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The leader in social network schema: Perceptions of network structure affect gendered attributions of charisma

Brands, RA; Menges, J; Kilduff, M; (2015) The leader in social network schema: Perceptions of network structure affect gendered attributions of charisma. Organization Science , 26 (4) pp. 1210-1225. 10.1287/orsc.2015.0965. Green open access

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Abstract

Charisma is crucially important for a range of leadership outcomes. Charisma is also in the eye of the beholder – an attribute perceived by followers. Traditional leadership theory has tended to assume charismatic attributions flow to men rather than women. We challenge this assumption of an inevitable charismatic bias toward men leaders. We propose that gender-biased attributions about the charismatic leadership of men and women are facilitated by the operation of a leader-in-social-network schema. Attributions of charismatic leadership depend on the match between the gender of the leader and the perceived structure of the network. In three studies encompassing both experimental and survey data we show that when team advice networks are perceived to be centralized around one or a few individuals, women leaders are seen as less charismatic than men leaders. However, when networks are perceived to be cohesive (many connections among individuals), it is men who suffer a charismatic leadership disadvantage relative to women. Perceptions of leadership depend not only on whether the leader is a man or a woman, but also on the social network context in which the leader is embedded.

Type: Article
Title: The leader in social network schema: Perceptions of network structure affect gendered attributions of charisma
Location: US
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2015.0965
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2015.0965
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this work, but you must attribute this work as “Organization Science. Copyright 2015 INFORMS. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2015.0965, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.”
Keywords: Leadership, social networks, cognitive bias, social psychology, gender, hierarchy, cohesion
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1460497
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