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Teamwork, Leadership and Gender

Author

Listed:
  • De Paola, Maria

    () (University of Calabria)

  • Gioia, Francesca

    () (University of Edinburgh)

  • Scoppa, Vincenzo

    () (University of Calabria)

Abstract

We ran a field experiment to investigate whether individual performance in teams depends on the gender of the leader. About 430 students from an Italian University took an intermediate exam that was partly evaluated on the basis of teamwork. Students were randomly matched in teams of three and in each team we randomly chose a leader with the task of coordinating the work of the team. We find a positive and significant effect of female leadership on team performance. This effect is driven by the higher performance of team members in female led teams rather than due to an improvement in the leader’s performance. We also find that, in spite of the higher performance of female led teams, male members tend to evaluate female leaders as less effective, whereas female members are more sympathetic towards them.

Suggested Citation

  • De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2018. "Teamwork, Leadership and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 11861, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11861
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper, 2007. "It's What You Say, Not What You Pay: An Experimental Study of Manager–Employee Relationships in Overcoming Coordination Failure," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1223-1268, December.
    2. Timko, Krisztina, 2017. "Gender, Communication Styles, and Leader Effectiveness," MPRA Paper 77021, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Timko, Krisztina, 2017. "Men and Women Are Equally Effective Leaders," MPRA Paper 77022, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-248, March.
    5. Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2007. "When and why? A critical survey on coordination failure in the laboratory," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(3), pages 331-344, September.
    6. Grossman, Philip J. & Eckel, Catherine & Komai, Mana & Zhan, Wei, 2019. "It pays to be a man: Rewards for leaders in a coordination game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 197-215.
    7. Blume, Andreas & Ortmann, Andreas, 2007. "The effects of costless pre-play communication: Experimental evidence from games with Pareto-ranked equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 274-290, January.
    8. Roberto Weber & Colin Camerer & Yuval Rottenstreich & Marc Knez, 2001. "The Illusion of Leadership: Misattribution of Cause in Coordination Games," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(5), pages 582-598, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    team; leadership; gender; stereotypes; randomized experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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