Aicher, Thomas Joseph (2009-08). The Impact a Diversity Culture Has on the "Think Manager, Think Male" Stereotype: A Social Identity Theory of Leadership Perspective on Gender Stereotypes in Sport Organizations. Doctoral Dissertation.
Women in intercollegiate athletics have faced numerous challenges in breaking through the "glass ceiling." This issue has received a plethora of attention in the literature; however, the impact of culture on leadership stereotypes has yet to be evaluated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the impact a diversity culture may or may not have on gendered leadership stereotypes. Utilizing the social identity theory of leadership and the expectations of gender stereotypes, I predicted men would be considered more prototypical of a sport organization than would women. Moving forward, I argued culture would moderate this relationship. Specifically, women would be considered more prototypical in a proactive culture (diversity viewed as an asset), whereas men would be perceived as more prototypical in compliant cultures (diversity viewed as a liability). Finally, when a leader was determined as prototypical, then (s)he would be rated as more effective than nonprototypical leaders. A 2 (culture: compliant, proactive) by 2 (leader's sex: male, female) design was employed to determine the relationship between culture, sex and leadership prototypicality. Respondents to this research experiment included students participating in activity classes at a major Southwest University (N = 278). Respondents were first asked to read through two scenarios: one describing culture and the other manipulating the leader. Next, they were asked to complete a series of items to measure prototypicality and leadership effectiveness. Results indicated the manipulation in the scenarios was successful. A majority of the respondents correctly identified the leader?s sex (N = 241), and a proactive culture was viewed as supporting diversity when compared to a compliant culture (F [1, 274] = 120.83, p < .001, n2 = .86). The first two hypotheses were not supported. Results indicated women were considered as prototypical as men (F [1,238] = .04, p > .05, n2 =.001), and culture did not affect prototypicality ratings (b = -.04, p greater than .05). However, culture did have a significant positive relationship with leadership effectiveness (b = 21, p less than .01). Prototypicality was significantly positively related to leadership effectiveness (b = .54, p less than .001), thus supporting the third hypothesis.