شخصیت، رهبری تحول گرا، اعتماد و انتخابات ریاست جمهوری آمریکا در سال 2000
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|19440||2003||32 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 14, Issue 2, April 2003, Pages 161–192
This study of the 2000 U.S. presidential election replicates and extends Pillai and Williams' [Leadersh. Q. 9 (1998) 397] study of the 1996 presidential election. Data were collected at two periods from respondents across three regions of the United States to yield 342 matched sets of preelection variables and postelection measures. Transformational leadership and attributed charisma were strongly associated with reported voting behavior for candidates Bush and Gore beyond party affiliation. Important extensions to earlier findings are that perceptions of candidate proactive behavior, empathy, and need for achievement were shown to be related to transformational leadership and attributed charisma, with trust in the leader an important mediating variable between leadership perceptions and voting behavior. Implications of the findings for future research are discussed.
Research on American presidents has clearly established the importance of leadership ability for evaluations of presidential greatness (Kenney & Rice, 1988). The extensive international media exposure and public scrutiny that are bestowed on the American president make leadership qualities critical determinants of effectiveness evaluations (Foti, Fraser, & Lord, 1982). Increasing national and international complexity has correspondingly increased the role of the government and expanded the public responsibility of those, such as the president, in positions of visible discretionary executive power and authority (Renshon, 1998). Presidential personality and character are believed to hold the keys to performance in the office and have been scrutinized by voters during presidential campaigns in the past (House, Spangler, & Wokye, 1991). The evolving challenges of U.S. presidential leadership in the 21st century, punctuated by the tragic events of September 11, 2001, suggest that successful presidential leadership will be defined more by transformational and charismatic appeals that galvanize key constituencies worldwide around a sustainable vision than by concentrated regiocentric displays of power. Thus, evaluations of candidates' leadership ability and character are likely to play an ever increasingly important role in determining voting behavior in future elections. However, systematic examination of the influence of leadership on voting preference and choice has lagged behind other issues such as the state of the economy and party affiliation (Miller, Wattenberg, & Malanchuk, 1986). As we explain in the following paragraphs, the present study is an attempt not only to replicate an earlier study by Pillai and Williams (1998) but also to add value by extending some preliminary findings that suggest that leadership perceptions have a strong association with reported voting behavior. Pillai and Williams (1998) investigated the impact of voters' perceptions of attributed charisma and transformational leadership of the Democratic (incumbent President Bill Clinton) and Republican (then Senator Bob Dole) candidates for the Presidency of the United States in the 1996 elections. Their study showed that leadership perceptions were positively associated with both intent to vote and actual voting behavior, after accounting for the impact of traditional variables such as party affiliation, during the 1996 U.S. presidential election. Although showing that holistic leadership evaluations are an important influence on voting behavior, their study provided no empirical insights into the antecedent conditions, such as evaluations of personality characteristics, which drive these leadership perceptions and the consequences of such perceptions for the vote. Analysis of the trait inventories of presidential candidates from the National Election Studies data based from 1980 to the 1992 elections reveal that impressions of candidate character appear to play an important role in American electoral politics even after traditional predictors of voting, such as party identification, are held constant (Klein, 1996). The primary purpose of this study is to extend the scope of Pillai and Williams' (1998) study in the context of the 2000 presidential elections and to include the interplay of proactive behavior, need for achievement, emotional empathy, transformational leadership, charisma, and trust with actual voting behavior. We believe that a more comprehensive model, incorporating both antecedent and mediating variables (to the relationship between leadership perceptions and voting behavior) will shed new light on voter decision making arising from evaluations of candidate leadership traits, enhancing our understanding of voter decision making. A second important purpose of this study is to replicate the study of Pillai and Williams in the context of the 2000 presidential elections with different presidential candidates, namely Vice President Al Gore and then Governor George W. Bush. Although replication studies are important for understanding the robustness of a phenomenon, their presence is regrettably uncommon in the leadership literature, a plight shared by most of the organizational literature Hubbard & Vetter, 1996 and Hunter, 2001. Past research has shown that political leadership perceptions play an important role in voter preference and choice (e.g., Maurer et al., 1993 and Shamir, 1994). Using leadership categorization theory, Maurer et al. (1993) examined the match between voters' perceptions of a candidate's traits and their prototype of an effective leader. In the context of the 1988 U.S. presidential elections, they found that the higher the prototypicality of a trait with regard to an effective political leader prototype, the stronger the relationship between perceptions of the candidate in terms of the trait, and whether the respondent voted for the leader. Shamir (1994) found that the level of perceived charismatic leadership and ideological position influenced voting preferences of Israeli voters during the 1992 elections for Israel's prime minister. In a study using both experimental and national election data, Rapoport, Metcalf, and Hartman (1989) found that voters were likely to make inferences about candidates from personality traits to campaign issues and from campaign issues to personality traits; however, inferences from issues to traits were much stronger and were based on implicit theories of politics and human nature. A number of scholars have devoted their attention to assessing the factors that have contributed to outstanding leadership among U.S. presidents and found that presidential charisma and motive profile were related to electoral success (e.g., House et al., 1991, Simonton, 1988 and Winter, 1987). Thus, leadership and individual characteristics appear to play an important role in the post hoc evaluation of presidential greatness and leadership potential; likewise, perceptions of candidate personality may play an important role in determining voter preferences. Drawing on past research, we develop the model shown in Fig. 1 with dotted lines indicating proposed extensions to the relationships tested by Pillai and Williams (1998). We first examine the relationship of perceptions of presidential candidate proactivity, need for achievement, and emotional empathy to transformational leadership and attributed charisma, and in turn to voting preference and choice (Extension 1, Fig. 1). Next, we test the mediating role of trust in the relationship between transformational leadership and attributed charisma and actual voting behavior in an attempt to better explain how leadership evaluations affect voting behavior (Extension 2, Fig. 1). Finally, we examine the role of leadership in the relationship between individual characteristics (personality) and trust (Extension 3, Fig. 1). A review of the literature and rationale for including each of the variables in our study is discussed in the following section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We conducted the study over the course of a presidential election with real leaders and collected reported voting behavior, a unique aspect of this research in addition to the focus on personality, leadership, and trust to explain voting behavior. The findings show that both leadership ratings and party identification are related to voting preference and choice, and that, in combination, these variables can predict the vote for a particular candidate. This replicates the findings of the Pillai and Williams (1998) study of the 1996 election, reemphasizing the importance of leadership evaluations and party identification on voting behavior. Interestingly, based on the correlations between intentions to vote and reported voting behavior, it appears that intent to vote is predictive of actual voting behavior (r=.62 for Bush and .45 for Gore) but that the stability of the relationship can vary marginally by candidate. This investigation goes beyond the earlier study and examines the role of personality characteristics and trust in the voting decision. The results show that candidate personality characteristics such as proactivity, need for achievement, and emotional empathy may drive leadership evaluations, which in turn may predict voting behavior. The results also show that trust in the candidate mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and attributed charisma assessments and voting behavior. Most work with transformational leadership has examined the effects of transformational leadership on the follower without examining attributes of the leaders themselves (Ross & Offermann, 1997). As Bass (1998, p. 122) observed, “When it comes to predicting transformational leadership and its components, there is no shortage of personality expectations, however, the empirical support has been spotty.” The present study found support for predictions that personality attributes such as proactivity, need for achievement, and emotional empathy drive ratings of transformational leadership and attributed charisma, which had a strong relationship with actual voting behavior. Thus, it appears that voters may evaluate their candidates' personality in addition to their leadership ability as they ponder their choice for president. Our findings that proactivity and emotional empathy were related to transformational and charismatic leadership are noteworthy because previous studies have shown some support for these relationships although not in the context of a presidential election. The significant relationship between need for achievement and leadership ratings, however, runs counter to some previous studies of need for achievement and presidential charisma/transformational leadership. House et al. (1991) found the achievement motivation of U.S. presidents to be inversely related to archival measures of presidential effectiveness. This finding also runs counter to those of Judge and Bono (2000), who were surprised to find that conscientiousness, with achievement as one of its major facets, was not related to transformational leadership. However, Judge, Bono, Ilies, and Gerhardt (2002) did find conscientiousness to be related to leadership in general (corrected correlation of .28), with a stronger relationship to leader emergence (corrected r=.33) than leader effectiveness (corrected r=.16). Differential findings may also have been observed because previous presidential studies examined leaders who were already elected to the presidency or appointed to leadership positions in industry (rater emphasis on measuring leadership effectiveness). Finally, paper and pencil measures of achievement motivation, such as those used here, have been argued to be very different from the original, projective, and TAT measures emphasized by McClelland (1985). House et al. (1991) used such a TAT approach. This study assesses voter perceptions of personality and leadership potential of candidates running for election (emphasis on the emerging leader). Perhaps striving for achievement is more salient to raters when candidates are seeking a leadership position than when they are already established leaders. Although it can be argued that Al Gore was already elected vice president in the Clinton administration and George W. Bush was a two-time governor, both candidates may have been striving to assert that they were not simply caretakers of prior agendas, those of former presidents Bill Clinton and George H. Bush, respectively, but had significant ambitions of their own. It is also possible that the relationship between need for achievement and leadership is the result of individuals' implicit theories about the candidates' personality and leadership. Voters may have an image of their ideal candidate as someone who has a strong motivation to achieve great things in his presidency. They may then discern this from the candidate's vision for the country as expressed during his campaign. The finding with respect to proactivity complements, to some extent, Judge and Bono's (2000) finding that “extraversion” was related to the elements of transformational leadership including charisma. Further, the relationship between transformational and charismatic leadership and empathy complements Judge and Bono's finding that the big five characteristic, agreeableness, was strongly related to both charisma and transformational leadership. The measure of emotional empathy that we used was a subscale of a measure developed to assess EQ. EQ has increasingly been identified as an important predictor of effective leadership George, 2000 and Goleman, 2000. The perception that a candidate understands followers and is able to connect with their needs and aspirations is clearly an important factor in leadership evaluations and the voting decision. During the Bush–Clinton debates in the 1992 election, former President Bush was perceived as a man who did not empathize with ordinary Americans because he did not know the price of everyday grocery items! Empathy is also important after a president gets elected because the president has to “sell” his vision to the country. In times of national crisis, for example, people need to know that their leader understands what they are going through, especially when that leader may be asking their constituents to make personal sacrifices for the well-being of the collective. It is interesting that in our study, the relationship between empathy and leadership was stronger for George W. Bush in comparison to Al Gore. Gore was portrayed in the popular press as being stiff and wooden. The partial mediating and incremental effects rather than solely mediating effects of leadership on the relationship between empathy and voting behavior for Bush indicate that for his supporters, perceptions of empathy remained salient in the presence of strong leadership traits. The finding that trust mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and attributed charisma to voting behavior for both George W. Bush and Al Gore is noteworthy. This relationship underscores the importance of trust to the leader–follower relationship in the context of both close and distanced leader–follower relationships. It appears that voters who rate their candidate as transformational and charismatic develop trust in them and this influences their decision to vote for that individual. It would be interesting to explore in greater detail the process by which trust is established in the candidate, the role the media and advertising play in influencing voter perceptions of trust, and whether negative advertising helps erode trust in the candidate who is placing the ads or the candidate who is the target of those ads. Finally, the mainly incremental effects of individual characteristics (proactivity, need for achievement, and emotional empathy) and leadership perceptions over each other in predicting the degree to which respondents trusted the candidates highlights the importance of these variables. Identification with the leader is one of the important effects of transformational and charismatic leadership (Pillai, Schriesheim, & Williams, 1999). As this study shows, perceptions of candidates having what might be considered strong or even key personality characteristics may be just as important as leadership for value identification. This identification may strengthen the probability to vote for a particular candidate over another. With the important role played by trust in predicting voting behavior (indicated by our findings), the ability of candidates to portray the character traits and leadership characteristics most valued by voters may provide an advantage in any electoral campaign. Future research will need to continue to examine the personality characteristics and leadership behaviors that are perceived as critical in influencing trust in the candidate. 5.1. Limitations and implications for future research The Pillai and Williams (1998) study sampled voters in the southeastern United States exclusively. In the current study, we sampled voters living in states in the southern United States, in a West Coast state, and a Midwestern landlocked mountain state. Future research might extend this improved sample diversity further to be truly reflective of all U.S. regions (e.g., northeast, northwest, and plains states). Within our three-state sample, we did find some variance across states but we generously interpret this finding as being reasonably representative of regional differences in the electorate, a naturally occurring phenomenon. The average age of our sample was 27.6 years, which is younger than the average age of the U.S. population. One U.S. census bureau report, however, noted that by November 2000 about 40% of the voting age population would be ages 25–44 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). Election reports by the census bureau (2001) indicated that approximately 43% of the individuals reporting that they voted in the 2000 presidential election were between the ages of 18 and 34 (approximately 86% of our respondents fell into this age range). Though our sample is representative of a substantial portion of the U.S. population, future research should explore whether these findings can be replicated in more mature voting demographic groups. Studies have shown that the closer polls are to an election, the more accurate their predictions become (Crespi, 1988). This is an advantage of polling close to the election. The 2-week postelection window in this study should have allowed the respondents to accurately recall their decisions but do not preclude the respondent from engaging in some revisionist history responses in an attempt to affiliate with the winner. Future studies could be designed to monitor leadership evaluations at various points during the campaign, instead of just the period close to the election. This would help researchers understand how voting preferences change over the course of the campaign, possibly triggered by important revelations about the personality and leadership ability of the candidate. It would also be interesting to track leadership ratings of incumbent presidents throughout their term to assess the degree to which these ratings rise and fall in conjunction with the popularity ratings. The fact that we studied distanced leadership rather than close leadership may also have influenced the ratings. Voters usually lack the direct knowledge needed to gauge the merits of rival candidates. Few voters know the candidates personally and may therefore rely on conjectures when making judgments about personality, character, and performance (Simonton, 1993). However, voters are routinely called upon to elect their leader, the American president, without actually having met the candidate or having worked for him (and someday her), as is true with the vast majority of the electorate. With the 24-hour news cycle and the intensive television coverage of major events and figures, it is likely that the distinctions between close and distant leadership become blurred. Through this intensive exposure, many voters may come to feel that they “know” the candidate personally, increasing their confidence that they can judge personal qualities and leadership ability quite effectively. Television plays a major role in bringing candidates into the “living room” and this may foster perceptions of closeness and intimacy with the candidate. With respect to the type of media, 80% of our respondents indicated that that they were most strongly influenced by the Internet, news, debates, convention, or the radio. In the domain of personality research, there are several studies that support assessments of personality at a distance (Simonton, 1993). It is possible that with the extensive media attention and access to the internet, which is the hallmark of a modern presidential election, voters are able to assess candidate characteristics such as proactivity, need for achievement, and empathy based on symbolic actions and ideological identification. There may, however, be some aspects of the charismatic/transformational leadership phenomenon that are particularly susceptible to physical or social distance and others that are not affected. As stated earlier, Yagil (1998) showed that perceptions of extraordinary qualities and attributions of charisma were not affected by distance. Howell and Hall-Merenda (1999), on the other hand, found that transformational leaders produced higher follower performance in close versus distant leadership situations. Future studies should examine other factors (e.g., the role of media coverage, nationwide vs. local elections) that determine assessments of close and distant charismatic and transformational leadership in the context of elections. We examined only a limited number of personality characteristics. We selected those personality characteristics that have been shown to be related to transformational and charismatic leadership and presidential leadership in particular. Future studies could focus on including other personality characteristics for a more thorough assessment of the relationship among personality, leadership, and voting preferences. It might also be interesting to study the specific combination of personality characteristics and situations that determine the election of one candidate over the other. The personality characteristics that are deemed critical in times of peace and prosperity may be very different from the personality characteristics deemed critical for leadership during war and recession. As we write this limitation section, positive public opinion of George W. Bush's presidency is approaching unprecedented levels and he is receiving high marks from the press for being a leader with a clear vision, the necessary decisiveness to wage a tough war on terrorism, and empathy for the negative consequences for some of his decisions. This public persona is in stark contrast to the characterization of Bush in the months preceding the World Trade Center bombings when his legitimacy and fitness for the position were being questioned following a very closely contested election mired by recount process fiascoes. Another limitation in this study is that our measures of personality and leadership were not obtained at different points in time and thus we could not establish causality in the modeling of the relationships. However, we can make a literature-supported argument that personality characteristics are antecedents of leadership evaluations and that trust is usually a consequence of leadership Bass, 1998, Dirks & Ferrin, 2002, Judge & Bono, 2000, Judge et al., 2002 and Podsakoff et al., 1990. This argument is consistent with a trait-based perspective, which suggests that an individual's traits lead the individual to behave in a particular manner. An alternative view, consistent with a social-cognitive perspective, would suggest that perceivers use traits to evaluate targets. Lord and Maher's (1993) work on implicit leadership theory shows that individuals match leadership traits to a leadership prototype to make inferences about leadership ability. Transformational leadership assessments are particularly susceptible to the above effect and the implicit theory research has shown that there is a relatively high correlation between individuals' leadership prototypes and ratings of transformational leadership. It might be plausible that inferences on candidate personality are drawn from behaviors observed and given that most voters are not in regular contact with the candidates (especially presidential candidates), they may rely on inferences about personality traits and leadership. These inferences in turn may drive their trust in their leaders and subsequent decision to vote for them. In future studies, it may be useful to obtain personality ratings from independent sources, perhaps by using qualitative methods such as content analyses of biographies, news and magazine articles, and other sources. The high correlations among the leadership and personality variables examined in this study suggest the need for future research that examines the extent to which certain traits that are exhibited in specific leadership behaviors are distinct. Indeed the field has shown considerable recent enthusiasm for explorations of the link between personality with transformational leadership, leadership emergence, and leadership effectiveness (Judge & Bono, 2000; Judge et al., 2002,). The personality variables included in our study, by definition, measured these leaders' personal attributes and specific sets of needs whereas leadership variables focused more on specific leader “behaviors.” The use of self-reports, however, limits the conclusions that can be drawn because common method variance might influence our results. Even so, recent work suggests that the bias caused by self-reports might be overstated Crampton & Wagner, 1994 and Spector, 1994. Still it is possible that common source or method variance produced inflated correlations. As previously indicated, the nature of our study necessitated asking respondents to report on personality and leadership variables observed. After we had gathered our data, a study by Lindell and Whitney (2001) appeared in the literature. This study used a “marker variable” (designed into the study ahead of time) to adjust for possible same source bias. In spite of the above point concerning possible overstatement of such bias, we might well have used this marker variable approach in our work but were unaware of it. Evidence has shown that other empirical adjustments often extract meaningful variance along with that attributed to common source (Podsakoff & Organ, 1986). Thus, we judged such adjustments to be inappropriate. At the same time, we hoped to shed more light on the concern by using Crampton and Wagner's (1994) “domain notion.” Their meta-analysis allowed for comparison of self-report versus multimethod correlations for each of 27 domains or clusters of variables (e.g., job satisfaction with organizational commitment). Unfortunately, such data were not available for the personality and leadership variables of interest in our study. Therefore, we could not get a preliminary assessment of the likelihood of the problem. Based on the above arguments, we did not attempt a statistical adjustment nor could we assess whether or not we were likely to have a problem. Future research should focus on multiple data sources to further our understanding of the relationships among variables relating to personality characteristics and leadership and at the very least when the marker variable technique should be used. Switching now to the cross-sectional aspect of our study, Spector (1994) argues that cross-sectional questionnaires can be a useful tool in exploratory examinations of the relationships between variables and therefore is one of the major research methods used in organizational behavior. An alternative model might specify that behaviors observed by followers influence their assignment of specific personality traits to those leaders. Previous research, however, suggests that personality traits are antecedent to attributions of leadership and they are relatively stable over time (Bass, 1998). Longitudinal studies are needed to help delineate the differential impact that traits and behaviors have in predicting outcomes. Although the Deluga (1998) study on presidential proactivity and charisma was not longitudinal, he was able to show that charismatic leadership explained variance in performance outcomes over and above proactivity but the reverse was not true. We did obtain actual voting information from the same individuals a little over 2 weeks after the presidential election, thus introducing a temporal dimension to our model and analyses. Our study did not include other possible variables that might affect voting behavior such as real GNP growth, inflation and interest rates, the role of the media, and opinions about specific issues. Noneconomic issues that the study excluded included those surrounding the preservation of peace and upholding a strong international presence. There may also be other factors that power economic change. In general, most voters are likely to be able to handle only a few predictors that they can then manipulate in an additive fashion (Simonton, 1993). In the 2000 election, it appeared that there were not many critical issues that would prompt the voters to swing wildly from their political affiliation bases. The 2004 elections may present another set of factors altogether! The attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent war on terrorism have dramatically changed expectations and perceptions of leaders at the national and local levels (e.g., President Bush and his cabinet, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani). This is likely to be reflected in voters' decisions in future elections, at least in the near term, especially the 2004 presidential elections. Our results suggest that candidates who can display (or can persuade voters they possess) characteristics such as proactive behavior, empathy, and a high need for achievement may enhance evaluations of their leadership capabilities thereby enhancing voter trust and ultimately securing their vote.