as part of the research method created a specific instance of a gendered organizational context exerting a dominant and directive influence on individual and collective behaviour. The current trend toward team-based leadership is likely to involve more meetings with increasing numbers of women in senior positions. This suggests to us that men and women need to be alert to the possibility that the gendered nature of meetings may be acting as a barrier to the expression of feminine forms of leadership.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary