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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3362||2012||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6663 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 5, October 2012, Pages 934–942
Using archival data for a sample of U.S. presidents, evidence was found for a honeymoon and hangover effect in approval ratings over time. That is, presidential approval tended to be high early in the president's term and decrease over time. The effect of time on approval persisted even when military and economic indicators were included as predictors of presidential approval. More importantly, the effect of time on approval was moderated by charisma, such that charismatic leaders better maintained their approval rating over time. We take this as evidence that the honeymoon/hangover effect on presidential approval is substantively meaningful from a psychological perspective.
Approval for U.S. presidents tends to start high and decline over the course of the president's term (e.g., Eichenberg, Stoll, & Lebo, 2006). However, the importance of the effect of time-in-office on approval rating has been called into question (Kernell, 1978). In this article we contend that the honeymoon/hangover effect (HHE) characteristic of U.S. presidential approval rates is a meaningful phenomenon resulting from psychological processes. To test this assertion, first we statistically controlled for alternative sources of variance in presidential approval, including military spending, inflation, and unemployment. Second, we went beyond showing that the time effects persist in the presence of statistical controls by actually predicting the nature of these trends for different presidents. Drawing on the theory of transformational leadership (Bass, 1985) we predicted that highly charismatic presidents would experience less of a drop in approval over their time in office compared to their less charismatic counterparts.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The primary purpose of the present study was to show that trends in presidential approval over time are meaningful and of substantive importance. In line with others (e.g., Kernell, 1978), our results show that presidential approval ratings follow a general honeymoon and hangover pattern. However, these effects persisted even when indicators of peace and prosperity were statistically controlled. More so, the effect of time in office on approval was moderated by charisma, such that more charismatic presidents suffered a smaller decrement in approval rates over time, as compared to their less charismatic counterparts. Thus, the nature of decline in presidential approval is certainly not identical for every president, nor is it necessarily inevitable. We were also able to provide an initial look at President Obama's approval trajectory. As shown in Fig. 2, President Obama experienced a decline in approval at the beginning of his term, yet the rate of this decline decelerated over time. This pattern of approval is consistent with the idea that President Obama is highly charismatic (Bligh & Kohles, 2009). More importantly, President Obama has faced a great deal of resistance during his time in office (e.g., Tea Party Movement, Birther Movement).3 Nonetheless, he has attained at least some level of success in enacting policy relevant to a variety of major issues, such as an end to military involvement in Iraq, the repeal of “Don't Ask Don't Tell”, and cutting prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients. We speculate that President Obama's high level of charisma has helped him to maintain moderate levels of approval throughout his term, which in turn has been instrumental in implementation of policy. Of course, we are looking at one individual, and our data are correlational. Thus, it is not our intention to make any definitive statements about causality. However, our results, especially those from President Obama, suggest that charisma may be a critical resource for navigating contentious political environments. A key strength of the current research is the longitudinal nature of the data. Our findings highlight the importance of considering timing when evaluating a president's approval rating. Regardless of charisma, early in the president's term can be considered a “high utility” time for introducing changes. One important implication of this trend is that presidents can capitalize on early-term approval to introduce initiatives that require substantial support of the electorate. Furthermore, highly charismatic leaders tend to enjoy a longer period of opportunity to engage in such initiatives. This period of approval could also have negative implications for organizations (or in this case, nations) if the leader in question is not motivated by the organization's best interests but instead his or her own interests (and the two are in conflict) (e.g., Einarsen, Aasland, & Skogstad, 2007).4 Indeed, given the short tenure of most CEOs (~ 4 years), CEO decision-making has been shown to favor short-term saving and profits (which benefit the CEO) rather than long-term profits without immediate payoffs (Antia, Pantzalis, & Park, 2010). Likewise, there are a number of historical examples of charismatic leaders that pursue highly destructive self-serving goals (e.g., Osama Bin Laden, Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein). An extended “honeymoon” period would likely increase the damage done in these cases. Another strength of the current study is the use of a composite measure of presidential charisma. Such an approach balances the limitations of previous approaches. That is, a composite measure takes into account different rating scales, data sources (inaugural addresses; editorials), and raters. However, a limitation is that charisma was considered to be constant for each president. Future research could investigate how perceptions of presidential or leader charisma change over time, especially when elections are on the horizon. During the election season, the electorate may largely focus on the relative charisma of a president (or presidential candidate) in relation to other candidates. Outside of the election season, perceptions of charisma may be based on referents internal to presidents themselves, such as evaluation of their previous behavior. Most published presidential charisma measures appear to use absolute indicators of charisma, such as those using anchored rating scales with no mention of comparison to others. In addition, charisma may have both trait and state aspects (Fleeson, 2004), and these perceptions could influence the ways that presidential charisma affects approval ratings over time. A limitation of this study is that the level-2 sample size was small, allowing for the possibilities of influential outliers to drive the effects we observed. However, we conducted several analyses which revealed that this was not likely a concern. Specifically, deleting any one president from the analyses does not change the interpretation of the hypothesis tests.5 That is, our results do not appear to be driven by one individual. Another limitation related to the sample used in the current research is that all of the presidents included in this study were white males. This may have implications for the phenomena of interest, as both race (e.g., Rosette, Leonardelli, & Phillips, 2008) and gender (e.g., Scott & Brown, 2006) affect how followers perceive leaders. Briefly, white male leaders are “prototypical,” and deviations from this prototype (non-white and/or female) bias observer ratings of leader behavior such that less prototypical individuals are seen as less effective leaders. It may be the case that non-prototypical leaders experience a more extreme “hangover” period. Also, charisma may be more important for non-prototypical leaders for overcoming the hangover effect (or being elected in the first place). President Obama is potentially an interesting case study of this phenomenon, given that President Obama is a non-prototypical (non-white6) leader and is generally regarded as highly charismatic (Bligh & Kohles, 2009). Future research should build on our results by studying non-white or female leaders over time. We expect that the honeymoon/hangover effects reported above, along with the moderating effects of charisma, will be even stronger for non-prototypical leaders. However, this is an empirical question that should be validated with data. Another limitation of this study is that the effects of crises, such as wars, natural disasters, and economic turmoil, were not included in our analyses. This was done for several practical reasons. Specifically, it is not clear what constitutes a “crisis” (e.g., Was the Y2K scare a crisis?), it is not clear how much weight should be given to a particular crisis in a statistical model (e.g., Should the September 11th attacks be given the same weight as the 2008 financial crises?), and it not clear how many subsequent observations a crisis should be allowed to predict (e.g., Should the bombing of Pearl Harbor be included in predicting President Truman's approval? President Obama's?). Given these ambiguities, we excluded crises from our analyses. However, we can speculate as to how crises may have influenced our results. Specifically, crises seem to lead presidents to display more charismatic behavior than is typical for that president (Bligh, Kohles, & Meindl, 2004). This is likely because crises create uncertainty in which the electorate often looks to the president for guidance. Because followers tend to be more trusting of charismatic leaders (Dirks & Ferrin, 2002), displaying charismatic behaviors following a crisis is an effective method for helping the public deal effectively with this uncertainty. However, there is likely within-president variance in the range of charisma displayed, and as shown in this study (and several others), there is between-president variance in overall level of charisma. Thus, the effect of a crisis on presidential approval is likely to depend on how charismatically the president is able to respond. Presidents who are naturally very charismatic may be able to use crises opportunities to garner support (e.g., Ronald Reagan following the attempted assassination), as are less charismatic presidents who are able to “turn it on” at the right time (e.g., George W. Bush following September 11th). However, crises may have the opposite effect for presidents with low overall charisma (e.g., Jimmy Carter and the Iran hostage crisis). Although we can speculate on the issue, the precise interplay of crises, charisma, and the HHE must be evaluated via empirical research. Future research may add to our results in several ways. First, it is important to know whether the HHE, as well as the moderating effect of charisma, is a general characteristic of leader/follower relationships, or is unique to very high level leaders like U.S. presidents. For instance, it is common for CEOs and boards of directors of organizations to be elected. Thus, the results of the current research may generalize to any organization using elections to assign leaders. That is, board members may be best off making organizational changes earlier in their tenure, and charismatic board members may enjoy a longer “honeymoon” than their less charismatic counterparts. However, the leaders included in this study (U.S. presidents) are unique, and future research is needed to assure that our findings apply to a wider range of leaders. Second, our theoretical explanation for the HHE and the moderating role of charisma was that these effects were being driven by follower affect and cognitions. However, we were not able to observe these effects in the followers directly. Thus, future research should study affective and cognitive reactions to leaders over time in addition to approval rate.