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Leadership and LGBT Workplace Equality Open Access

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Existing research has demonstrated the positive effect transformational leadership has on diversity management in organizations; however, limited research has been conducted that explores this relationship with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity diversity specifically. This study seeks to examine the relationship between leadership style and LGBT equality in organizations. The data utilized in the study focuses on Fortune 500 companies that were included the Human Rights Campaign's 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Data about the leadership styles of Fortune 500 executives was drawn from a content analysis of 2014 CEO shareholder letters conducted by Legutko (2016). Preliminary findings show little relationship between a company's CEI rating and the CEO's leadership style, but a strong relationship between CEI rating and the regulatory framework of the state where the companies' headquarters resides. The study concludes with a discussion of findings and implications for organizations and future research. Keywords: transformational leadership, LGBT equality, diversity management

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