Sex Roles

, Volume 78, Issue 7–8, pp 561–572 | Cite as

Effects of Principal-Teacher Gender Similarity on Teacher’s Trust and Organizational Commitment

  • Izhak BerkovichEmail author
Original Article


In many Western public primary school systems, the gender composition of the principals is more heterogenic than that of the teachers, but research on the effect of gender on social psychological processes related to school leadership is scarce. The present work aims to address this lacuna by exploring the effects of principal-teacher gender similarity in the Israeli public primary school system, where most teachers are women, on teachers’ trust in their principals and on organizational commitment. Data from 594 female public primary teachers working with male and female principals were analyzed. The results show that when the principal and teacher are of the same gender, both affective and cognitive trust in the principal are higher. Moderation analysis indicated that female teachers’ affective trust in male principals increases with relational duration. A second moderation effect that was found indicated that gender similarity and cognitive trust in principal have a negative interactive effect on teachers’ continued commitment to school, countering the positive effect of gender similarity on commitment. The results and their implications are discussed, and future research is recommended.


Gender similarity Organizational commitment Trust in leader 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education and PsychologyThe Open University of IsraelRaananaIsrael

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