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THE BSRI APPROACH
· The full form of which is Bem sex role inventory
· This approach was first developed in the year of 1970’s
· It is considered the most widely used sex role index since then
· Mainly this approach and its study consist of 3 scales. They are:
1. One masculine
2. One feminine
3. and one Gender- Neutral
3. and one Gender- Neutral
Here each scale contains 20 characteristics viewed as a desire for men & women in American Society at the beginning of the 1970’s.
Between 1979 and 2002 US & Germany designed several studies that investigate male-female stereotype and the ideal manager profiles. (first slide ends)
(Second slide starts )
· The Studies: That were introduced by Powell/Butterfield(1979, 1984, 1989, 2002) and Powell/Kiddo (1994) based on BSRI, the respondents were asked to characterize an ideal manager using maximum 60 or minimum 30 attributes.
The results of the US studies consistently show that the ideal manager is predominantly described using male attributes, whereas females are only selected in combination with male characteristics.
Studies got the same results doesn’t matter whether it is done on men/women, students/professionals.
However, the masculine preference declines a bit over time.
· There was another study of Rustemeyer/thrien(1989): in Germany confirms USA findings. Where in both studies the student’s respondents displayed a stronger preference for the masculine stereotype than the professionals did.
But there was a particularly striking result of the only Japanese study of Powell/Kiddo(1994) where the respondents preferred female to male attributes. Although The researchers were unable to find the explanation for their these surprising findings. Interestingly Japanese respondents described that typical US managers use mainly male attributes, where typical Japanese use female attributes. One reason for this could be Japanese have opposite concept of leadership to the US.
Findings of the studies: Finally after all the studies the problem with this inventory concept is that there is no clear concept of an ideal manager whether it is masculine or feminine.
Actually, 60 attributes are not enough to specify the male-female efficiency. Thus the results of all the studies are surprisingly arriving the same conclusion.
Similar to studies based on BSRI, the results of these studies are :
1. The ideal manager profile: the ideal manager profile substantially resembled the typical male profile. The correlation coefficients are always highly significant (p < .01) over the entire period in both countries and for all respondents: students and managers, men and women alike.
2. Differences: there was not much similarity between the male respondents’
ratings of the manager profile and the typical description of females, while there was a significant positive image between the women’s ratings of the two. The main reason for this is that the female respondents perceive fewer differences between typical men and typical women than the male respondents do.
3. The male and female respondents’ description :
The ideal manager are largely the same, but the male respondents are convinced that women are significantly different than this ideal profile. The female respondents, on the other hand, find a significant similarity.
Women viewed the ideal manager as possessing characteristics ascribed to both men and women, whereas in the men’s view the attributes of the typical woman are still far from those of the ideal manager. There is also an interesting Portuguese study by Fernandez/Cabral-Cardoso (2003to date that distinguishes which uses its own role inventory. In that study, the descriptions of typical male and female managers are quite similar. The largest difference is between the descriptions of typical female managers and typical women. The results, however, leave the question unanswered as to whether or not the ideal profiles are the same when applied to men or women in managerial positions.
The results of a number of international comparisons considerably resemble the masculinity index of Hofstede (1980) (cf. table 4). Further, a comparison of German and U.S. studies shows a stronger preference for male stereotypes in Germany.
As previously mentioned, the results of the Japanese study by Powell/Kido (1994) present a striking anomaly. This study shows a relative preference for the female stereotypes, while the approaches used in the other two countries produce very high masculine values. One possible explanation could be that the gender-typical characteristics of the BSRI cannot be successfully transferred to Japan. In that case, there appears to be a methodological advantage in the approach of Schein et al. with respect to studies that make international comparisons: the SDI does not predetermine male or female types, but rather identifies them each time on the basis of the differences the survey data produced.
The findings of the previously discussed studies lead to the following hypotheses for the present study:
H1: The ideal manager is more strongly characterized by the stereotypically attributes.
H2: There are no significant differences in the preferences for male and female attributes of men and women.
H3: There are no significant differences in the preferences for male and female attributes of students and managers.
H4: The preference for male or female attributes is dependent on the gender of the person under evaluation, in that a greater similarity of preferred women in managerial positions with male
stereotypes is expected than of preferred men.
Numerous findings from studies with a similarly methodical approach exist for the first three hypotheses, but not for the last hypothesis, which is the result of research on the influence of gender in selection decisions: If a decision-maker with a preference for masculine traits assume that women generally have more female than male attributes, he will view women suitable for a managerial position only when they are particularly strongly endowed with the attributes generally felt to be missing. This would compensate for the role incongruity of women in managerial positions (Eagly/Karau 2002), but means that a woman is expected to have more male attributes than a man in order to be an ideal manager. In addition, the study by Heilman/Stopeck (1985) shows that the assessment of men’s and women’s suitability for managerial positions is impacted differently by outside influences (such as physical attractiveness). Thus, there are strong indications that when investigating the influence of gender stereotypes, the
gender of the person being evaluated plays a significant role.
The result for all respondents was a mean value of +0.129 for the index of “types”, with a standard deviation of 0.26, showing that when this instrument is used, male attributes are again preferred to female attributes.
Frequently the 17 attributes were rated particularly important or less important.
Among them, 10 are from male and 7 are from the female.
Except for the two attributes “adept at dealing with people“ and “cooperative”,
the female stereotypes take a back seat to the male stereotypes. All male attributes are more frequently considered particularly important than less important, but this is true only of the first two female attributes. For 71% of the respondents, the male attributes outweigh the female attributes. This rating is similarly high for both the male respondents at 69.8% and the female respondents at 73.3%.
The mean values of the index of types are at +0.114 and +0.156 respectively. The difference is significant (p(t) = 0,014) and can be found with different levels of significance in all the subgroups of managers and students in 1997/98, 2001 and 2005. Thus, we can assume that the assigning of types also depends on the gender of the respondent.
A comparison of the differences between the students and the junior managers from the banking sector in 1997/98 and 2005 shows a significant difference in that the junior managers – men and women alike – describe the ideal manager as being
The differences are more marked in the later year: In 2005 there- 2 Five out of the total of 30 attributes were to be marked unimportant. These could include a maximum of five of the ten male attributes or five of the seven female attributes. At the
same time, ten of the 17 attributes were to be marked particularly important. In the most extreme case all ten male or all seven female attributes could be included. The genderneutral
attributes located between the male and the female types accounted for the rest.
To set the range between the maximum values of +1 and –1, all denominators in the formula were doubled.
The last difference we examined (hypothesis 4) is significant: Distinctly more male characteristics are ascribed to the ideal female manager than to the ideal male manager and, as table 9 shows, this is true at various significance levels for most of the subgroups. This investigation also clearly shows something that most previous studies have neglected. Both students and junior managers expect a female manager to possess more stereotypically male attributes than men in managerial positions. Over time, however, there is a decline in the preference for the masculine type.
All six subgroups have a strong preference for female managers to have male rather than female attributes. Thus, the study confirms hypotheses 1 and 4. On the other hand, there is a significant difference between students and junior managers, as well as between male and female respondents. Finally, there are definite indications of a shift in the preference for masculine characteristics over time, which requires further investigation.
For hypothesis 2, the study shows a significant difference for all groups in the preferences of the male and female respondents for the 1997/98 and the 2005 sample, but this is not the case for the 2001/02 sample.
The results of the study confirm the findings of German and American studies.
According to incongruity theory (Eagly/Karau 2002) the findings confirm the assumption that:
Previous studies using a similar approach have overlooked: the significant connection between the ideal manager and the gender of the person under evaluation.
The more the decision-maker compensates for lack of observations by relying on a general opinion, the greater the tendency to underestimate the competence of female applicants.
Although major components of charismatic leadership (Bass/Avolio 1993), such as “inspirational“ or “intellectual stimulation“ are neither found among the ten male nor among the female attributes, there are similarities with
the male attributes “objective-oriented”, “foresighted”, “confident“ and “convincing”.
Are the results of this study applicable to the selection process?
The approach of this study is in line with the dominant questionnaire research on the importance of stereotypes in hypothetical situations of assessment. Therefore, it is also subject to the same limitations with respect to external validity. The results are significant on the assumption that selection decisions are influenced by gender perceptions, and that the demands of the position to be filled cannot be completely met by observable skills
Obviously, the tendency to assess men and women differently is not relevant when
the gender of the candidate is not known to the assessors, or when the requisite skills for the position are completely transparent and can be observed by everyone.
Neither of these conditions is realistic, although, with increased standardization in selection processes, stereotyping may be expected to have less effect. On the other hand,
Neubauer’s (1990) ambiguous findings,
· it is not likely that women serving on the board of an assessment centre will make much difference.
· The “ideal male manager” is still expected to have stereotypically male attitudes and to behave like a man, and this is even more true for the “ideal female manager”.
These expectations are culturally deep-seated and reproduced in the media through
the dramatization of management in the biographies of successful managers, in press reports and even in cartoons (Sheridan 1994). They are also introduced as “practical“ illustrative material in academic research and teaching. Here, at least, education and especially advanced education in the field of business administration could make an effort to counteract these expectations.
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