Gender differences in how leaders determine succession potential: The role of interpersonal fit with followers

Floor Rink*, Janka I. Stoker, Michelle K. Ryan, Niklas K. Steffens, Anne Nederveen Pieterse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This paper examined the existence of gender differences in the degree to which leaders' perceptions of successor potential is influenced by interpersonal fit. In Study 1 (N = 97 leaders, N = 280 followers), multi-source field data revealed that for male leaders, ratings of followers' potential as successors were positively related to interpersonal fit, measured by the degree to which followers' saw their leadership as being close and interpersonal (i.e., being coaching, transformational, and leading by example). For female leaders, these relationships were absent, suggesting that they are less influenced by interpersonal fit. In Study 2 (N = 311 leaders), a scenario study provided causal evidence that male leaders rated potential successors more positively when they perceived greater interpersonal fit with followers, whereas female leaders' successor ratings were not informed by perceptions of fit. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications for gendered leadership successor perceptions in organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number752
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume10
Issue numberMAY
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Part of this research was made possible by funding from the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) to FR. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Dutch Science Foundation (452-16-009) awarded to the FR and a European Commission Grant (725128) awarded to the MR.
\Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Rink, Stoker, Ryan, Steffens and Nederveen Pieterse.

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