Gender Differences in Leadership Essay

1. What are the strongest points of the paper? What do you consider are its main contributions to the field of global people management?

The paper itself has a very interesting purpose with the research question of whether women leaders are “really” different from men leaders. The paper gives a very good introduction in particular giving the literature review in order to get familiar with some basic knowledge on the topic of gender differences in leadership. The review focus combination of stereotypes and cultural differences stresses out well a new viewpoint of the problem, which has not been discussed that widely in prior research.

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Also the introduction of the new notion “stereotype threat”, which actually might be viewed as a partly solution for women sometimes performing not as well as they possibly could is an interesting point for management issues in reality. However the strongest points of the paper are evident. The introduction of the new concept of three paradigms: gender-blind view, gender-conscious view and that perception creates reality are not only the strongest points of the paper, but in my opinion can also be considered as contributions to the field of global people management.

This new paradigms could possibly change the perception of companies, maybe companies will use the tool of the three paradigms to analyse their own structures and be able to improve situations for women, giving them more possibilities.

2. What are the weakest points of the paper? (E.g. What arguments are not strong enough? What is not clear? What is missing?)

Potential drawbacks are that paradigms are introduced, but not sufficiently discussed within. Also the paper gives good examples where they can be found, it could show more proof for their existence apart from summarising and drawing them together from old findings. Also the paper does not find a good way how to manage diversity and to capture it. It does not manage the combination of cost-effective coordination and senility to local cultures. Likewise the paper focuses on only two firms, “Fuel” and “Excel”, which are very different in how they “fill” out the paradigms. In my opinion two firms are not enough, more firms should be reviewed for example in a questionnaire in order to give more support for the findings. Correspondingly the paper does not include a focus on multinational firms, which is very important not to leave out in times of globalization. The last criticism is that the paper is unable to answer it’s paper purpose question “what is the real difference between men and women in leadership”.

3. How could the author make the paper better?

When writing the literature review the could build up the research papers and the gained knowledge chronologically and not going back and forth in the research dates. As the paper is missing some numbers, the technique of hypothesis could have been used, a bigger number of companies questioned in survey style as then a quantitative analysis would exist as evidence for whether the problem exists in real life and whether paradigms can be implied in the general management world. Also the point of view of women on this topic would be very interesting and more expedient. How do women perceive the gender different initiatives, what would they like as support? Also the paper as already mentioned should include a focus on multinational firms and include those in a study.

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