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Title: Exploring the interaction of social identity processes and gender on perceptions of organisational leadership potential
Author: Tresh, Fatima Abdulraouf
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2020
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A growing interest in the social psychology of identifying leadership potential has followed a significant body of work to identify the best predictors of it. This thesis builds on research which examined contexts in which leadership potential is preferred over objective leadership performance, with a focus on disadvantageous outcomes for women. In this thesis I take a step backwards to examine not when leadership potential is preferred but how it is perceived. With respect to talent management in practice, organisations face two major issues: low success rates for high-potential individuals fulfilling their leadership potential and low representation of women in talent pipelines and leadership positions. I treat these problems as two sides of the same coin; organisations fall short of effectively identifying leadership potential due to social psychological biases in the methods that they use to identify it. Applying the social identity approach, I test the role of social identity processes in driving subjective perceptions of leadership potential. To better understand the role of unequal outcomes for women, I examine how target and evaluator gender interact with social identity processes to hold women to higher standards of recognising their potential to lead. Across eight studies, I demonstrate that social identity processes drive perceptions of leadership potential. Results show that social identity processes and gender interact in such a way that women's leadership potential is recognised through different processes than men's when evaluators are men. In a further two studies, I examine how social psychological processes may explain how individuals self-rate their own leadership potential. Social stereotypes may provide more explanation for this process than social identity processes. Overall, this thesis contributes to the literature on leadership potential by highlighting the biases that can ultimately lead to the misidentification of leadership potential. The thesis is concluded with implications and recommendations for practice.
Supervisor: Randsley de Moura, Georgina ; Leite, Ana ; Wyatt, Madeleine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology