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The Qualities of Leadership:Direction, Communication, and Obfuscation

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  • Torun Dewan
  • David P. Myatt

Abstract

Party activists wish to (i) advocate the best policy and yet (ii) unify behind a commonparty line. An activist's understanding of his environment is based on the speeches ofparty 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 conveyideas (clarity of communication). A leader with perfect clarity of communication enjoysgreater influence than one with a perfect sense of direction. Activists can choose howmuch attention to pay to leaders. A necessary condition for a leader to monopolize theagenda is that she is the most coherent communicator. Sometimes leaders attract moreattention by obfuscating their messages. A concern for party unity mitigates thisincentive; when activists emphasize following the party line, they learn more about theirenvironment.

Suggested Citation

  • Torun Dewan & David P. Myatt, 2007. "The Qualities of Leadership:Direction, Communication, and Obfuscation," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 24, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stipep:24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government

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