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From classroom to conscription: Leadership emergence in childhood and early adulthood
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7118-2724
2019 (English)In: Leadership Quarterly, ISSN 1048-9843, E-ISSN 1873-3409, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 298-319Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on leadership emergence has mainly focused on adulthood and relied on retrospective accounts of childhood factors. Based on a prospective cohort study of 7719 boys born in 1953, of which 5928 were later drafted, we explored individual differences in leadership emergence in childhood and early adulthood. The data set consisted of register data from different time points and a survey of the cohort in the 6th grade. As expected, cognitive ability, tallness and muscular power were decisive for assessment of military officer suitability. However, we also found a moderate to strong impact on this assessment score from social class, leadership aspirations in childhood, birth order, self-regulatory skills in school, parental support, and previous participation in extracurricular activities. Similarly, social class, cognitive ability, developmental experiences, and birth order were important for nominations as class party organizer in the 6th grade. Delay of gratification was not associated with these nominations at all and was neutralized by cognitive ability in relation to officer suitability. The results strongly support a life-cycle approach to leadership emergence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 30, no 3, p. 298-319
Keywords [en]
Leadership assessment, Childhood, Conscripts, Cohort study, Cragg-hurdle regression
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Public Administration Studies
Research subject
Sociology; Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167173DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2018.11.006ISI: 000472587900002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-167173DiVA, id: diva2:1297814
Projects
Reproduction of inequality though linked lives (RELINK)Available from: 2019-03-21 Created: 2019-03-21 Last updated: 2019-07-14Bibliographically approved

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Reitan, ThereseStenberg, Sten-Åke
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CiteExportLink to record
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  • Other style
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