Where is the romance for women leaders? The effects of gender on leadership attributions and performance-based pay

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Abstract

This paper extends prior research on the romance of leadership by examining (a) whether the romance of leadership holds for women as well as for men, and (b) the impact of the romance of leadership on performance-based pay. An experimental study (N = 210) suggests that the romance of leadership does exist for both men and women but that the process of pay allocation differs as a function of gender. For a female leader, the allocation of a performance-related bonus is based on perceptions of her charisma and leadership ability rather than resulting directly from company performance. However, for a male leader bonus allocation reflects the romance of leadership such that improved company performance leads to increased perceived charisma, increased leadership ability, and a larger bonus. Practical implications for the gender pay gap are discussed. © 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 International Association of Applied Psychology.

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Kulich, C., Ryan, M. K., & Haslam, S. A. (2007). Where is the romance for women leaders? The effects of gender on leadership attributions and performance-based pay. Applied Psychology, 56(4), 582–601. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-0597.2007.00305.x

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