Groupthink or Deadlock: When Do Leaders Learn from Their Advisors?

Groupthink or Deadlock: When Do Leaders Learn from Their Advisors?

by Paul A. Kowert

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Overview

Argues that too much advice can lead to policy deadlock depending on leadership style.

The danger of groupthink is now standard fare in leadership training programs and a widely accepted explanation, among political scientists, for policy-making fiascoes. Efforts to avoid groupthink, however, can lead to an even more serious problem—deadlock. Groupthink or Deadlock explores these dual problems in the Eisenhower and Reagan administrations and demonstrates how both presidents were capable of learning and consequently changing their policies, sometimes dramatically, but at the same time doing so in characteristically different ways. Kowert points to the need for leaders to organize their staff in a way that fits their learning and leadership style and allows them to negotiate a path between groupthink and deadlock.

Paul A. Kowert is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Florida International University, and coeditor of International Relations in a Constructed World.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791489208
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 02/01/2012
Series: SUNY series on the Presidency: Contemporary Issues
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 275
File size: 524 KB

About the Author

Paul A. Kowert is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Florida International University, and coeditor of International Relations in a Constructed World.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations

Tables and Figures

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

Matching Advisors to Leaders
Does Leadership Really Matter?
What Is Learning?
Conclusion

2. Who Learns, and When?

Learning Style
Managing Advisors
A Theory of Leader-Group Relations
Conclusion

3. Eisenhower and Reagan: Comparing Learning Styles

The Eisenhower Administration

Learning Style
Advisors

The Reagan Administration

Learning Style
Advisors

Conclusion

4. Learning

Learning In an Open Administration

The Fall of Dien Bien Phu
Alaskan Statehood

Learning In a Closed Administration

The International Debt Shock
The Withdrawal from Lebanon

Conclusion

5. Groupthink

Balance of Payments Deficits
McCarthyism
Conclusion

6. Deadlock

The Budget Deficit
The Iran-Contra Affair
Conclusion

7. Conclusion

The Politics of Advice
Why Learn?

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Customer Reviews