Date of Award

5-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Sociology

Advisor

Sturkie, Kinly

Abstract

This study investigates the influence of crisis on the use of charismatic rhetoric. Using computerized content analysis, the speeches and radio addresses of President Bush were examined during four time periods, including pre- and post-September 11th and pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina. Theoretical characteristics of charismatic leadership were examined through the development of eight charismatic rhetoric constructs (collective focus, temporal orientation, followers' worth, similarity to followers, values and moral justifications, tangibility, action, and adversity). Results from MANOVA tests reveal that the rhetorical leadership of President Bush became more charismatic following each of the crises, which suggests that the increased charisma was crisis-responsive instead of visionary during both post-crisis time periods. The implications of the leader, follower, and situation interaction are discussed as they apply to the message of the leader, the emotional involvement of the followers, and the different contexts of the crises.

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Sociology Commons

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