Gender and instructional outcomes: The mediating role of leadership style
This article examines how perceived instructor leadership style mediates the students' gender-instruction effectiveness relationship. We administered the multifactor leadership questionnaire to a convenient sample of 360 undergraduate and graduate students drawn from a mid-west research university (USA) over two consecutive semesters. Partial mediation was indicated as students' gender discriminated perception of certain instructor leadership styles that were positively associated with instructional outcomes. However, gender itself did not discriminate instructional outcomes. Further our results showed that both female and male students converged on unfavorable assessment of instructors who exhibit passive management-by-exception. These instructors were perceived as ineffective, unable to draw extra effort, and unsatisfactory. Overall, the results indicated a favorable assessment of active management-by-exemption, contingent reward, and transformational leadership behaviors by both genders. This research therefore indicates the importance of these three leadership skills for instruction and learning effectiveness.