Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Robert Levasseur


Tenure can affect administrative continuity and proper governance in cities that employ the council-manager form of government, as most public policy proposals originate with the city manager. Literature regarding low tenure in medium and large communities is relatively well explored; however, little is known about the relationship between length of service and leadership style among small municipalities. Using Hersey and Blanchard's theory of situational leadership as a theoretical framework and the Leadership Behavioral Analysis IIRTM Self (LBAIIRTM Self) as an instrument, this study looked at managers' leadership flexibility and effectiveness and whether selection of an appropriate leadership approach impacts length of service in the city manager role. An additional questionnaire was used to determine gender, educational level, the racial homogeneity of the community served, and tenure. A random sample of 350 city managers of small municipalities were surveyed by mail and 25 percent of the surveys were returned (n = 90). Data were analyzed using Pearson product moment correlations and t-tests. Findings indicate that there are no statistically significant relationships between any of these variables, including tenure, and a manager's leadership flexibility and effectiveness, suggesting that leadership ability and tenure are not related. These findings are not consistent with the academic literature regarding public leadership. This study contributes to social change by providing city managers and other municipal leaders with more nuanced information about tenure and leadership and can be used by city managers and city councils in making policy decisions, including decisions about appointment to the city manager position.