Incorporating Feminism in the Continuing Debate over the Existence of Differences in Men and Women's Leadership Styles
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Women in growing numbers are beginning to have more and more managerial positions. This trend has resulted in a rise in research investigating sex differences in leadership styles. Two main lines of writers have emerged within the area, those that believe there are sex differences (mainly managers and management consultants) and those that do not believe in differences (mainly academic researchers). Much of the research in this area has failed to draw on the theoretical work of feminist writers. The aim of this paper is to review the literature about leadership styles and to also address the possible differences in men and women's leadership styles through a feminist perspective. In order to fully explicate the feminist perspective of leadership style, the differences between sex and gender as well as the different forms of feminism are explored. The exploration of literature on men and women's leadership styles is addressed from two avenues, the practitioners' findings and the social scientists' findings. The paper concludes by discussing the avenues of future research and leadership styles that some researchers as well as practitioners have begun to explore.