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On the rhetorical strategies of leaders: Speaking clearly, standing back, and stepping down

Author

Listed:
  • Torun Dewan

    (London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK)

  • David P Myatt

    (London Business School, London, UK)

Abstract

Followers wish to coordinate their actions in an uncertain environment. A follower would like his action to be close to some ideal (but unknown) target; to reflect his own idiosyncratic preferences; and to be close to the actions of others. He learns about his world by listening to leaders. Followers fail to internalize the full benefits of coordination and so place insufficient emphasis on the focal views of relatively clear leaders. A leader sometimes stands back, by restricting what she says, and so creates space for others to be heard; in particular, a benevolent leader with outstanding judgement gives way to a clearer communicator in an attempt to encourage unity amongst her followers. Sometimes a leader receives no attention from followers, and sometimes she steps down (says nothing); hence a leadership elite emerges from the endogenous choices of leaders and followers.

Suggested Citation

  • Torun Dewan & David P Myatt, 2012. "On the rhetorical strategies of leaders: Speaking clearly, standing back, and stepping down," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 431-460, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jothpo:v:24:y:2012:i:4:p:431-460
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    File URL: http://jtp.sagepub.com/content/24/4/431.abstract
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:dpr:wpaper:0908 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Myatt, David P. & Wallace, Chris, 2019. "Information acquisition and use by networked players," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 360-401.
    3. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:4:p:395-429 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Myatt, David P. & Wallace, Chris, 2014. "Central bank communication design in a Lucas-Phelps economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 64-79.
    5. Antonio Jiménez-Martínez, 2014. "Information acquisition interactions in two-player quadratic games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 43(2), pages 455-485, May.
    6. Javier Rivas & Carmelo Rodríguez-Álvarez, 2017. "Deliberation, Leadership and Information Aggregation," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(4), pages 395-429, July.
    7. Hiroki Arato & Tomoya Nakamura, 2013. "Endogenous Alleviation of Overreaction Problem by Aggregate Information Announcement," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 319-336, September.
    8. Bernard Herskovic & Joao Ramos, 2016. "Acquiring information through peers," 2016 Meeting Papers 248, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Myatt, David P. & Wallace, Chris, 2015. "Cournot competition and the social value of information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PB), pages 466-506.

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    Keywords

    communication; leadership; rhetoric;

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