Session Information

26 SES 09 A

Paper Session


Room:U40 SALI 7, Metsätalo

Chair:Helen Wildy


Gender Differences in Transformational Leadership: Are Female Principals more Transformational Leaders than Males?

Different dimensions of leadership have emerged over the years. The most prominent paradigm among these is transformational leadership (TL). Transformation occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivations and morality (Burns, 1978). Transformational leaders attempt to raise the needs of followers and promote dramatic changes of individuals, groups, and organizations. Bass (1985) also mentioned that transformational leaders motivate followers to performance beyond expectations. Such a transformation could be achieved by raising the awareness of the value of designated outcomes, getting followers to transcend their own self-interests, or expanding follower’s needs on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Bass (1985) also suggested that there were four different components of TL: 1) Intellectual Stimulation (IS): leader challenge the status quo and also encourage creativity among followers. He/she encourages followers to explore new ways of doing and new opportunities to learn. 2) Individualized Consideration (IC): leader involves offering support and encouragement to individual followers. In order to foster supportive relationships, transformational leaders keep lines of communication open so that followers feel free to share ideas and so that leaders can offer direct recognition of each follower’s unique contributions. 3) Inspirational Motivation (IM): Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are able to articulate to followers. These leaders are also able to help followers experience the same passion and motivation to fulfill these goals. 4) Idealized Influence (II): The transformational leaders serve as a role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the leader, they emulate the leader and internalize his or her ideals. TL behavior in managers has been widely linked to positive individual and organizational consequences, typically, with higher trust and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) of their employees (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Trust has defined as faith in and loyalty to the manager. Also OCB is generally conceptualized as behaviors related to the work place but are discretionary, that is, are not part of the formal organizational reward system but promote the effective functioning of the organization. TL, behaving in ways that bring out the best in individuals and organizations, may be an androgynous style. But this leadership style includes those relationship-oriented behaviors that female are somewhat more likely than men to claim, as well as task-oriented ones that help groups reach important goals. Empirical evidence surrounding the gender differences in TL is relatively scarce. However it has been suggested that females may be more transformational than males. Despite of evidences which emphasis on female advantages, research about differences of male and female principals in TL and teacher related consequences have yield contradictory findings and cannot provide clear response to this question as: are women and men therefore equally likely to be transformational leaders or does one sex having a slight advantage? The purpose of this study is to examine male and female principal's differences in TL components and their effect on trust in principal (TIP) and OCB of teachers.


A sample including 400 teachers (200 female and 200 male) and 77 principals (36 female and 41 male) of primary school of Tehran city were randomly selected. Data were collected through 3 questionnaires: 1) Multifactor leadership Questionnaire (MLQ: 5X – 5hort) (Bass & Avolio, 2000) for measuring TL of principals 2) Omnibus T-Scale (Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 2003) for measuring teacher TIP 3) OCB scale (DiPaola, Tarter & Hoy, 2005) for measuring OCB of teachers Teachers were respondents to the TL and TIP and principals were respondents to the OCB questionnaire. Two-way factorial analysis of variance was used to assess the gender differences in components of TL and path analysis was used to examine impact of components on TIP and OCB of teachers.

Expected Outcomes

Results indicated that in female principals average of components including II (F: 14.210 P< .01), IM (F: 25.438 P< .01), IS (F: 5.680 P< .01) and IC (F: 11.121 P< .01) was higher than males significantly. Teachers rated females as more transformational than males. Results of path analysis showed that in female principals impact of components on TIP and OCB is higher than males. Female principals' advantage in TL may be due to the following reasons: - Females are perceived as transformational more often than males. - Females as a group are relations-oriented and other-oriented than males - Females may be more devoted to individual follower development than males - Females highlight responsibility and care but males highlight rights and justice - Females tend to be less self-serving authoritarians than males - Females are less conforming, more self-confident, and more likely to take risks - Positive qualities such as sensitivity, nurturance, emotional expressiveness and individualized consideration are more associated with the feminine stereotype. Results of study have positive implications for the future of women in school administration position and also indicate that TL required a gender balance rather than the traditional leadership stereotype of masculinity.


- Bass, B.M., Avolio, B.J., & Atwater, L. (1996). The transformational and transactional leadership of men and women. International Review of Applied Psychology, 45, 5-34. - Bass,B. M,(1985). Leadership and Performance. N. Y,: Free Press - Burns, J.M. (1978). Leadership. N.Y: Harper and Raw. - Carless, S. A. (1998). Gender differences in transformational leadership: An examination of superior, leader, and subordinate perspectives. Sex Roles, 39, 887–902. - Eagly, A. H., & Carli, L. L. (2003). The female leadership advantage: An evaluation of the evidence. The Leadership Quarterly, 14, 807–834. - Eagly, A. H., & Johannesen-Schmidt, M. C. (2001). The leadership styles of women and men. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 781–797. - Eagly, A. H., Johannesen-Schmidt, M. C., & van Engen, M. L. (2003). Transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles: A meta-analysis comparing men and women. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 569–591. - Eagly, A.H. & Johnson, B.T. (1990). Gender and leadership style: a meta-analysis, Psychological Bulletin, 108, 233-56. - Eagly, A.H., Karau, S.J. & Johnson, B.T. (1992). Gender and leadership style among school principals: a meta-analysis, Educational Administration Quarterly, 28(1), 76-102. - Eby, B. J. (2004). Effective women principals: Transformational leadership in urban settings. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati. - Kark, R. (2004), The transformational leader: who is (s)he? A feminist perspective. Journal of Organizational change Management, 17, 160-176. - Rice, J.B. (1993). Transactional and transformational leadership: an analysis of male and female leadership styles in Delaware public schools. Abstract of EdD dissertation completed at Widener University, Pennsylvania. - Shakeshaft, K. (1989). Women in Educational Administration. Corwin Press, Newbury Park, CA. - Vanderwerf, A. C. (2007). Women and transformational leadership. Undergraduate Honors in the Major Theses. Florida State University (Arts & Sciences - Communication).

Author Information

mohsen saadatmand

University of Helsinki

Teacher Education


Hassanreza Zeinabadi

Tarbiat Moalem University, Iran, Islamic Republic of

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