The impact of race, gender, and error type on leader ratings

Open Access
Weaver, Kayla B
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
November 13, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Kisha Shannon Jones, Thesis Advisor
  • leadership
  • leader error
  • diversity
This study examined the effect of error type, leader gender, and leader race on leadership ratings after an error occurred. A sample of 536 MTurk participants was used to test the hypothesized relationships. The results revealed that leader ratings are significantly influenced by the type of error (i.e., task, relationship, ethical) that a leader commits. Leader ratings did not vary significantly based on leader gender. Leader race, however, did significantly influence leader ratings, such that Black leaders were rated higher on leader liking and willingness to follow the leader than White leaders. On average, internal behavioral attributions were made to explain leader behavior regardless of the leader’s race, gender, or type of error committed. Finally, internal attributions were significantly and negatively related to leadership ratings. These results are discussed in terms of both their theoretical and practical implications for the study of leader error.