Queens of the hill: Creative destruction and the emergence of executive leadership of women


Journal Article

Despite penetrating the middle management ranks of many U.S. businesses, women continue to lag far behind men in their appointments to top leadership positions. Many explanations exist for why the glass ceiling exists, but few theories offer suggestions for how women break through this ceiling. In this paper we propose that the concept of 'creative destruction' can help us understand why some women ascend to leadership positions. Using empirical research and anecdotal evidence from the experiences of several high-profile female executives, we argue that women may rise to leadership positions in turbulent environments that are receptive to new talent and open to innovative, bold ideas. Further, we propose that under these conditions women may be seen as especially attractive candidates to guide organizations because they are perceived to utilize a leadership style that promotes openness and inclusion, and facilitates change. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Furst, SA; Reeves, M

Published Date

  • June 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 372 - 384

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1048-9843

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.leaqua.2008.03.001

Citation Source

  • Scopus