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Christopher Stehman

May 1995

Androgyny as a Determinant of Social Acuity in Leadership Emergence

    Past research has been inconclusive in finding a variable or variables which determine whether an individual will emerge as a leader across different work situations.  Sixty male and 60 female volunteer subjects from 17 to 38 years old and from a large western state university participated in four different business scenarios.  The Bem Sex Role Inventory, Chapin Social Insight Test, Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire, and ranking and rating questionnaires were administered to identify sex-role type, social acuity, leadership behaviors and perceptions of leadership.  Androgynous individuals emerged as leaders more than undifferentiated individuals (p < .05).  There were no significant differences between social acuity scores across sex-role types.  These research findings show that sex-role orientation plays a role in one’s leadership perception.  Further research should investigate androgyny and leadership in a wider range of work environments and use a more current measure for social acuity.

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