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Title: Age differences in leadership positions across cultures
Authors: Vaughan-Johnston, Thomas
Imtiaz, Faizan
Lee, Albert
Ji, Li-Jun
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Vaughan-Johnston, T., Imtiaz, F., Lee, A. & Ji, L. (2021). Age differences in leadership positions across cultures. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 703831-.
Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Abstract: In most countries around the world, the population is rapidly aging. A by-product of these demographic shifts is that older adults will likely occupy more positions of power and influence in our societies than ever before. Further, cultural differences might shape how these transitions unfold around the globe. Across two studies, we investigated whether business and political leaders differed in age across various cultures. Study 1 (N = 1,034) showed that business leaders were significantly older in Eastern (e.g., China, India, and Japan) cultures than Western (e.g., United States, Sweden, and United Kingdom) cultures, even while controlling for population structure (e.g., percentage of elderly in the society), gross domestic product (GDP), and wealth distribution across the population (GINI). Study 2 (N = 1,268) conceptually replicated these findings by showing that political leaders were once again older in Eastern vs. Western cultures. Furthermore, cultural tightness mediated the relationship between culture and older leadership. These findings highlight how cultural differences impact not only our preferences, but also important outcomes in consequential domains such as business and politics. Potential explanations for why cultural tightness may be related to differences in leader age across cultures are discussed. To build on these findings, future research should assess the potential causal mechanisms underlying the cultural effect on leader age, and explore the various practical implications of this effect.
ISSN: 1664-1078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.703831
Rights: © 2021 Vaughan-Johnston, Imtiaz, Lee and Ji. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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