When Women Lead: Integrative Leadership in State Legislatures

By Cindy Simon Rosenthal | Go to book overview

organizational forms of discrimination, according to Yoder. The proposition of intrusiveness builds on sociologist Peter M. Blau's theorems and corollaries explaining the nature of intergroup contact, association, discrimination, and inequality. 99 Blau deduces that in circumstances with few minorities, the token individuals have the most contact with and thus the best conditions for support from the dominant group. Blau argues that increasing the size of a minority group only decreases individual opportunities for social interaction and increases the likelihood of majority discrimination against a minority.

The numerical proportion of women committee chairs is clearly a fundamental part of understanding leadership experiences and styles. But Yoder, Blau, and Duerst-Lahti and Kelly add critical theoretical nuances that can be summarized in a simple point: Numbers alone do not explain how institutions and organizations respond to new leaders and different styles of leadership. If, as surmised, integrative styles of leadership are more strongly associated with women, then resistance to the integrative mode or to the intrusion by women leaders themselves might well be expected. These theoretical propositions are most clearly illuminated in the case studies.


Conclusion

Several hypotheses guide this research. Because of differences in socialization and background experiences, women committee chairs are expected to differ from their male colleagues in terms of motivation, background, and leadership style. Women committee chairs are expected, as a consequence of different life paths, to be more integrative in their leadership style.

Because legislatures have been historically gendered in masculine terms, women's experiences as committee chairs are likely to differ from those of their male colleagues. Masculinity is also evident through institutional factors that affect leadership style; thus, committee styles are expected to reflect not only how chairs "do leadership" but also how they "do gender." Institutional factors mitigate gender differences and reinforce organizational norms of leadership behavior.

The numerical proportions of men and women in legislatures are expected to have an impact on committee leadership behavior. As occupants of roles that have been traditionally defined by and dominated by men, women committee chairs are likely to experience the performance pressures, isolation, and gender stereotyping associated with tokenism. At the same time, I expect intrusiveness to be evident, particularly when women are few in number and their gender power is limited. Only when both significant numbers and gender power exist will women's leadership styles show their potential to transform leadership within legislatures.

-31-

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When Women Lead: Integrative Leadership in State Legislatures
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Tojim v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • List of Figures and Tables xiii
  • 1 3
  • 2 - Gender, Leadership, and Legislatures: Theoretical Roots 18
  • Conclusion 31
  • 3 - The Origins of Different Committee Styles 32
  • Conclusion 51
  • 4 - The Components of Integrative Leadership: Motivation, Behavior, and Style 54
  • Conclusion 75
  • 5 - The Constraints of Place on Leadership 77
  • Conclusion 94
  • 6 - Oklahoma: Leadership in No-Woman's Land 96
  • Conclusion 115
  • 7 - Ohio: Gender Power in a Time of Leadership Transition 117
  • Conclusion 135
  • 8 - Colorado: Defining the Standards of Leadership 137
  • Conclusion 158
  • 9 - A Vision of Integrative Leadership 159
  • Appendix: Methodology 168
  • Notes 181
  • References 219
  • Index 233
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