How Leaders Influence Organisations

In this interesting article ‘Party supporters shift views to match partisan stances‘ a Danish scientific paper is mentioned that studies how the opinion of political party members changed after the leadership of the party changed. They found that opinions could change significantly to match the leader’s.

Supporters of a political party change their policy views “immediately and substantially” after that party switches its position on an issue, new research suggests, a sign that political elites could be shaping the opinions of the voters whos views they are supposed to represent

In general, this is aligned with my experience in (business) organisations: I am always amazed how quickly it is shaped by the leader, and this is particularly visible in good or worse when the leader changes. However it was for me less obvious in the case of a looser setting like a political party.

And indeed it is an interesting question in this case as the political party is supposed to represent the views of its members. Or is it really? Is not more a way to align over a number of main positions to seek power? This certainly provides interesting food for thought about the operation of modern democracies.