The glass cliff effect describes a real-world phenomenon in which women are more likely than men to be appointed to precarious leadership positions in poorly performing organizations. Prior research concerning women in leadership has primarily focused on the glass ceiling: the invisible yet unyielding barrier that restricts women from reaching the upper echelons of corporate hierarchy. However, women may increasingly be breaking through the glass ceiling just to find themselves perched on a glass cliff, a metaphor coined by Michelle Ryan and Alexander Haslam symbolizing a risky leadership position in which the leader is asked to direct an organization that is on the decline.

Studies investigating the glass cliff effect generally focus on the difference in context surrounding the ascendency of men and women to high-powered ...

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