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Taking the initiative. What characterizes leaders?

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  • Bruttel, Lisa
  • Fischbacher, Urs

Abstract

Taking the initiative is a crucial element of leadership and an important asset for many jobs. We assess this element of leadership in a game in which it emerges spontaneously since people have a non-obvious possibility to take the initiative. We can show that leadership in this game correlates with real life activities associated with taking the initiative. Combining this game with other experimental games and with questionnaires, we investigate the personality characteristics that entail leadership. We find efficiency concerns and generosity to be important determinants of leadership. Leaders have an internal locus of control and are more patient than non-leaders, but they are not different from the non-leaders with respect to risk attitude. Response time patterns and the results from the cognitive reflection test show that cognitive resources are relevant in the decision to lead.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 64 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 147-168

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:147-168

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

Related research

Keywords: Leading-by-example; Social preferences; Experiment;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eisenkopf, Gerald, 2014. "The impact of management incentives in intergroup contests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 42-61.
  2. Heijden, E.C.M. van der & Moxnes, E., 2011. "Leading by Example to Protect the Environment; Do the Costs of Leading Matter?," Discussion Paper 2011-043, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Eisenkopf, Gerald, 2013. "Management Impact in an Experimental Intergroup Contest," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79863, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  4. Gerald Eisenkopf, 2013. "The Impact of Management Incentives in Intergroup Contests," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-26, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  5. Gerald Eisenkopf, 2013. "The Impact of Management Incentives in Intergroup Contests," TWI Research Paper Series 87, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.

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