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The Qualities of Leadership:Direction, Communication, and Obfuscation

  • Torun Dewan
  • David P. Myatt

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.

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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series with number 24.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stipep:24
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  8. David P. Myatt & Torun Dewan, 2006. "Leading the Party: Coordination, Direction, and Communication," Economics Series Working Papers 280, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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