Cross cultural and gender differences in leadership
: experiences of prominent Nigerian female leaders

  • Mai-Eka Bashir Mohammed

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Gender and culture are subsets of leadership influence that contain within them implications for modern organizations and society in general. There is much published literature exploring cultural differences in leadership as well as gender differences in leadership. In contrast, there are few literature contributions that explore the nexus of the two phenomena.

    This study addressed the gaps in existing literature concerning women in leadership within the Nigeria context. Research questions were raised to provide answers to the notion that culture rather than gender will be a better predictor of leadership styles among women. As a result, understanding unique cultural dimensions related to women leaders is germane for theoretical, empirical and practical implications on organizational studies in Nigeria.

    A qualitative research method was adopted for this study. Primary and secondary sources of data were used in this study. Content analysis was employed in the analysis of existing research on cultural and gender differences. Further, thematic elements that were consistent across literature were highlighted and applied to the current study. Also, qualitative semi-structured interviews of was used to collect data from ten notable Nigerian female leaders selected through non-probability random sampling technique. The results of the content analysis indicated that the majority of existing research works affirms that gender is not a strong predictor of leadership style among women.

    The results of the second portion of the study revealed that there are cultural elements that inherently make Nigerian female leaders different from their male counterparts.

    This implication of this finding is that rather than gender itself as a predictor of leadership styles, the self image and expectations of a society toward the female gender are strong predictors of female leadership styles. This study advances gender and leadership literature and also contributes in a cross curricular sense to African and organizational studies in Africa.
    Date of Award2017
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University

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