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Age and Active-Passive Leadership Style

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2013

James N. Schubert*
Alfred University


The relationship between age and active-passive leadership style is analyzed with direct observational data describing the behavior of a sample of 24 mayors during issue discussion and debate on their councils over a one-year period of meetings. Activity, measured as a time-based rate of verbal participation, was found to increase with the age of leaders to a high in the midfifties, and to decline for older mayors in their sixties and seventies. Political experience interacted with age to affect activity. Inexperienced mayors displayed a less active style, regardless of age; but experienced mayors in their sixties and seventies had the least active style of all. These findings held up under control f or group size, political structure on the councils, and community characteristics.

Copyright © American Political Science Association 1988 

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