When Women Lead: Integrative Leadership in State Legislatures

Paperback | September 1, 1998

byCindy Simon RosenthalAs told byLucinda S. Rosenthal

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Until recently, the study of legislative leadership has been the study of men. Scholars have taught students that legislative leadership is transactional, a kind of competitive bargaining procedure to broker particular interests. When Women Lead: Integrative Leadership in State Legislaturesbrings to light the important contributions that women as legislative leaders make to the institutions in which they operate. Cindy Simon Rosenthal shows us how (and where) women are "integrating" the ranks of the legislative hierarchy, a forum in which they have been all but absent. She also arguesthat women are "doing leadership" in an innovative, inclusive style that subtly redefines both the appearance and meaning of political leadership. Contradicting the assumption that legislative leadership is inherently transactional, Rosenthal posits an integrative style emphasizing collaboration, shared problem-solving, and consensus. Further, she argues that women committee chairs come to their roles from different life experiences, and soemploy motivations, tactics, and visions of leadership that differ in important ways from their male counterparts. Her findings suggest that women tend to see political leadership as something more than the act of satisfying particular interests. This study of women who chair state legislative committees examines one of America's largest cohorts of women in institutional leadership roles, thus making an important contribution to our understanding of gender, organizational leadership, and state legislatures. Rosenthal ably demonstrates thatlegislatures are not gender-neutral and that legislative leadership must be understood within a gendered context. Numbers and power therefore constitute critical variables throughout this study. While stereotyping has not disappeared in some states, women across the country--as illustrated in WhenWomen Lead--are effectively redefining the framework and the assumptions central to political leadership in other locales.

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Until recently, the study of legislative leadership has been the study of men. Scholars have taught students that legislative leadership is transactional, a kind of competitive bargaining procedure to broker particular interests. When Women Lead: Integrative Leadership in State Legislaturesbrings to light the important contributions th...

Cindy Simon Rosenthal is both Assistant Professor of Political Science and Assistant Director of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma, where she teaches courses on state government, intergovernmental relations, public policy, and women in politics. She brings to her academic career mo...

other books by Cindy Simon Rosenthal

Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.09 × 5.98 × 0.79 inPublished:September 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195115414

ISBN - 13:9780195115413

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"When Women Lead beautifully captures the next wave of research on women officeholders. In its pages is solid evidence of the difference it makes to have women among the leadership ranks of legislative bodies across the nation. Scholars of legislatures, leadership, women and politics, and thewhole of American politics will want to become acquainted with this book."--Sue Thomas, Associate Professor of Government and Director of Women's Studies, Georgetown University