Recent developments in leadership theories and styles have shifted interest from classic styles to transformational leadership style. This new style has become a popular model of leadership in most organizations especially, in educational organizations.Transformation occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivations and morality. Bass (1985) mentioned that transformational leaders motivate followers to performance beyond expectations and he also suggested that there were four different components of transformational leadership including Intellectual Stimulation, Individualized Consideration, Inspirational Motivation, and Idealized Influence.
Transformational leadership has been widely linked to positive individual and organizational consequences, typically, with higher trust in leader and organizational citizenship behavior of employees. Although a number of studies have investigated gender differences in leadership style but empirical evidence surrounding the gender differences in transformational leadership is relatively scarce. It has, however, been suggested that female leaders may be more transformational than males. Despite evidences which emphasis on female advantages, research about differences of male and female principals in transformational leadership and teacher related consequences have yielded contradictory findings. Therefore the question remains as whether women and men are equally likely to be transformational leaders or does one’s sex have a slight advantage?
The purpose of this study is to examine gender differences in transformational leadership components of male and female principals and their effect on teacher trust in principal and organizational citizenship behavior. A sample including 200 female teachers and 36 female principals of girls' primary school and 200 male teachers and 41 male principals of boys' primary school of Tehran city were selected and data were collected through 3 questionnaires. Teachers answered the transformational leadership and teacher trust in principal questionnaire while the principals answered the organizational citizenship behavior questionnaire. Factorial analysis of variance was used to assess the gender differences in components of transformational leadership and path analysis was used to examine impact of components on teacher trust in principal and organizational citizenship behavior.
Analysis of results indicated that mean of components in female principals was significantly higher than male principals. Results of path analysis showed that the impact of components of transformational leadership of female principals on trust in principal and organizational citizenship behavior is higher than that of male principals.
Therefore Female principals' advantage in transformational leadership may be due to the following reasons:
Females are perceived as transformational more often than males.
Females as a group are relations-oriented and other-oriented than males.
Females may be more devoted to individual follower development than males.
Females highlight responsibility and care but males highlight rights and justice.
Females tend to be less self-serving authoritarians than males.
Females are less conforming, more self-confident, and more likely to take risks.
Positive qualities such as sensitivity, nurturance, emotional expressiveness and individualized consideration are more associated with the feminine stereotype.
Results of the study have positive implications for the women’s future in school administration position and also indicate that transformational leadership requires a gender balance rather than the traditional leadership stereotype of masculinity.