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The qualities of leadership: direction, communication, and obfuscation

Dewan, Torun and Myatt, David P. (2007) The qualities of leadership: direction, communication, and obfuscation. PEPP, 24. Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Party activists wish to (i) advocate the best policy and yet (ii) unify behind a common party line. An activist’s understanding of his environment is based on the speeches of party leaders. A leader’s influence, measured by the weight placed on her speech, increases with her judgement on policy (sense of direction) and her ability to convey ideas (clarity of communication). A leader with perfect clarity of communication enjoys greater influence than one with a perfect sense of direction. Activists can choose how much attention to pay to leaders. A necessary condition for a leader to monopolize the agenda is that she is the most coherent communicator. Sometimes leaders attract more attention by obfuscating their messages. A concern for party unity mitigates this incentive; when activists emphasize following the party line, they learn more about their environment.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2007 the authors
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Sets: Departments > Government
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 24
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2008 16:39
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19283/

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