Susan Marie Center


According to psychologist Carol Gilligan, the moral development of females is quite different than males. She has argued, “Males tend to deal with moral issues impersonally, through a system of logic and law” (Gilligan, 1993, p. 29). Females, on the other hand, tend to see themselves as part of a web of relationships with family and friends. They are concerned with nurturing relationships and caring for the well being of others. Gilligan has identified a way of thinking used by females that is different than males. The difference in thought has evolved from a cooperative perspective, one that focuses on maintaining relationship cohesion and establishing connection. The communal repertoire of females defines their leadership styles (Eagly & Johannesen-Schmidt, 2001, p. 790). Additional data driven research is needed to confirm the advantages of female leadership in order to accelerate the advancement of employment opportunities.


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The question remains if these differences that serve as advantages are due to evolutionary biology, cultural and social expectations, neurophysiology, or simply maternal instinct? This study will gather from multiple disciplines the information to support the reasons why females excel in communication, collaboration and crisis management. Crises are defined as unexpected high-impact events that may disrupt organizational functioning and cause relational threats (Post, Latu, & Belkin, 2019, p. 216). The behavioral skills of great communication and effective collaboration foster an advantage for mitigating these events. The underlying theme for female excellence in these areas is the desire to connect socially (Connellan, Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Batki, & Ahluwalia, 2000, p. 113; Brizendine, 2006, p. 21; Eagly, 2009, p. 645; Rippon, 2019, p. 167; Svetlana, Baron-Cohen, & Raggatt, 2002, p. 332). The research that I propose will establish the reasons for this cognitive process and the resultant behaviors.

Degree Date

Fall 12-18-2021

Document Type


Degree Name



Graduate Liberal Studies


Dr. Roxanne Burleson

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas McFaul

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Lindsey

Subject Area

Business and Management, Humanities, Neuroscience, Philosophy

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Tuesday, November 10, 2026