The synergistic effect of prototypicality and authenticity in the relation between leaders‘ gender and their organizational identification
Role congruity theory affirms that female managers face more difficulties at work because of the incongruity between the female gender role and the leadership role. Furthermore, due to this incongruity is harder for female managers to perceive themselves as authentic leaders. However, followers’ attributions of prototypicality could attenuate this role incongruity and have implications on a leader’s organizational identification. Hence, we expect male leaders to be more authentic and identify more with their organization, in particular compared to female leaders low in prototypicality. We hypothesized that (1) authentic leadership mediates the relation between leaders’ gender and their organizational identification, but that this indirect effect (2) is conditional of team prototypicality. To test these hypotheses, we conducted an online experiment with 149 managers (Mage = 43.42 years SD = 11.41; 43% female) from different work sectors using a 2 (gender participant) x 2 (prototypicality: low vs. high) between-subject design. As predicted, men scored higher on authentic leadership, and three dimensions of authentic leadership partially mediated the effect of gender on organizational identification. In the low prototypicality condition, women scored lower in authentic leadership and identified less with the organization, whereas in the high prototypicality condition no gender differences were found.
Monzani, L., Hernandez Bark, A.S., Van Dick, R., & Peiro, J.M. (in press). The synergistic effect of prototypicality and authenticity in the relation between leaders' gender and their organizational identification.Journal of Business Ethics.