How Powerful Leaders Communicate Their Visions

ChellieL (CC BY 2.0)

How do influential leaders use language to engage followers? Can we distinguish a toxic leader from an ethical one based on use of language? A new study in the Journal of Management Inquiry (JMI) highlights the fascinating differences in the rhetoric of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Adolf Hitler to understand how different types of charismatic leaders communicate their visions. Jill L. Robinson and Danielle Topping, both of the University of Redlands, published “The Rhetoric of Power: A Comparison of Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr.”  on July 24, 2012 in JMI. Click here to read more OnlineFirst articles.

The abstract:

Charismatic leaders present intriguing examples of the use of power through language. The prevailing neo-charismatic perspective, however, is based predominately on Western theories and research examining U.S. presidents. This study moves beyond this sample by examining language differences between a moral and a toxic leader. Content analysis was used to explore the rhetoric of Martin Luther King Jr. and Adolf Hitler, whose distinct motives play out over their careers and during crises. Although some differences were predictable (i.e., Martin Luther King Jr. used more Optimistic language, whereas Hitler was higher in Power and Aggression), the changes over time suggest keys to their differing motives. Among other findings, Martin Luther King Jr. was remarkably consistent in his rhetoric, whereas Hitler used increasing Power and Aggressive language as his career progressed. While not providing definitive answers, these preliminary results suggest that further study is warranted into the complex interactions between rhetoric and leadership.

Click here to continue. To learn more about the Journal of Management Inquiry, please follow this link.

Are you interested in receiving email alerts whenever a new article or issue becomes available? Then click here!

Business & Management INK

Business and Management INK puts the spotlight on research published in our more than 100 management and business journals. We feature an inside view of the research that’s being published in top-tier SAGE journals by the authors themselves.

Leave a Reply

avatar

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Lilly
Guest

An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to
publish more on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people do not speak about such subjects.
To the next! Kind regards!!

TheAcademicPortal.com
Guest

Reblogged this on Blog of TheAcademicPortal.com and commented:
How do influential leaders use language to engage followers? Can we distinguish a toxic leader from an ethical one based on use of language?