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Do voters get it right? A test of the ascription-actuality trait theory of leadership with political elites.

Wyatt, M. and Silvester, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-2769-4722 (2018). Do voters get it right? A test of the ascription-actuality trait theory of leadership with political elites.. The Leadership Quarterly, doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2018.02.001

Abstract

Are the traits preferred by voters also associated with success in political office? Drawing on the ascription-actuality trait theory of leadership the present study examines whether traits ascribed to politicians predict leadership outcomes differently to the actual traits they possess. We collected self-ratings of politicians' personality (N = 138) using the NEO-PI-R (actual traits) and observer ratings of politicians' facial appearance (ascribed traits) to examine their relationship with (a) leadership emergence, measured using share of vote in election, and (b) in-role leadership effectiveness, rated anonymously by political and local authority colleagues. Facial appearance predicted leadership emergence but not effectiveness. Personality had a more nuanced relationship with leadership outcomes. Conscientiousness predicted effectiveness but not emergence, and Agreeableness revealed a trait paradox, positively predicting emergence and negatively predicting effectiveness. These findings suggest a need to understand the contested nature of political leadership and qualities required for different aspects of political roles.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 Elsevier Inc. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Publisher Keywords: Trait, Personality, Faces, Politics, Leadership
Departments: Cass Business School
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19261
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 15 August 2019 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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