Effects of Principal-Teacher Gender Similarity on Teacher’s Trust and Organizational Commitment

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In many Western public primary school systems, the gender composition of the principals is more heterogenic than that of the teachers, but research on the effect of gender on social psychological processes related to school leadership is scarce. The present work aims to address this lacuna by exploring the effects of principal-teacher gender similarity in the Israeli public primary school system, where most teachers are women, on teachers’ trust in their principals and on organizational commitment. Data from 594 female public primary teachers working with male and female principals were analyzed. The results show that when the principal and teacher are of the same gender, both affective and cognitive trust in the principal are higher. Moderation analysis indicated that female teachers’ affective trust in male principals increases with relational duration. A second moderation effect that was found indicated that gender similarity and cognitive trust in principal have a negative interactive effect on teachers’ continued commitment to school, countering the positive effect of gender similarity on commitment. The results and their implications are discussed, and future research is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-572
Number of pages12
JournalSex Roles
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Gender similarity
  • Organizational commitment
  • Trust in leader

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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