Gender Differences in the Leadership Styles of MPA Directors

A growing body of literature has documented leadership styles by gender. This study examines if directors of Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration exhibit gender differences in leadership styles. Such differences may affect the implementation of public administration and how effective MPA directors are in achieving positive outcomes. Using a mixed methods approach—specifically, exploratory sequential design utilizing qualitative data and analysis, followed by a quantitative survey—we find that there are some gendered differences among public administration directors. In particular, we find that women directors are significantly more likely than their male counterparts to exhibit traits that resemble transformational leaders. However, we also find that male and female directors converge in terms of other styles of leadership.