Cultivating Innovation through Female Leadership: The Malaysian Perspective

  •  Aida Idris    


Research indicates that innovation thrives under certain leadership styles.  However, existing typologies of leadership style do not adequately describe the female perspective, especially in a non-western society such as Malaysia.  The objective of the study, therefore, is to examine how Malaysian women entrepreneurs lead their employees and influence other stakeholders towards building an innovative organizational culture.   Due to the intended depth of the analysis, a qualitative approach is considered more suitable.  Based on the responses four distinct styles of female leadership are identified, which demonstrate that at least where innovation is concerned female leadership styles do not neatly fit into existing typologies.  Findings of the study have several theoretical and practical implications; in particular they provide direction on training issues to policy-makers and managers, as well as researchers in the areas of culture, gender, leadership and innovation.

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