Gender, Nationality and Leadership Style: A Literature Review

  •  Inga Minelgaite Snaebjornsson    
  •  Ingi Edvardsson    


The aim of this paper is to review research available on gender and nationality as determinants of leadership
style, with special focus on top leaders/managers. The paper is based on a systematic literature review. The
systematic literature search resulted in 27 papers, that were grouped in five categories: 1) Leaders’
characteristics, behavior and style, 2) Perception regarding leaders, their traits and leadership styles, 3)
Women’s barriers towards leader positions, 4) Leadership outcome/results, 5) Effect of research methods on
leader evaluation. Questionnaires were the most used research method in the reviewed studies. Almost half of
the papers focus on the US, while the rest deal with African, Asian, and European countries. In this review, we
found that women and men have a very similar perception of a successful manager. However, women and men
display differences in their leader behavior and characteristics, and way of leading. “Results/outcomes” of such
a leadership can differ. The review shows, furthermore, that a glass ceiling and other barriers for women do still
exist.The paper ends by identifying the needs for further research in the study area.

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