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The Qualities of Leadership: Direction, Communication, and Obfuscation

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  • David P. Myatt
  • Torun Dewan

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 311.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:311

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Keywords: Leadership; Direction; Coordination; Communication; Oligarchy;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Blume & Oliver Board, 2009. "Intentional Vagueness," Working Papers 381, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised May 2009.
  2. Patrick Bolton & Markus K. Brunnermeier & Laura Veldkamp, 2008. "Leadership, Coordination and Mission-Driven Management," NBER Working Papers 14339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Goodall, Amanda H. & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2011. "Why do leaders matter? A study of expert knowledge in a superstar setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 265-284, March.
  4. Christian Hellwig & Laura Veldkamp, 2006. "Knowing what others Know: Coordination motives in information acquisition," 2006 Meeting Papers 361, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. repec:cge:warwcg:08 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Luca Colombo & Gianluca Femminis & Alessandro Pavan, 2012. "Information Acquisition and Welfare," Discussion Papers 1554, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Goodall, Amanda H. & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Why Do Leaders Matter? The Role of Expert Knowledge," IZA Discussion Papers 3583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
  9. Dmitry Shapiro & Xianwen Shi & Artie Zillante, 2009. "Robustness of Level-k Reasoning in Generalized Beauty Contest Games," Working Papers tecipa-380, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. David P. Myatt & Chris Wallace, 2009. "Endogenous Information Acquisition in Coordination Games," Economics Series Working Papers 445, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. David P. Myatt & Chris Wallace, 2008. "On the Sources and Value of Information: Public Announcements and Macroeconomic Performance," Economics Series Working Papers 411, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Junichiro Ishida & Takashi Shimizu, 2012. "Asking One Too Many? Why Leaders Need to Be Decisive," ISER Discussion Paper 0857, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  13. Gürerk, Özgür & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rockenbach, Bettina, 2009. "Motivating teammates: The leader's choice between positive and negative incentives," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 591-607, August.

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