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Leadership Capital: Measuring the Dynamics of Leadership

22 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2014  

Mark Bennister

Canterbury Christ Church University College

Paul 't Hart

Australian National University (ANU) - School of Social Sciences

Ben Worthy

University of London - Birkbeck College

Date Written: December 15, 2013

Abstract

This article argues that the extent to which political office-holders can effectively attain and wield authority is a function of the stock of 'leadership capital.' Drawing on the concept of political capital, we define leadership capital as aggregate authority composed of three dimensions: skills; relations; and reputation of a leader. Leadership capital ebbs and flows over time within a trajectory of acquisition, expenditure and inevitable depreciation. We present a Leadership Capital Index (LCI) that systematically maps out the three broad areas combining concrete measures with interpretive aspects. This can be used as a tool for systematically tracking and comparing the political fortunes of leaders in a way that is both more nuanced and robust than exclusive reliance on the latest approval ratings. We offer an illustrative case study of Tony Blair demonstrating the LCI. We conclude by discerning several promising paths for future development of the LCI.

Suggested Citation

Bennister, Mark and Hart, Paul 't and Worthy, Ben, Leadership Capital: Measuring the Dynamics of Leadership (December 15, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2510241 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2510241

Mark Bennister

Canterbury Christ Church University College ( email )

North Holmes Road
Canterbury, Kent CT1 1QU
United Kingdom

Paul 't Hart

Australian National University (ANU) - School of Social Sciences ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Ben Worthy (Contact Author)

University of London - Birkbeck College ( email )

Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

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