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. Thesis uri icon


  • 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.

publication date

  • August 2009