Assassination and leadership: Traditional approaches and historiometric methods

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Assassination and leadership: Traditional approaches and historiometric methods
The Leadership Quarterly

Research on the assassinations and attempted assassinations of leaders seems warranted as leaders and their interactions with extreme followers (e.g. fanatics) and non-followers (e.g. assassins) can have tremendous consequences not only for the leaders but also their larger collectives (e.g. nations social movements). Based on the traditional and established leadership approaches of power orientation and outstanding leadership we explored whether particular types of leaders were more likely victims of assassinations and targets of assassination attempts. Using historiometric methods we found that socialized as well as pragmatic and ideological leaders were the most frequent victims of assassinations; but personalized as well as pragmatic and ideological leaders were the most frequent targets of assassination attempts; and for U.S. Presidents socialized charismatics were the most frequent victims of assassinations and targets of assassination attempts. Results regarding leader paranoia regions of the world and assassins operating alone or as a group in relation to assassinations and leadership approaches also are presented. Implications of these findings for future leadership research involving leaders and their extreme followers non-followers and larger collectives are discussed.

Citation: 
The Leadership Quarterly 24 (2013) 822 – 841

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