When Women Lead: Integrative Leadership in State Legislatures

By Cindy Simon Rosenthal | Go to book overview

example, considers 1,600 bills each biennium compared with Oklahoma's 2,500 bills and Colorado's 1,100.

But in Ohio's committee rooms, another manifestation of legislative professionalization reinforces an aggregative approach in the sense of emphasizing expertise, autonomous judgment, and separation through hierarchy. Ohio's hearing process has become a highly formalized ritual. Committees literally sit in courtroom-like surroundings, and members array themselves in a line across a dais and peer down on lobbyists and interest groups that come as supplicants. Hearing testimony over a series of separate hearings, legislative committees take on the unmistakable ambiance of a courtroom. It is a highly open process but not a collective one. Give-and-take over issues takes place elsewhere. There is none of the public intimacy of Colorado's hearing rooms, or even the interaction among committee members as you might see around an Oklahoma committee table. In short, the facilities convey a clear hierarchy and separation, a sense of the politician as "professional." The formal procedures communicate order, autonomy, rationality, and a top-down orientation to policy.

Finally, party divisions in Ohio have given rise to both integrative and aggregative styles. Speaker Davidson uses listening, patience, and education to bring together her ideologically divided and fractious Republican caucus. As one of few rural, smalltown legislators within a largely-urban and regionally divided Democratic Party, former Speaker Riffe built a system of power based on reciprocity--"you support me, and I'll support you." That is not to imply the Republican Party is more amenable to integrative leadership and the Democratic Party to more classically aggregative leadership. Rather, the Ohio context suggests that an absence of party cohesion does not dictate one leadership approach or another. Both styles have the capacity to be attentive to individual members, to deal with more diffuse interests, and to respond to the demands of a "therapeutic" culture. 96


Conclusion

Ohio's history, political background, and legislative institution do not dictate a clear preference for any one style of leadership; indeed, its history cites examples of both integrative and aggregative styles. The serendipitous intersection of place, time, and person, however, bode well for the integrative styles characterized by the current group of women chairs. But in a future of term limits, no one can expect to hold power for long.

In 1995, the evidence of transition around the state house was everywhere. Someone added a handwritten amendment to a sign hanging in the construction area of the capitol restoration project: Caution Women & Men Working Above. One of the first floor amendments that Speaker Davidson allowed from the minority party added gender-neutral language to existing statutes about

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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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