Affective Reactions to Leadership Education: An Exploration of the Same-Gender Effect

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This study examines influences of the gender of participants and of small group leaders on the affective reactions of experienced managers attending a 1-week residential training program on leadership. A sample of 404 upper-level managers from the private and public sectors participated in eight offsite seminars held over a 3-year period. Three-month follow-up data were collected from 63% of participants. As expected, male managers were more likely than female managers to report positive affective reactions to this educational program. In addition, a "same gender" effect was found for women; the most positive affective reactions were reported by female managers with female leaders. A combination of social systems and attitude theories provides an explanation of the obtained differences. The results suggest that greater involvement of female group leaders and participants in educational programs is needed to enhance affective reactions by managers in an increasingly heterogeneous workplace.