Document Type



Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

K. Galen Kroeck

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Elisabeth Prugl

Third Advisor's Name

Kevin B. Lowe

Fourth Advisor's Name

Sumit K. Kundu

Fifth Advisor's Name

William Newburry


institution theory, cross-cultural, political, entrepreneurship, leadership, women

Date of Defense



This dissertation is a multi-level, cross-cultural study of women in leadership conducted with both macro-society data and individual-level data aggregated to the country level. The research questions are, “What macro and micro forces are hindering or advancing women into business or political leadership?” “How do these forces impact the level of women’s involvement in business and political leadership in a particular country?” Data was collected from 10 secondary sources, available for 213 countries, and includes about 300 variables for business leadership (N=115) and political leadership (N=181). To date, most women in leadership research has been Western- or US- based, and little rigorous empirical, multi-level research has been done across countries. The importance of cross-cultural studies on women in leadership stems from the potential to better understand why some countries have more women in positions of both business and political leadership; and the factors that affect women’s involvement in such positions in different countries. A “Levels of Women’s Participation in Leadership” country model is tested using cluster and discriminant analyses. Results indicate that the factors that affect women’s participation in leadership in countries with fewer women leaders are different from the factors that affect women’s participation in countries with high levels of participation. This dissertation proposes that initiatives to increase participation of women in leadership need to consider the relevant factors that significantly affect countries at certain Levels of Women’s Participation in Leadership.





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