Humanness and the glass cliff: Are leaders appointed to failing organisations because they are more uniquely human?

Nathan Stokman (2011). Humanness and the glass cliff: Are leaders appointed to failing organisations because they are more uniquely human? Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Nathan Stokman
Thesis Title Humanness and the glass cliff: Are leaders appointed to failing organisations because they are more uniquely human?
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-21
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Paul Bain
Total pages 67
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Once women break through the glass ceiling they must overcome the glass cliff, where women are more likely than men to be appointed to leadership during times of organisational crisis, subjecting them to an increased risk of failure. The current study aims to see if gendered stereotype dimensions of humanness can contribute to understanding the glass cliff effect. Research indicates that those seen as less uniquely human (e.g. instinctive) are seen to be more suitable for leadership positions, and that women are disadvantaged by this as they are seen to be more uniquely human than men. Participants (N = 93) selected a leader from a candidate pool of male and female candidates, for an organisation experiencing either outstanding or disastrous performance. Although there was an overall bias towards appointing men, women were more likely to be selected for the leadership role when company performance was disastrous compared to outstanding. Contrary to predictions, no evidence was found to suggest low HU played a role in the appointment of leaders to glass cliff positions. However, as predicted, results suggest that low HU informs judgements about leaders once they are in the role independently from the selection procedure.
Keyword Genderered stereotype dimensions of humanness
Leadership during organisational crisis
Appointment of women over men

 
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