Leadership in Workplace Meetings: The Intersection of Leadership Styles and Follower Gender

Joseph Mroz, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Michael Yoerger, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Joseph A. Allen, University of Nebraska Omaha

This published version of this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1548051817750542.


Meetings are ubiquitous across organizations, yet researchers have paid scant attention to the role of meeting leaders in affecting meeting outcomes. Because meetings are important discursive sites, the style of a meeting leader may influence subordinate views of the meeting and leader. Using a sample of working adults, we first demonstrated that meeting attendees who perceived their leader as participative viewed the leader as more warm and competent than meeting attendees who had a directive leader. We explain this finding through the framework of social exchange theory. In Study 2, we conducted an experiment to further probe the relation between meeting leader style and subordinate perceptions of the leader. Again, participants viewed participative leaders as more warm and competent than directive leaders. Interestingly, working adults preferred participative leaders over directive leaders across every type of work meeting. We further found that participant gender interacted with leader style, such that men rated directive leaders are warmer than did women, but men and women did not differ in their assessments of participative leaders.