Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Norma Noonan


The idea that people generally may want or expect male and female leaders to lead in similar ways, which appears as an underlying assumption in much of the literature on leadership, should be refined to delineate differences between leadership competence and leadership style. The findings in this qualitative survey suggest that male and female followers expect male and female leaders to demonstrate similar levels of competence based on their having similar skill sets, experience, education levels, and technical training and aptitude; however, people generally believe that male and female leaders exhibit different leadership styles based upon a number of personal and social factors. Further, people are generally open and accepting of these perceived differences in leadership style so long as the leader sufficiently demonstrates his or her competence in eight general areas which followers commonly use to assess their leaders' competence, regardless of the leader's gender.


SC 11.MAL.2010.Brown.ML