Gender and the motivation to lead : what we know from studies of entrepreneurial, professional and leadership in the 21st century
Chan, Kim Yin
Ho, Moon-Ho Ringo
Date of Issue2013
Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (16th : 2013)
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Gatzka, Elprana, Stiehl, & Felfe (2009) noted that past attempts to explain the under-representation of women in leadership positions worldwide have neglected the motivational aspects of leadership. In their structured interviews with 50 organizational leaders, male managers rated the motivation to lead (MTL) as significantly more essential to attaining leadership positions than females. No gender differences were found for self-rated MTL. Our present study examines gender differences in MTL as measured psychometrically using the entrepreneurial, professional and leadership (EPL) motivation scales developed by Chan et al. (2012). Using 2 different datasets, we examine the gender differences for MTL and the extent to which gender differences in MTL may be explained by leadership self-efficacy and general career motivation. We observe significant, lower MTL for female as opposed to male university students, and that this difference is accounted for by self-reported leadership efficacy. This pattern of findings is also observed with entrepreneurial and professional motivation. Our findings are limited to students in Singapore. Implications of these findings for the study of gender and leadership are discussed. Our paper enhances the understanding of gender differences and leadership within the broader framework of EPL career aspirations and motivation in the 21st century.
© 2013 16th Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP).