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Gender, Communication Styles, and Leader Effectiveness

Timko, Krisztina (2017): Gender, Communication Styles, and Leader Effectiveness.

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We study gender differences in the behavior, communication, and effectiveness of randomly selected leaders in a laboratory experiment using the turnaround game. Leaders can send nonbinding pre‐play text messages to try to convince followers to coordinate on the Pareto‐efficient equilibrium. The treatment variations consist of the gender of the leader, and whether the communication is one‐way (only leaders send messages) or two‐way (first followers send messages to their leader, and subsequently the leader sends messages to the group). We find that male leaders communicate more assertively. Communication with the followers induces female leaders to express significantly more often that they are part of the group, rather than standing above the group. Despite the different paths in communication, both men and women are equally likely to request the highest effort contribution. Men and women are equally effective leaders.

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