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Managerial sex role stereotyping among New Zealand university students

O'Sullivan, Deidre
Fields of Research
This study examined the relationship between sex role stereotypes and the characteristics perceived necessary for managerial success among New Zealand students. The sample consisted of 204 males and 248 females enrolled in commerce subjects at Lincoln University. In order to allow cross cultural comparisons, the method by which the study was undertaken was a direct replication of earlier research utilising the Schein Descriptive Index. Male and female perceptions were analysed separately and results were compared with similar populations in America, Britain, Canada and Germany. Results indicate that New Zealand men strongly associate masculine traits with managerial characteristics. This finding is consistent with the results obtained in the other countries. However, New Zealand men were found to perceive a stronger relationship between women and managers than did the men in the comparison countries. New Zealand female students perceived both men and women as possessing the characteristics necessary for managerial success. Further analysis into the effects of subjects' experience with a female boss on perceptions, found that experience significantly influenced females' perceptions and slightly influenced males' perceptions. The validity of the research instrument was determined by performing a multiple discriminant analysis on the 92 items, confirming their ability to distinguish between men, women and managers. The limitations of this study are discussed along with the identification of directions for further research.
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