Fr-SYM-2272-3 - Women As Ideal Leaders In Times Of Crisis - Does Organizational Identification Promote The Glass Cliff?

Leadership and followership
1 hour
Icon Theatre
Leadership and management
Managing diversity
Women as ideal leaders in times of crisis - Does organizational identification promote the glass cliff?
A. Ihmels*, K.-L. Jungbauer 1, J. Wegge 1, M. Shemla 2
1TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany, 2Rotterdam School of Management, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Main Abstract Content: The Glass Cliff phenomenon depicts the appointment of women to leadership positions as being more likely in times of organizational crisis. Our study focuses on one explanation for this effect: By appointing women as leaders in a crisis companies often aim to signal fundamental strategic changes to stakeholders. Of course, this is only possible if the previous leader was male. We seek to extend this approach by analyzing how organizational identification influences this process. Organizational identification has been found to promote commitment to the organization’s goals, behavior that serves the group one identifies with as well as organizational citizenship behavior. Therefore, strong organizational identification should strengthen the Glass Cliff phenomenon. 
We conducted an experimental study (N = 192) in which we manipulated organizational identification as well as the company’s performance and the gender of the previous leader.
Data sampling is not completed yet (50%), however, the first findings support our general hypothesis.
The study is conducted with a student sample (no students from Psychology programs). Thus, field studies are warranted to prove the generalizability of our findings.
This research aims to reflect actual decision making processes more closely by simulating decision makers who strongly identify with their company as organizational agents and hold the power to appoint candidates to top positions.
The study adds to glass cliff research by combining the decision makers’ and the company’s perspectives and examining under which conditions the company’s goals are put above typical personal beliefs favoring men as leaders.


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