Management Research Group Studies of Over 7000 Leaders Indicate Several Differences Between Men and Women When It Comes to Leadership Behaviours

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Management Research Group findings indicate numerous gender differences exist between men and women in leadership and may play a significant role in career progression. Considering the recent coverage of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In", Management Research Group discoveries add a new perspective to the conversation.

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"Gender differences in leadership highlight the value both men and women bring to the leadership role", said MRG President Tricia Naddaff

Management Research Group (MRG) completed an initial large scale study of 1800 leaders across a variety of industries and job functions. The study used a 360-degree assessment strategy in which each manager was evaluated by self, boss, peers, and direct reports resulting in the completion of 17,491 assessment questionnaires. Several differences were identified by both the individuals and their observers.

In general, women tend to be rated higher on the leadership scales measuring strong orientation toward achieving results, getting work done, being transparent and clear, and building rapport with others. In contrast, our research reveals men tended to score higher on scales assessing an orientation towards strategic planning, persuading, delegating and being more reserved in expression.

In a separate study, MRG analysed the results of 2718 male and 2718 female managers and their bosses. Of 22 competency areas studied, women rated higher in 12, while men rated higher on 3, and no differences were found on 7 dimensions. Although women scored higher than men on 12 out of 22 competencies, the three competencies where they scored the lowest - business aptitude, financial understanding, and strategic thinking - are often seen as critical for advancement.

"Gender differences in leadership highlight the value both women and men bring to the leadership role", said MRG President Tricia Naddaff. "While leadership development is always most effective when targeted to the individual leader’s specific goals and needs, these research results suggest that many women leaders would benefit from development focused on strategic thinking, persuading and influencing, and delegation, while many male leaders would benefit from development focused on being clear and transparent, building rapport with others and focusing on leading others to accomplish and achieve results.”

A more robust view of the research studies may be obtained by contacting Management Research Group at

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