What Councillors Expect of Facilitative Mayors: The Desired Leadership Competencies in Job Advertisements for the Dutch Mayoralty and How They Are Affected by Municipal Size

  • Niels Karsten Tilburg University
Keywords: facilitative leadership, mayors, leadership style, job advertisements


Job vacancy texts for the Dutch mayoralty provide original evidence about what councillors expect of facilitative mayors. In this article, we conduct an automated content analysis of 231 advertisements and use focus groups to interpret our results. We find that the desired qualities of mayoral candidates include showing morally appropriate behaviour, acting as a liaison within local government and beyond, as well as vigour, empathy, and communicative skill. Further, we find that municipal size does affect the desirability of leadership competencies, but also that its impact is limited. This finding suggests that desired local leadership qualities may be less context-dependent than previously assumed.


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