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Is Transformational Leadership Always Perceived as Effective? Male Subordinates' Devaluation of Female Transformational Leaders


Roya Ayman, Institute of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, 3101 South Dearborn, Room 252, Chicago, IL 60616. E-mail:


This study investigated the impact of the gender composition of the leader–subordinate dyad on the relationship between leaders' transformational leadership behavior and their subordinates' ratings of the leaders' effectiveness. There were 109 dyads of leaders (58 male, 51 female) paired with a subordinate who was either the same or a different gender from themselves. The relationship between a leader's self-report on transformational leadership and their subordinates' evaluation of their performance was significantly less positive for female leaders with male subordinates than for female leaders with female subordinates. The male and female subordinates of male leaders rated their performance as equally effective, regardless of their levels of transformational leadership.