The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Industrial/Organizational Psychology: M.S.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Daren Protolipac

Second Advisor

Dr. Marcy Young Illies

Third Advisor

Dr. James Tan

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Organization, Leadership, Women, Stereotypes, Transformational, Afghanistan


This research aimed to investigate the relationship between various leadership styles; transformational, transactional, Laissez Faire, task-oriented, and/or relationship-oriented styles, and stereotypical perception of women’s leadership, by surveying male and female employees in non-governmental organizations in Kabul, Afghanistan. Differences in leadership scores based on participants’ gender and stereotypical beliefs helped identify how gender-based stereotypes can affect Afghan employees' perception of women’s leadership styles. This study found that there is no statistically significant difference between men and women in their transformational leadership dimensions. However, women had higher mean scores on both relationship orientation and task orientation, opposite to the hypothesis that men would be higher on task-oriented leadership behavior than women. Furthermore, it was found that gender cannot predict employees’ gender-role attributes, while gender-role role attributes can predict employees’ leadership styles. Employees higher on agentic attribute were higher on transformational and transactional leadership than employees with higher communal attribute. Employees with higher communal attributes were higher on task and relational leadership than those higher on agentic attributes. Finally, this study found that regardless of gender, employees with agentic attributes rate a female leader as more transactional and task-oriented, while employees’ communal attributes cannot predict a female leader’s leadership styles.



First and foremost, I am extremely grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Protolipac, for his invaluable advice, continuous support, and patience during my graduate study. I would also like to thank my esteemed professors Dr. Young Illies and Dr. Illies, for their continuous support. My professors’ immense knowledge and plentiful experience have encouraged me in all the time of my academic journey and daily life. I would also like to thank Dr. Tan for their technical support on my study. I am thankful to all my classmates in the I/O Psychology program, who were always there to help me, and have made my study and life in the U.S. a wonderful time. I would like to express my gratitude to Fulbright and P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship that provided me with this invaluable opportunity.

My gratitude extends to my parents, family, and friends who supported me despite all the challenges in Afghanistan and in the U.S. and helped me to achieve my goals. Without their tremendous understanding and encouragement in the past few years, it would be impossible for me to complete this academic journey. Finally, I would like to specifically thank my friend and mentor, Sarah Thurley, whose support, encouragement, and advice helped me become who I am now.



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