, Volume 38, Issue 3-4, pp 287-300

Perceptions of Female and Male Managers in the 1990s: Plus ça change . . .

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Abstract

Despite an increase in the number of womenmanagers, women frequently have difficulty advancing toupper levels of management. Researchers such as V . E.Schein [(1973), “The Relationship Between SexRole Stereotypes and Requisite ManagementCharacteristics,” Journal of Applied Psychology,Vol. 57, pp. 95-100; (1975) “Relationships BetweenSex Role Stereotypes and Requisite ManagementCharacteristics Among Female Managers,” Journal ofApplied Psychology, Vol. 60, pp. 340-344] and G. N.Powell and D. A. Butterfield [(1979), “The'Good Manager': Masculine orAndrogynous?" Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 22, pp. 395-403; (1989) “The'Good Manager': Did Androgyny Fare Better inthe 1980s?” Group and Organization Studies, Vol.14, pp. 216-233] have found that perceptions of womenare often incongruent with perceptions of successful managers, thegap particularly evident in male subjects [O. C.Brenner, J. Tomkiewicz, & V . E. Schein (1989);“The Relationship Between Sex Role Stereotypes andRequisite Management Characteristics Revisited,”Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 32, pp. 662-669; P.Dubno (1985) ”Attitudes Toward Women Executives:A Longitudinal Approach,” Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 28, pp. 235-239; M. E. Heilman,C. J. Black, R. F. Martell, & M. C. Simon (1989)”Has Anything Changed? Current Characterizationsof Men, Women, and Managers,” Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 74, pp. 935-942; O. Massengil& N. D. Marco (1979) ”Sex-Role Stereotypes andRequisite Management Characteristics: A CurrentReplication,” Sex Roles, Vol. 5, pp. 56-576; J.Tomkiewicz & T. Adeyemi-Bellow (1995) ”ACross-Sectional Analysis of Attitudes of Nigerians andAmericans Toward Women as Managers,” Journal ofSocial Behavior and Personality, Vol. 10, pp. 189-198].This study used 702 college student subjects (morethan 90% white, 58% female) to examine the effect ofsubject sex on perceptions of a target (male manager,female manager, prototypical manager), and found thatsubject sexhas a greater effect on the perceivedcharacteristics of a successful female manager than on theperceived characteristics of a prototypical successfulmanager or a successful male manager. Male and femalesubjects generally agree about the characteristics of a prototypical manager or a male manager,but differ in how they perceive a femalemanager.