Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
Crisis and Rhetoric in Presidential Leadership: A Regression Discontinuity Design
Title of the conference
Academy of Management Proceedings
Academy of Management, Vancouver, Canada
Leadership scholars have suggested that charismatic leadership is more likely to emerge in times of crisis. As such, we examined President George W. Bush's speeches before and after the events of 9/11. We predicted that the terrorist attacks affected Bush's rhetoric such that he would use more charismatic themes and appeals. We tested our predictions by reanalyzing data from Bligh et al. (2004), but using a regression discontinuity design (RDD) instead of a standard regression (ANOVA) model like they did. Unlike an ANOVA, the RDD allows for the drawing of proper causal conclusions when observations are not randomized to groupings, as long as the selection process is correctly modeled. Although like Bligh and colleagues, we find that Bush's rhetoric significantly changed following the 9/11 attacks, our results differ rather substantially from what they found. We provide explanations and discuss the implications of these findings both substantively and methodologically.
Charismatic Leadership, Crisis Rhetoric, Regression Discontinuity Design
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