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Title: Moderation of prototype-based leadership evaluation processes through the challenging of social stereotypes
Author: Leicht, Carola
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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The underrepresentation of women and minorities in top leadership positions and politics is un,d eniable and mirrored by the public discussions and attention if a minority member does make it into the top leadership league. e.g. Barack Obama as the first black president. Social psychological research has been exploring the factors contributing to the emergence and success ofleaders. It has been shown that group prototypicality is one crucial determinant for leadership emergence and success, since it instils a sense of trust and increases influence and compliance in other group members (Hogg & van Knippenberg, 2003). However relying upon group prototypicality for leadership evaluations and choices is one factor contributing to the glass ceiling effect experienced by women and minorities striving for leadership positions. This thesis explores in seven experimental studies how stereotypic thinking affects the use of group prototypicality for leadership evaluations and choices. The studies show that under conditions in which stereotypic thinking is prevalent leadership choices are contingent upon group prototypicality. However, -if stereotypic thinking is challenged via an exposure to a chal1enging diversity experience (Crisp & Turner, 2011), the preference for group prototypical leadership candidates is attenuated. This thesis adds to the -~- ====- understanding on how leadership decisions and evaluations are affected by social cognitive processes. It shows that the importance of group prototypicality for leadership decisions is malleable, thereby increasing the chances of minorities to gain leadership positions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available