Title page for ETD etd-07012015-222131

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Shah, Yashna Jitendra
Author's Email Address yshah@vt.edu
URN etd-07012015-222131
Title The Impact of Role Model Similarity on Women’s Leadership Outcomes
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Roseanne Foti Committee Chair
Danny Axsom Committee Member
Neil Hauenstein Committee Member
  • leadership
  • gender
  • role models
  • leadership self-concept
  • self-perceptions
Date of Defense 2015-06-09
Availability restricted
Role models can serve as a means to counteract the prevalent ‘Think Leader, Think Male’ stereotype. This study was designed to assess the impact of role model similarity on women’s leadership self-efficacy, task performance and future leadership behavior, using two conceptualizations of similarity – match with leadership self-concept and attainability of the role model. Additionally, the process by which one’s self-perceptions of leadership impact judgments of one’s own behavior was also investigated. Participants were presented with a role model vignette in a laboratory setting, following which they complete a leadership task. Results indicated that there were no significant effects of the interaction of the two role model manipulations of various leadership outcomes. However, match of role model with one’s self-concept did impact one’s leadership self-efficacy. Results also indicated that agentic leader prototypes partially mediated the relation between individuals’ self-concept and self-judgments, such that participants whose self-concept matched the role model activated the agentic leader prototype. Overall findings suggest that match with one’s self concept plays an important role in role models being perceived as similar to the self, which can have important implications for women’s leadership development.  
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