Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This project examines selected traits valued in friends by educated individuals, and it seeks to determine if these valued traits vary by gender, race, and generational cohort. A literature review reveals that variations in leadership attributes are evident among these traits. In order to test the broad applicability of this literature, data were taken from the General Social Survey (GSS). The key analyses center on correlations between gender, race, and cohort, on the one hand, and the selected valued traits identified with effective leadership on the other. In some cases, the literature yields weak hypotheses, and in other cases the research is solely exploratory. According to leadership expert Peter Northouse, the personal traits of intelligence, integrity, and sociability are closely tied to effective leadership. This project examines the influence of gender, race, and cohort on how much these traits are valued. The findings of this project have potential usefulness for organizations to better understand how these three leadership traits are associated with gender, race, and age—perhaps ultimately influencing how organizations train and view their managers.

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