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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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Christian Hellwig & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 223-251.
  3. David P. Myatt & Chris Wallace, 2009. "Endogenous Information Acquisition in Coordination Games," Economics Series Working Papers 445, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Andreas Blume & Oliver Board, 2009. "Intentional Vagueness," Working Papers 381, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised May 2009.
  6. 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.
  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. Patrick Bolton & Markus K. Brunnermeier & Laura Veldkamp, 2008. "Leadership, Coordination and Mission-Driven Management," NBER Working Papers 14339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. repec:cge:warwcg:08 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. 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.
  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. 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.
  13. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.

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