Assessing the Leadership Styles of Male and Female Academics in Leadership Positions: Does Gender Matter (Published)
This study assessed the leadership styles of male and female heads of departments in a Nigerian State university. This was done to ascertain whether differences exist in the way both sexes lead and whether the way women lead account for their under representation in leadership positions. Data from both primary and secondary sources were utilized for this study. The primary data was derived through the administration of the Multifactor leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) on 90 randomly selected academic staff in subordinate positions from 7 purposively selected faculties in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria. The retrieved data were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics in the form of percentages, means, Cronbach alpha and Mann Whitney U test. It was found that both the male and female heads of departments utilized more of the transformational (males x̅=4.35; females x̅=4.50), democratic (males x̅=4.15; females x̅=4.13), transactional (males x̅=3.76; females x̅=3.59) and laissez-fair (males x̅=3.29; females x̅=3.06) leadership styles, as evident in their high mean scores. There was no significant difference (P>0.)5) in the leadership styles of both sexes. Women were found to lead in ways that are effective and the styles they adopted did not account for their under representation. The study concluded that the university should develop strategies for increasing the number of women in leadership positions since they were found to lead in ways that are effective; and investigate the factors that account for their under representation.
Since the coming into force of the 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana, women are being encouraged and empowered to take up leadership position and to take active part in decision making process like their male counterparts. However, women leaders are faced with many challenges in the performance of their responsibilities. This study, therefore, sought to find out the female leaders’ gendered perceptions and challenges facing them in educational leadership positions in the Sunyani West District of Ghana. The qualitative research approach was adopted using the case study design. The study was guided by these questions: (1) How do females in educational leadership positions perceive leaders?, and (2) What are the challenges facing women in school leadership positions? The study is delimited to perception of women in leadership and their challenges in educational setting in the Sunyani West District. Twenty participants comprising heads of senior high schools, departmental heads, senior housemistresses and female circuit supervisors were purposively sampled for the study. Interview and observation were employed for the data collection. Triangulation was employed to test the consistency of findings obtained through the different instruments used. The data was analysed through thematic approach. The findings of the study revealed that family factors and traditional male / female power relations constitute serious challenges to female educational leaders. Women in educational leadership positions are facing challenges due to roles conflict resulting from roles they play as mothers, wives, daughters and managers. Cultural beliefs and traditional perceptions on gender roles continue to serve as a barrier to women leaders. These challenges constitute social constraints that overshadow their leadership qualities. Negative self-judgement and its associated stereotypic conceptions of females in leadership dampen their competencies and make them feel inadequate. It therefore became evident that, there should be an urgent need to discourage the unfair, unjust and unequal treatment sometimes meted out on women when opportunity is given to them to become leaders. Women leaders should be encouraged by society to face and surmount these challenging realities in order to take their rightful place in leadership arena.