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Diversity Leadership: Influence of Ethnicity, Gender, and Minority Status

DOI: 10.4236/ojl.2013.21001, PP. 1-10

Keywords: Diversity Leadership, Social Identities and Leadership, Minority Status and Leadership

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Abstract:

Leadership research is often silent about how race and ethnicity influence the exercise of leadership and does not include the experiences of racial/ethnic minority leaders. Leaders from five racial/ethnic groups within the US were surveyed on their endorsement of leadership dimensions as defined by the GLOBE studies and the influence of their race, ethnicity and gender on the exercise of leadership in this exploratory study. While all leaders endorsed common leadership dimensions, cultural variation emerged on a factor consistent with a humane orientation and collaborative leadership style. Leaders of color and women leaders strongly embraced their ethnic and gender identities compared with White male leaders. These social identities together with lived experiences associated with minority status were perceived as influencing their exercise of leadership, presenting both challenges and strengths. Differences in the leadership profile of this diverse leadership sample with the Anglo group in the GLOBE studies suggest the importance of examining diversity in leadership. Conceptualizations of leadership need to be inclusive of the social identities and lived experiences that leaders and followers both bring to the contexts of leadership.

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