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Transforming Leadership and the Obama Presidency


  • The authors can provide a replication data set upon request.

Direct correspondence to Trent Engbers, DePaul University School of Public Service, 14 East Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604.



This study seeks to identify the political speech of President Obama to better understand the leadership techniques utilized.


Political speech is coded using textual analysis and leadership frames are grouped into transactional and transforming categories.


The findings of this study suggest that President Obama does seek to use transformational leadership but that this transformational leadership is more often found in rational persuasion than inspirational appeals.


The informal powers of the presidency do include the power to inspire but for President Obama this power secondary to appeals to reason.

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