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Emergent leadership as a function of sex and task type


Emergent leadership was examined in relation to sex and task type; 120 subjects participated in four-person mixed-sex groups. Three task conditions (masculine, neutral, and feminine gender orientations) were tested with 10 groups in each condition. It was predicted and found that more men than women would emerge as leaders in the masculine and neutral task conditions, while more women would assume the leadership role in the feminine task condition. The effects of the gender orientation of a task are discussed. It is suggested that expertise with a task may explain the “task type” effect found.

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Author information

Correspondence to Lynn R. Anderson.

Additional information

This study is based on the senior author's master's thesis, conducted at Wayne State University under the direction of the second author.

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Wentworth, D.K., Anderson, L.R. Emergent leadership as a function of sex and task type. Sex Roles 11, 513–524 (1984).

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  • Social Psychology
  • Task Condition
  • Leadership Role
  • Task Type
  • Gender Orientation