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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. PSPE working papers, 01-2008. Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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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 (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Research centres and groups > Political Science and Political Economy Group
Identification Number: 01-2008
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2009 08:44

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