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Title: Cultural variations of the personalities, leadership styles and prototypes of political leaders : a comparison of politicians, organisational leaders and voters
Author: Paramova, Petia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 5288
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Guided by gaps in the literature with regard to the study of politicians and the formation of a definition of ‘political leader’, the aim of this research was to develop a descriptive model of political leaders based on direct measurement findings. The research endeavoured to underline the traits, behaviours and implicit leadership theories (ILTs) associated with political leaders via comparison of the aforementioned variables across groups (i.e. political leaders, N=108; organisational leaders, N=50; and members of the general public, N=206) and cultures (i.e. Bulgarian, N=181; and British, N=183). The personality traits of all participants were measured with the Big Five TIPI (Gosling, Rentfrow, & Swan, 2003) and SYMLOG (Blumberg, 2006) measures, while data on leadership styles and ILTs were obtained from the MLQ (Bass & Avolio, 2004). Moreover, the ILTs associated with political leaders were further explored through emic and locally-constructed culture-specific scales. The statistical exploration of the data relied mainly on multivariate analyses of variance. The findings of comparisons across groups reveal that political leaders were associated with more dominance, emotional stability, conformity and transformational styles. Moreover, the ILTs related to public leaders were less transactional in nature when compared to the ILTs of organisational leaders. In terms of culture, the results show that, compared to British leaders, Bulgarian leaders were more conforming, less open to new experiences and more likely to frequently use both transactional and passive/avoidant behaviours. Furthermore, aspects of morality were more visible in the political ILTs generated by Bulgarians. The present research combined the study of culture and various measured dimensions into a single framework, thus enabling a variety of main effects and interactions to be evaluated simultaneously. Its main contribution is the directly measured data relating to the traits, behaviours and ILTs of political leaders. Such information on the characteristics of politicians could allow for more directional hypotheses in subsequent research. Moreover, the findings could act as a base from which one could expand in a bid to achieve a description of political leadership. Similarly, the outcomes might aid applied fields. Information about followers’ images of good political leaders could inform image management practices relevant to the election of politicians. More specifically, knowledge gained of culturally different leaders could be welcomed by structures such as the European Union, wherein understanding and allowances might aid communication.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available