Author

Chris Smith

Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Leadership Studies

Abstract

Through this paper I will address not only the subject of campaign managers, but the relationship between managers and candidates, the relationship between managers and the rest of the campaign organization, and the role of campaign managers as leaders. Though many trade journals and news magazines, such as Time and Newsweek have reported what are essentially case studies of campaign managers in national presidential elections, there has been very little synthesis and generalization of this information to other national campaign organizations, or to campaign organizations at the state and local levels. Even scholarly studies that do minimally focus upon the campaign organization or the campaign manager stress that scholars " ... ought to focus more upon the elites who run the campaigns" (Margolis, 1985, p. 124). In essence, I hope to provide a scholarly, leadership-based focus on the campaign organization and a very important, but neglected actor within that organization, the campaign manager.

This paper also attempts to offset the tendency in scholarly studies to overemphasize the subject matter of why candidates win or lose and under-emphasize the study of the leadership qualities of campaign managers. For example, Corsino ( 1985, p. 252) completed a study on campaign organizations in which he defined campaign success in the manager's view as" ... accomplishing those activities which would lead to the accumulation of the majority of votes on election day." Instead of a success-oriented approach, I seek to address what it means for a campaign to be an effective organization and the manager to be an effective leader. More specifically, I believe that it is certainly possible that a campaign manager may fail to lead his organization to win the election, but he can still foster an effective organization that is clearly structured, emphasizes cohesive teamwork, and maintains a strong and consistent vision.

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