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Taking the initiative. What characterizes leaders?

  • Lisa Bruttel
  • Urs Fischbacher

Taking the initiative is a crucial element of leadership and an important asset for many jobs. We assess leadership in a game in which it emerges spontaneously since people have a non-obvious possibility to take the initiative. Combining this game with small experimental games and questionnaires, we investigate the motives and personality characteristics that entail leadership. We find efficiency concerns, generosity, and attention seeking as important determinants of leadership. 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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Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 61.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0061
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