Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)


Understanding the Performance of Women in Leadership Positions: A Study of Women in Top Positions in Quasi-Government Organisations

Author(s): Joshua Tapiwa Mauchi, Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya, Nirmala Dorasamy

The purpose of this study was to examine characteristics that influence women performance in management/leadership position in “quasi-government” organizations in Zimbabwe. The study was motivated by female under-representation in management/leadership in “quasi-government” organizations such as parastatals, local authorities, education and health departments, where women are few than men in terms of employment. In order to achieve the main purpose of the study, a mixed method research was used together with concurrent triangulation design to collect primary data. The sample size used was 302 participants. The sample was chosen using stratified random sampling and purposive sampling. The data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis were employed in order to reflect on the findings of the study. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics while qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings of the study show that women in “quasi-government” organisations possess diverse leadership characteristics like their male counterparts. The same findings points to unique characteristics that are a resultant of women making and socialisation. Such characteristics gave them comparative advantage over men. These include being visionary, caring, tolerant, collaborative, empathetic, persistent and humble. The findings also showed that women in leadership positions perform equally good or even better than men. Furthermore, the analysis of data evidenced that the performance of women in “quasi-government” organisation in leadership roles in Zimbabwe is partly due to some culturally constructed barriers which prevent women to climb up the organizational ladder. Overall, the study concludes that there is a leadership gap between women and men in “quasi-government” organisations in Zimbabwe. The society values discourage women to occupy top management/leadership positions regardless of their astute characteristics, qualifications and leadership qualities.

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