What is it about?

We take a visual and less common methodological approach and highlight particular images of leadership by way of a linguistic and stylistic analysis. The foundation of this study – an archive of 8,283 images and essays – is noteworthy since it represents nearly the entire population of undergraduates at The Wharton School over a 16 year period. Our analysis reveals the salient commonalities and subtle differences in male and female perceptions of leadership. Images of leadership serve as mirrors reflecting assumptions and as windows revealing future possibilities.

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Why is it important?

Our perceptions of leadership are descriptive and normative. The image of leadership we hold in our mind's eye informs our thoughts and behaviors.


Our hope is that enhanced awareness of similarities and differences across gender will prompt our students to stop, pause, and think about the perceptions of leadership they carry with them as they step out of our classrooms and into the workplace.

Anne Greenhalgh
University of Pennsylvania

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Mirror and the Window: Making Implicit Perceptions of Leadership Explicit, Organizational Behavior Teaching Review, July 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1052562919851186.
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