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Framing in leadership communication


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Framing in leadership communication strategies, breakdowns and outcomes
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Mnasri, Slaheddine
University of South Florida
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ABSTRACT: This thesis examined framing practices used by leaders who participated in the Capacity Day 2007 event, which is organized by the World Bank Institute, as part of its Leadership Development Program. The study examined strategic uses of framing as a meaning-making tool. The framing strategies identified in this study were accomplished through the strategic use of language. Furthermore, the study recognized the implied negotiations of frames made by the skilled 'framers' and found that situations are continuously 'reframable'. Unsuccessful framing attempts were correlated with the contradictions between what was said and what was eventually understood. The positive outcomes that followed from successful strategic framing were easily observable. The study also recognized instances of what I describe as manipulative framing and uses different examples to draw a distinction between ethical and unethical manipulation in framing.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
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by Slaheddine Mnasri.
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by Slaheddine Mnasri.
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University of South Florida,
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Document formatted into pages; contains 67 pages.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
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3 520
ABSTRACT: This thesis examined framing practices used by leaders who participated in the Capacity Day 2007 event, which is organized by the World Bank Institute, as part of its Leadership Development Program. The study examined strategic uses of framing as a meaning-making tool. The framing strategies identified in this study were accomplished through the strategic use of language. Furthermore, the study recognized the implied negotiations of frames made by the skilled 'framers' and found that situations are continuously 'reframable'. Unsuccessful framing attempts were correlated with the contradictions between what was said and what was eventually understood. The positive outcomes that followed from successful strategic framing were easily observable. The study also recognized instances of what I describe as manipulative framing and uses different examples to draw a distinction between ethical and unethical manipulation in framing.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Advisor: Eric Eisenberg, Ph.D.
Dissertations, Academic
x Communication
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856


Framing in Leadership Communication: Strategies, Breakdowns and Outcomes by Slaheddine Mnasri A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Communication College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Eric Eisenberg, Ph D Fred Steier, Ph D Jane Jorgenson, Ph D Date of Approval: June 5, 2008 Keywords: influence persuasion, meaning making, strategic organization Copyright 2008, Slaheddine Mnasri


Dedication To my wife with love. To my one year old baby boy Dhia who, during my thesis writing, incessantly unplugged my lap top computer when batteries were critically low! To my very newly born baby boy Mehdi To my parents with gratitude. To my best and exceptional friend with all the respect that he deserves.


Preface Having earned the Maple Scholarship, sponsored by the Japanese ministry of education, I travelled to Japan in 1999 for my first extended exp erience of living abroad. During that period, I could not help but be struck by the effectiveness of the Japanese workers that I came across. I immediately correlated that with their leadership style that was totally new to me, coming from Tunisia. I then started to observe closely and I noticed recurrent patterns of leadership behaviors in very different settings ranging from huge corporations and manufactures to small cafs and restaurants. However, I was not sure that such a style would be appropriate to the case of my country and neither to the American case. I started to be very interested in what makes a good leadership, particularly from the behavioral standpoint. Later in my life, I worked as a technical English teacher and Bridge coordinator on a m ultinational oil production platform at Sea. During the four years that I spent in that job position, I made very close observations of leadership styles that people from different cultures manifested. I then started reading about leadership with an increa sing curiosity. My personal conclusion was that my countrymen who worked on that platform were on the whole very smart, well educated, and knowledgeable about their work, open minded and easy going. What was the problem then? To me, it was clearly a disast rous problem of leadership skills. Finally, when I earned my Fulbright scholarship and joined the University of South Florida for a MA in Communication, I immediately decided to specialize in Organizational Communication and devote my academic works to Lea dership studies in particular. This thesis is t he beginning; there will be more


i Table of Contents List of Tables iii Abstract iv Introduction 1 A Brief History of Leadership 1 Framing: A Behavioral Leadership Skill 2 Framing in the Current Study: Capacity Day and the WBI 2 Study Setting 3 Section One: Review of the Literature 5 5 Defining Framing in the Context of Leadership Communication 5 Framing in Contemporary Organization 6 Framing: A Meaning making Tool 8 The Process of Framing Analysis 9 Section Two: Method 12 Background 12 Materials: Hypertext and Video Materials 13 Participants 14 Aims 17 Critical Discourse Analysis 17 Section Three: Analysis and Discussion 19


ii Framing around Vision 19 19 The Democracy of Visions 22 Clarity of Vision 25 Vision and Gender 30 Framing around Accountability 32 When Accountability is a Threat 32 Accountability: a Matter of Quality 36 The Sensitivity of Accountability 41 Framing around Effectiveness 44 Leadership Effectiveness through Classroom Learning 44 What is Leadership Effectiveness? 48 The Framing Strategy: A Linguistic Weapon 51 Summary, Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research 55 References 61


iii List of Tables Table 1 Capacity Day 2007 participants identified by leadership position 15 Table 2 Use of the term vision 28


iv Framing in Leadership Communication: Strategies, Breakdowns and Outcomes Slaheddine Mnasri ABSTRACT This thesis examined framing practices used by leaders who participated in the Capacity Day 2007 event, which is organized by the World Bank Institute, as part of its Leadership Development Program. The study examined strategic uses of framing as a meaning making tool. The framing strategies identified in this study were accomplished through the strategic use of language. Furthermore, the study recognized the implied continu contradictions between what was said and what was eventually understood. The positive outcomes that followed from successful strategic framing were easily observable. The study also recognized instances of what I describe as manipulative framing and uses different examples to draw a distinction between ethical and unethical manipulation in framing.


1 Introduction A brief history of leadership Leadership is one of the most researched concepts in the social sciences. Thinkers, philosophers and researchers from different disciplines since the Aristotelian era have tried to understand what makes an effective leadership. Many types of leaders have been identified: The laissez faire leader (Lewin, Liippit, & White, 1939), the bureaucratic leader (Weber, 1905), the charismatic leader (Weber, 1905), the autocratic leader (Lewin, Liippit, & White, 1939), the democratic leader (Lewin, Liippit, & White, 1939), the people Oriented Leader (Fiedler, 1967), the task oriented leader (Fiedler, 1967), the servant leader (Greenleaf, 1977), the transaction leader (Burns, 1978), the transformation leader (Burns, 1978) the environment leader (Carmazzi, 2005) and the situational leader (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 2008). number of factors, including: a) the differences of leadership s ettings (religious, political, educational, lucrative, volunteer, occasional, leisurely and the like); b) the specific local culture in which leadership is exercised, and c) the time in history in which leadership took place. This variability may also be d ue to the fact that leadership has been studied from different disciplinary points of views, where scholars from different fields have emphasized the aspects of leadership that best align with their scholarly perspective. Communication scholars in particul ar have made significant contributions to the


2 understanding of the behavioral aspects of leadership (Fairhurst, 2007; Hackman & Johnson, 2004; Mai & Akerson, 2003; Eisenberg, 2001; Eisenberg, Goodall & Trethewey, 2007). Framing: A Behavioral Leadership Sk ill Framing is one of the most commonly identified behavioral skills of leadership. Framing refers to the strategic construction of the meaning of a specific event or situation. More precisely, framing in the field of Communication is examined with referen ce to its linguistic and paralinguistic elements that both define and align with leadership goals. Therefore, framing analysis in social sciences has become a recurrent practice (Chong & Druckmen, 2007; Furhurst and Sarr, 1996; Goffman, 1974; Mai & Akerson 2003; Minsky, 1975; Snow & Benford 1989). Some previous studies examined the effects of the frames but did not compare them to alternative ways of framing around the same issues (e.g. Beckwith, 2001). Others have analyzed frames in a rather theoretical w Appelrouth, 1999). Framing in the Current Study: Capacity Day and the WBI The current study will examine frames in a context that makes it possible to compare alter native framing strategies. Contrary to other studies (such as De Vreese, 2004; Foyle, D. C, 2004) that have looked at the framing dynamics in specific leader follower situations, this study compares different frames that have been made by different leader s attending this conference. Analyzing, comparing, and contrasting the various frames and the framing strategies, and explaining the dichotomy between what is said and what is


3 revealed helps us to deepen our understanding of the leadership perspectives fro m which these frames were generated. A related aim is to examine conflicts which were for the most part tacit that arose due to the discrepancies in the frames. Therefore, this study will consider the following questions: What linguistic factors can c ause framing to be result in communication breakdowns? What possible outcomes can emanate from both skillful and unsuccessful framing? Study Setting To address thes e questions, I selected a setting where it was possible to observe a number of different frames made by different leaders over a same topic, at the same time, and in front of the same audience. The setting is an annual daylong event named Capacity Day whi ch is organized by the World Bank Institute as part of their Leadership Development Program. The year 2007 Capacity Day invited a number of world leaders to discuss the following leadership issues: vision, accountability and effectiveness. The Capacity Day was divided into the following four main sessions: Challenges for New Leadership Teams in Fragile States, Strategies for Institutionalizing Leadership Development in Middle Income Countries, Leadership Development through Accountability and Results, and T oward an Agenda for More Effective Leadership Development. During each of the first three sessions there was a keynote speech delivered respectively by the president of the Republic of Liberia, the Executive and Associate Dean of the School of Public Polic y and Management at Tsinghua University


4 in China, and the Minister of Education and Scientific Research in Madagascar. The fourth session was totally devoted to the discussions. he audience watched on a big screen. The other two keynote speeches were delivered on a podium were the speaker faces the audience. To the left of the keynote speaker there permanently was a number of panelists who discussed leadership issues with the spea kers based on the points they evoked in their respective speeches. The audience was given a considerable chance to make comments and ask questions. The Journalist, Martyn Lewis, Ther efore, the remainder of this study will be organized as follows: Section one will explore the treatment of the framing concept in the scholarly literature, i.e., defining framing in the context of leadership communication; explaining how framing is a meani ng making tool; discussing the importance of framing in contemporary organizations; and examining the process of framing analysis. Section two will present address th e research questions through the following three sub parts: a) framing around vision, b) framing around accountability, c) framing around effectiveness, and finally d) the framing strategy as a linguistic weapon.


5 Section One: Review of the Literature Defining Framing in the Context of Leadership Communication Framing, in organizational leadership, is the strategic process of interpreting situations that leaders undertake with the aim of urging the followers to move in a specific direction in responding to day to day events. When the term framing was introduced by Goffman (1974), it referred not only to the frames that are consciously or strategically built to achieve a specific communicative aim but more broadly to the innate property of all social proc (p. 11). Beginning with Goffman, framing started to be seen in the literature as an organization of experience and not merely as a description of experience; i.e. framing is not a simple talk about events but instead shapes our perception of events. Fairhurst an d Sarr (1996) recognized framing as a leadership capability and emphasized it as an ultimate goal in leadership development. They also recognized that framing is achieved through the strategic and selective use of language. Framing is especially important in complex and confusing situations, where chaos can lead to anarchy and may drive the organization to a direction that opposes the dominant organizational goals. Fairhurst and Sarr (1996) defined the framing process in terms of


6 communication of goals that the leader shapes based on his/her own view of reality. the vision in order to make organizational members make sense of the vision and see its relevance to their res make maximum use of high impact opportunities; they act on their instincts and seize the moment." (p. 152), c) credible: what people use to evaluate your believability comes from the c ompetence you display in what you frame: the subjects about which you communicate and your expertise with respect to them (p. 171); and d) using linguistic people, and obje Framing in Contemporary Organizations According to psychologist Frederic Bartlett (cited in Brewer, 2000, p.79), human beings perceive the world through schemata, or unconscious mental structures, that represent generic knowledge ab out the world. It is through schemata that previous 2000). Similarly, Minsky (1975) found that information is represented in the human mind as frames comprising slots th at accept a certain range of values. If the world did not


7 or the mind, but they result from the way from which cognitive processes deal with interaction with Trevino, 2003, p. 203) framing that is part of the agenda setting in contemporary organizations, which face an unprecedented turbulent environmen t. By invoking a particular frame in the way described by Fairhurst and Sarr (1996), leaders may effectively guide the collective perception of organizational employees. Framing considered this way is strives to Burke, Steven, Worden and Robert, 1986). Framing is a strategy to achieve the broader goal of meaning making within contemporary organizations. Yet, the aim behind the meaning making has not to be understood as solely referring to disambiguation or clari ty. Paradoxically, ambiguity can be a strategy of a broader meaning making especially in unpredictable work environments; i.e., not making explicit sense of a specific situation within an organization can be considered to be a strategic way of driving the organization towards a more generic meaning making that is open to different scenarios and interpretations. Eisenberg constituents of strategic ambiguity in organizational com munication. He provided examples illustrating what ambiguity can communicate, such as the promotion of a at the same time believing that they [as community members


8 Eisenberg (1984) stressed the political necessity of such a strategic ambiguity and argued that often times, clarity in setting organizational goals can be ineffective. Framing: A Meaning making Tool In organizational communicat ion, meaning making can be achieved by framing as well as by defining membership and through activity sharing (Mai and Akerson, 2003). In this regard, meaning making refers to the ability to acquire a certain understanding or capture a meaning out of a par ticular situation. Meaning making within organizations is situational and fluid. Part of the strategic use of communication by leaders within making that aligns with the organi zational goals and other circumstantial considerations. Almost all key works in the framing research acknowledged or implicitly assumed that leadership has to involve some strategic meaning making and framing is a distinguishable strategy of meaning making Mai and Akerson (2003) stressed the importance of encouraging colleagues and employees to acquire a sense of meaningfulness in their corresponding work roles. They found that such meaningfulness can reinforce the intrinsic motivation of employees and ene rgize them. Although Mai and Akerson (2003) considered that framing and defining consider the defining of membership as part of the framing process. In other words, the pro cess through which a leader helps employees feel that they belong to the workplace community is understood here to be part of the framing process or agenda. The importance of meaning making in leadership was very well articulated by Mai and


9 Akerson (2003) meaning of their work are able to tighten the alignment between personal and organizational goals and enjoy higher levels of commitment, perseverance, and The P rocess of Framing Analysis During the last 10 years, the identification of framing as a strategic element of communication has gained popularity among researchers from different fields. In their review of the literature of framing, Chong and Druckman (200 7) found that frames have been extensively and intensively collected and identified. Many definitions have been suggested by different scholars, especially in media studies such as Semetko and Valkenburg (2000). Tuchman (1978) says that the role of the fra ming process is to Druckman (2007) have found that there is a tendency in the literature to take at least four major steps in framing analysis. The first step is to detect a problem, incident, or a situation around which there is framing. In communication, frames can only be recognized in relation to a particular subject, incident, or to a political event or personality (Entman, 2004, pp. 23 24). Frame analyses are also time sensitive; they are performed differently across time, even if they are about one and the same issue. The current study will satisfy this step by both


10 discussing framing around particular issues (namely vision, accountability, and effectiveness in leadership) and specifying a time ( Capacity Day 2007). The second major step in framing analysis depends on whether the research is aimed at understanding how framing affects public opinion. If this is the case, the researcher would ne ed to study one particular attitude. For instance, one may want to focus on general attitudes toward welfare reforms or, otherwise, on attributions of reasons why people are on welfare (Chong and Druckman, 2007). Different frames may underlie each of these attitudes: the frame defining attitudes toward welfare reform may include considerations of economic costs, humanitarianism, and individualism (Feldman & Zaller, 1992). Causal attributions relevant to welfare might employ an episodic frame, such as an ind opportunities available in society (Iyengar, 1991). A thorough discussion of attitudes as part of the framing outcomes can be found throughout the analysis section. Third, an initial set of fr ames for an issue is identified inductively to create a coding scheme. Chong and Druckman (2007) suggested that prior work in the academic and popular literatures serves as a good starting point. They considered that the book Framing the Social Security De bate (Arnold et al., 1998) was an obvious source for gathering contemporary social security frames. Gamson and Modigliani (1987, 1989) suggested going further, by exploring the frames produced by various elite actors and organizations on both sides of the issue in court opinions and briefs, editorial writings, and the


11 Druckman (2007) sug gested that these elite sources can be complemented by asking samples of individuals to record the considerations that come to mind on a given issue, using open ended questions. The fourth step in frame analysis is to select sources for content analysis, u pon identifying an initial set of frames. Chong and Druckman (2007) found that scholars typically analyze mass media sources, including major newspapers, magazines, web sites, and television broadcasts. The selection of specific news outlets is dependent u pon the in coverage whereas others would opt for comparing specific types of coverage across media. Identification of articles or stories that typically serve as the unit of analysis is done through key word searches on electronic databases and the like. Pertinent examples include Tankard (2001) and in Dimitrova et al (2005). Finally, coders would analyze a sample to identify the presence or absence of one of the predefined frames in the data.


12 Section Two: Method Background The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of framing as used by participants of the annual Capacity Day (2007 session), which is part of the Leadership Development Program (LDP) ad ministered by the World Bank Institute (WBI) through its Capacity Development Resource Center (CDRC). The LDP is intended to provide tailored assistance to decision makers at both the national and sub national levels in the countries affiliated with the Wo rld Bank. Typical interventions of this program take place in post conflict situations, new governments or states, and major reform initiatives, such as decision making decentralization. The program is further described by the WBI as a research environment that sizes up existing leadership development efforts in different countries. The Capacity Day 2007 was a daylong event organized to discuss three different leadership development challenges; namely vision effectiveness and accountability examined in t hree separate sessions. A case representing a typical challenge for leadership was presented in each session. After the keynote speeches, a panel of distinguished discussants presented their perspectives and comments about the subject matter and about the from leading academics in the field of leadership.


13 Materials: Hypertext and Video Materials website, on the Capacity Day 2007 on B commentaries made by th e distinguished guests, panelists, and invited audience. Its total length is 335 minutes, divided into the following four thematic sessions: (1): Challenges for New Leadership Teams in Fragile States ; (2): Strategies for Institutionalizing Leadership Development in Middle Income Countries ; (3): Leadership Development through Accountability and Results and (4): Toward an Agenda for More Effective Leade rship Development Capacity Day 2007 These materials are divided into two types of documents: a) documents on lea dership development activities at the World Bank; and b) publications related to leadership development. Three of these documents were used in this paper: 1) Background notes on leadership ; 2) Capacity Day 2007: Leadership Development Concept Note and 3) A Leadership Approach to Achieving Change in the Public Sector: The Case of Madagascar.


14 Participants alphabetical order as they were presented in the WBI website. Throughout the Capacity Day and on the WBI website, participants were identified only in terms of their leadership positions. The table does not include audience members who also engaged in th e activities of the event. Typically, the audience members were invited by the WBI to participate in the Capacity Day, assuming that they have leadership responsibilities and or past experiences with leadership development. They are of different nationalit ies, ages, genders, and educational backgrounds. Some of them were World Bank personnel; others were CEOs, former ministers, graduate students and university professors.


15 Table 1. Capacity Day 2007 participants identified by leadership positions Name Leadership position John Adair Fellow of the Windsor Leadership Trust James Adams Vice President, East Asia and the Pacific, World Bank Emelia Arthur British Council Development Partner, InterAction, Ghana Dorothy Hamachi Berry Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, International Finance Corporation Gnral Lamine Cisse, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the Central African Republic Juan Jose Daboub Managing Director, World Bank Ambassador Abdoulaye Diop Malian Ambassador to the United States Jennifer L. Dorn President and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration Alan Gogbashian Co Founder, Center for Leadership Development, Yerevan, Armenia Manuel Hinds Former Minister of Finance (El Salv ador) and Whitney H. Shepardson Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations


16 H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf President of Republic of Liberia Daniel Kaufmann Director, Global Program, World Bank Institute Martyn Lewis CBE, Journalist and Broadcaster Rakesh Nangia Acting Vice President, World Bank Institute Dr. Annie Mckee, Cochair and Managing Director, Teleos Leadership Institute Mr. Brian McQuinn Conflict Prevention Adviser, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, United Nations Development Program Dr. Henry Mintzberg Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies Joy Phumahi Vice President & Head of Network for Human Development, World Bank H.E. Haja Nirina Razafinjatovo Minister of National Education and Scientific Research, Madagascar Gven Sak Managing Director of the Turkish Economic Policy Studies Foundation (TEPAV) Dr. Peter Senge Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graham Teskey Head of Governance and Social Development, DfID, UK Vinod Thomas Directo r General, Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank


17 Dr. Dean Williams Chief Advisor to the President of Madagascar Dr. Howard Wolpe Director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Dr. Lan Xue Executive Associate Dean of School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, China Aims The major aim of this research is to explore and analyze the framing practices made by the Capacity Day 2007 participants and, where possible, study their immediate communic ative outcomes. Analyzing, comparing, and contrasting the various frames and the framing strategies, and explaining the dichotomy between what is said and what is revealed help us to deepen our understanding of the leadership views from which these frames emanate. A related aim is to examine conflicts which were, for the most part, tacit that arose from divergent frames. Critical Discourse Analysis I will analyze the collected data using a version of the framework for Critical Discourse Analysis describ ed by Fairclough (1995). The video material that I am order to explore both th e overt and the covert frames and framing strategies used by the Capacity Day participants in the spoken and written texts used in this paper, the analysis


18 will comprise descriptive accounts of the framing practices both as they are perceived by me (as an observer) and as they are meaningful to the participants speeches.


19 Section Three: Analysis and Discussion The three main themes of the Capacity Day 2007 were vision accountability and effectiveness The analysis of the frames and the framing strategies that this research undertakes will be made around these three constructs. Therefore, this section will be divided into the following sub sections: a) framing around vision; b) framing around accountab ility; c) framing around effectiveness; and finally the subsection d) the framing strategy as a linguistic weapon will discuss manipulative instances of framing practices with reference to what I wish to call ethical and unethical framing. Framing around Vision Mr. Martyn Lewis, a journalist and broadcaster who was also a Chairman of Telaris and Youth Net and Trustee of the Windsor Leadership Trust, presented the acting vice operations, he insures delivery of a quality work program, provides strategic vision and attributed to the direct object vision first su ggests that the vision is seen as a followers (perhaps in its final shape) who have no other alternative but to use it. This might suggest that the World Bank In communication is hierarchical and downward, where employees have limited voice in decision making.


20 For H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Republic of Liberia who joined the conference to provide a keyno te address via video link, leadership comes as an means a fundamental break from the past; formulating a vision based upon new concepts a fundamental break from the past suggests that the motivate, guide and lead people toward a common vision and the common national common but that people needed someone to guide them toward a common vision. The need for such guidance suggests that th ere is a divergence of visions and that it is the the vision is already of the people (or common), why does the leader need to motivate them towards it? Johnson Sirleaf also explicitly recognized the importance of framing a in, and lead you Similarly, Dr. Lan Xue Executive Associate Dean of School of Public Policy and product. It is the government that is in ch only need to use that product:


21 vision into reality. How to foster a new generation of leaders? The second is how to change the mindset of people in the entire system? How to help This also suggests that Dr. Xue views the government vision as completely different from than trying to understand or incorporate the views of the people. Clearly, this way of describing the vision, particularly the use of the expression s not only suggest that vision is a product, but also that there is a high confidence that its transfer from person to person is feasible. Both ways of referring to vision are metaphorical in the use of provide and transfer and seem to reflect the transmis sion model of communication. In the field of Communication, there is a widely held belief that the transmission model is too simplistic a depiction of the nature of human communication, which is tremendously more complex than a mere send message receive o peration (Craig and Muller, 2007). But does that mean that Dr. Xue or Mr. Martyn Lewis cannot achieve their goals by framing the vision as such? If such a metaphorical framing of vision is so presented, regardless of the implied misconception(s) about comm unication, we cannot affirm that it does not resonate with the intended audiences of the Chinese people or how the vice president of the WBI frames visions for the World Bank. Neither can we confirm that it does not achieve its goals.


22 Paradoxically, in his opening speech, the Managing Director of the World Bank so how can we promote the culture of leadership; how can we help to create an environment that we allow leaders to development at the WBI is referring to the enhancement of the quality of leadership pertaining to in dividuals (leaders themselves) or to organizations (factors of better they are training or as a process that leaders and followers work out in their own contexts. The Democracy of Visions Dr. Annie McKee a cochairman and managing director at Teleos Leadership Institute, was able to articulate the framing issue around vision. She was the onl y vision can be totally insignificant to his or her followers when they perceive it to be imposed they identify with them and they identify with things only when they engage in the decision making. Empowerment of followers was a key strategy that Dr. McKee thought was ess ential to ensure that a vision is put on the right track to become a reality. She also made comments that align with Fairhurst and Sarr (1996) by stressing the precise use of language in achieving a strategic framing that gets people to move into a particu lar


23 direction. Dr. McKee further explained the framing by considering it to be a way to and science; where a leader needs to craft and disseminate ideas that stimul ate thoughts and emotions of the different stakeholders in the workplace. Background Notes on Leadership ( Backgr ound Papers section) considers vision to be one of the three basic blocks of leadership (WBI Leadership Development Program, 2007). Furthermore, the 2007, p. 5). There remains an important concern with regard to vision sharing: At what level can a vision be shared? Is it when it is still in our minds or when it is articulated? It is hard to believe that hundreds or thousands of employees within an organization sha re exactly the same views, regardless of their position, age, and gender. Views, in this regard, can be said to be common when they have already been articulated. Hence, a vision seems to be born somewhere and then it becomes shared when it is framed to be so. However, the of reality. In other words, vision was consistently and persistently described to be unreservedly common, when in fact it is almost impossible for a v ision to be common at


24 Perhaps such a con tradiction between where the vision is created and how it is framed is most evident in the document entitled A Leadership Approach to Achieving Change in the Public Sector: The Case of Madagascar (Heidenhof, Teggemann, & Sjetnan, 2007). In two adjacent se ntences on page 5, the writers referred to the vision in contradictory state pushing his people forward and that possibly without him they would not be able to achieve that rapid pace. This triggers the issue of identification in the context of organizational communication. Identification refers here to the fact that employees feel that they had voice in the formulation of the work rules and regulations. Cheney (1983) found that there is a strong correlation between organizational identificat ion and employees outcomes. He concluded that employee identification with their organization leads to a number of benefits such as commitment to organizational goals and achievements, the quality of performance and the job satisfaction.


25 Clarity of Visio n Perhaps what is more significant than the source of the vision or who has the power to articulate it on behalf of the group is how it is identified in the Capacity Day 2007. Does it refer to the future? Does it take the present and past into consideration? How different is a vision from a set of goals? How clear a shared vision ought to be? Is the clarity of vision an aim in leadership or is ambiguity also a strategy to get a vision worked out? Above all, in what way does the leader need to frame a vision? The document entitled Capacity Day 2007: Leadership development concept note: Draft. (2007, Feb. 27) introduced the term vision shared vision of the future, and to inspire, motivate, and mobil 2), but this does not state what a vision is. It rather theorizes how a vision is achieved. Johnson Sirleaf, the Liberian president, was however, able to articulate her vision in ity, revitalizing the economy, rebuilding infrastructure and delivering basic services [and] strengthening governance and the rule consideration the present. For examp there is some security that has been achieved, compared to the insecurity of the past, and perceived in this con text to be referring to the government, to the people, or to both. If it might not be interested in such security, depending on their loyalty to that particular


26 admini Liberian people no matter what their political inclinations are, for the simple reason that we can hardly imagine a person opposing their own security. Therefore, the use of t he term enhance (as opposed to achieve or accomplish, for example ) is successful at least in less viable than and Rucht (1993) found to play a major role in the acceptance of a frame. Perhaps the setting of Capacity Day itself imposes a certain unique jargon on people that they might not use elsewhere. This is where framing emerges as changing and contextual. For example, the Liberian president hinted at the concept of framing in a articulate that vision, obtain popular buy lar buy suggests that a vision has to be framed or articulated in such a way that it gains popularity. Therefore, according to the Liberian president, it is not enough to have a vision. Rather, a vision needs to be carefully framed. Int erestingly, although the concept of vision was a key concept in the 2007 Capacity Day, it was not been clearly defined by any of the participants. The term was used by the Capacity Day participants and in the background documents without any evidence that either the participants or the texts were referring to the same thing. But, the term itself is


27 problematic. Vision, as it is understood as a leadership element, is a metaphorical concept referring to whatever each participant thinks it can mean in their co ntexts. This is shown in table 2, which summarizes how vision was framed:


28 Table 2. Use of the term vision A vision can be Source: Person (from video online) /document (online) Provided Luis, journalist). Formulated Liberia). Articulated Positive Liberia). Translated Dr. Lan Xue Executive Associate Dean of School of Public Policy and Management, China). Background notes on leadership ). Capacity Day 2007: Leadership development concept note: Draft ). Shared Background notes on leadership ).


29 Implemented implement their vision ( Background notes on leadership ). trajectory and implement his vision of rapid development vision ( A leadership approach to achieving change in the public sector: The case of Madagascar ). Reached ( Background notes on leadership ). Achieved others to achieve the vision/change ( Background notes on leadership ). Developed, Coherent, and Development oriented oriented vision ( A leadership approach to achieving change in the public sector: The case of Madagascar ). Common A leadership approach to achieving change in the public sector: The case of Madagascar ). No matter how different (or vague) the uses of the term vision are, there is an agreement among the participants that vision is at least metaphorically a substance (hence


30 the use of the verbs: move, provide, transfer, formulate, articulate, modify, produce etc.). It can also be positive (or by extension, negative); and it is paradoxically common on the one hand and unidirectional (essentially vertical) on the other hand. Although it might seem unacceptable that such a key concept was not clearly defined, s uch ambiguity can be a strategy to allow a multitude of interpretations to what vision can mean. Had the concept been given a precise and unambiguous meaning, it may fit in some contexts but not in others. Consequently, some participants might feel margina lized. Hence, the framing of vision can be assumed to be subjected to strategic ambiguity ( Eisenberg, 1984 ), to allow for more harmony among the different parties. Vision and Gender In the field of Communication it is now almost a clich to say that gender is socially constructed. Therefore, asking whether women can be better or worse than men in leadership implies such a misconception of gender and of the social construction of ked her about the role of gender in leadership. The same question was paraphrased on the page entitled Session 1: Challenges for New Leadership Teams in Fragile States under the section view capacity day 2007 on B Span ( =20 31 & EID =940 ), Sirleaf whether women make n itself is also problematic not only because it takes for granted that differences exist due to gender, but also because it presupposes that one


31 gender is better than the other. By extension, the question takes for granted that vision differs across gende rs and presupposes that one gender can create a superior vision. after a short sile framing, the President was able to tell the audience that she identifies herself mainly as a technocrat, not as a woman. This suggests th at she wants others to see her mainly as a technocrat, and that being a woman is not her language, by urging them to see her in the way that she wants them to. Yet, the Lib my case a grandmother to be able to be very concerned about the human factor foregrounded her womanhood and motherhood as a strategy to capture emotions and gain sympathy, whereas in the former statement she foregrounded her professionalism and technocracy and backgrounded her womanhood. Within one minute, she was able to create two opposing identities that managed to coexist. ) metaphorical expression and then immediately to present herself as a woman and mother, not as a president. This


32 skilled and strategic shift from one identity to another is part of the framing strategy of politicians and particularly of presidential candidates, who frame their images in different, and sometimes opposing, ways over time and before different audiences in an attempt to gain a maximum of popularity amo ng different groups of people. Framing around Accountability The second major theme of the Capacity Day was accountability. Accountability was addressed by the speech of the Minister of Education in Madagascar, the subsequent panel discussion and the audie nce question and answer session. When Accountability is a Threat The Minister of Education in Madagascar delivered a speech about the importance of accountability in leadership. He immediately started the speech by announcing that he would tell a story ab out accountability, where his president was exemplar. Aside from mentioning that the president was a small businessman and grew into one of the biggest businessmen in the country, and describing his ways of talking to officials, he did not narrate the stor y that he promised he would narrate. Rather, he spent the whole speech telling the audience how great his president was and particularly how much he appreciates accountability and results. The whole speech was clearly descriptive rather then narrative in t hat the audience can hardly fragment the speech into sequences of events. Paradoxically, he mentioned a short anecdote, where a former president of the World Bank was described as an exemplary actor. The result was that the Minister spent eighteen minutes


33 audience seemed to clearly dislike the leadership style of the president of Madagascar. They described their dislike in many ways, ranging from attempts to help (made by other panelists) by reframing what the Minister said to aggressive attacks against the dictator (made by audience members). The Minister emphasized that his president was one who appreciates results, but the way he described him seemed to reflect a leadership built on mistru st and impulsivity: [the president] is appointing ministers and is saying ok I need you to perform, I need you to be accountable, I need to get results. no corruption liver of course very quickly you are out as a minister and out of the office Immediately upon hearing this and similar statements, I felt the threat of such an understanding of accounta bility, and so did the audience who severely criticized the impulsivity of the described president. Clearly there was an obvious inconsistency apparent to all of the panelists, the audience, and to me. However, the Minister was unaware of it. He proudly pr aised his president by showing how serious he was, however, the resulting perception was an image of dictatorship. his ministers and people, a few assumptions can be poss ible: first this president was


34 described by the minister to be a man of zero tolerance to unaccountability. One problem with such a leader, who puts the blame on his ministers, when he does not see the results he wanted, is the consequence of impulsive act ions. What if results were not achieved due to other factors that are not under the control of this or that minister in particular? This attitude of firing stakeholders, without trying to understand first, puts them under constant threat. Consequently, the y would be constantly thinking of ways to protect themselves, rather than taking chances to improve their work. Hence, the impulsive attitude of the leader is itself partly responsible for the unaccountability. Second, does the decision to fire a minister, whose administration did not bring the results, solve the problem? What if the next minister does not bring the results the president requested? What if the next ten ministers do not bring those results? When is a president supposed to understand that res ults are not solely under the responsibility of the minister? It is perhaps understandable to fire a minister who was corrupt or guilty, but to fire him / her for the reason of not achieving results is detrimental to his /her motivation and determination t o serve the government. Therefore, the impulsivity, reflected in the firing ministers, does not only reflect a dictatorship, but also puts the blame on people and neglects the importance of understanding the causes of unaccountability. There seems to be a style of leadership. Finally, the Minister of Education in Madagascar did not mention any attempt from But, unless we learn from our failures, we cannot improve. If each minister is fired before he / she is


35 given an opportunity to analyze and understand the causes of failures, how can a government improve? Not knowing those previous mistakes, we cannot make sure we are not going to make them again and again. Furthermore, why do the assessments of ty, as described by this minister, does not seem to be shared. Rather, every time someone will receive the blame; no matter how well he or she has worked and tried to improve. The check and balance strategy of power sharing is completely missing in this l eadership style. Mr. Wolfenshon, a former World Bank president, paid a visit to Madagasca r. All government officials were preparing themselves for a big event, with ceremonies, dinners, and the like. Surprisingly, upon his arrival to the country, Mr. Wolfenshon went directly to a rural area and visited a primary school to inspect the literacy level of third grade students. He noticed an unsatisfactory literacy level for that school and conveyed his comments, positive and negative, to the school officials and the Minister of Education. g of accountability and results but at the same time revealed his respect to the efforts made by the stakeholders. While the Minister was describing his president, all along his speech, he made aggressive facial expressions that he used to say how tough or how serious his president was about advancing the country. However, when he mentioned Mr. Wolfenshon, he seemed


36 noticeably calmer, mirroring the courteous attitudes of Mr. Wolfenshon, when speaking expression such as please or anything similar was not reported by this minister to be said by his president. This is again an instance where verbal and non verbal behaviors are significant in leadership communication. Courtesy towards stakeholders can only enhance their motivation and self respect, whereas humiliation such as the way the president was reported by the minister to have spoken to a high official can only bring u a week to get your city ]. Accountability: A Matter of Quality A is accountable justify them, and to suffer punishment in the case of eventual misconduct" (p. 13 28). is particularly process rather than results focused, because it addresses the how rather than the what Consequently, in accountability, the person A does not only need to prove that they achieved certain results, but also how they achieved them. The need to justify actions and decisions in leadership means that results matter, only if they were achieved in the way B perceives them to be acceptable; i.e., candidly, fairly and humanely. 1999) by operationalizing the qualitative aspect of the concept. Under the document entitled Capacity Day 2007: Leadership Development Concept Note: Draft the term was defined


37 se transparency, voice and participation and inspire mutual trust among institutions, commitment good championing transparency inspire and trust are qualitative and hard to measure. Accountability, in th is context, is dissatisfied with the raw quantitative results of figures, percentages, which can reveal other layers of meaning. Yet the Minister of Education in Ma inclination towards a result focused accountability. Describing the accountability of his bicycles but twenty, twenty five ye ars ago and right now he owns the largest dairy how large. Ignoring such a question is at least a violation to the transparency aspect of s definition above. focused accountability is considerations including his own responsibility of providing a suitable atmosphere where the results that he is asking for can be a chieved. Similarly, the president was reported to


38 decision of the time (one week) reflects a leadership that is totally (and may be unrealistically) result focused at the expense of the process through which a task is accomplished. In other words, the official might be able to fix the apparent problem in one week, but can creat e more problems, such as forcing people to work more without getting paid or spending the money on cleaning at the expense of providing other vital services to the community. The president was presented to the public as one not willing to listen and discus s inherent aspects of problems, hence missing the qualitative part of accountability. oriented e type of accountability Here, accountability can become a real issue, because there is a explained above to be openly process oriented) and its excessive focus on numerical s oriented accountability and the tools (indicators) used to assess the accountability is apparent. But, why can quantitative indicators represent a threat? The shortest and mo st obvious answer to this question is that they can be faked. It is counterintuitive to believe that numerical indexes can adequately assess qualitative matters such as perception,


39 satisfaction and comprehension. The real problem is not in the numerical in dexes themselves, but in the way we use them. Do we totally rely on them? Do we use them as an approximation? Do we question their accuracy every time other factors change? Most importantly, do we consider them as absolute and non negotiable facts? The Min ister partly answered the question as to how indicators cannot be the only right way to assess problems. When Mr. Wolfenshon, the president of the World Bank, commented that the literacy level of the 3 rd grade school was not acceptable, the Minister was su rprised by the assessment and wondered why there was no significant improvement despite the efforts they had made. After all, they had built new classrooms and improved the curriculum, but achieved no results. Then he distinguished between the that most problems that occur to ministers are mainly adaptive, which I would paraphrase as qualitative. This implies that solutions to such problems need to be assessed in terms uncommon to see one organization using the exactly same technical procedure that other similar organizations are using, but achieving none of the results the others c ould achieve. Often times, they would try to use another procedure, and then a third one, but none of them worked as well as it did in the other organizations. It is at this point that an organization starts asking serious questions of how and why Althou gh questions such as why and how are very complex and deep as they require feedback from different parties and a comprehensive analysis, the Minister jumped to the


40 tha with people he deals with professionally. People, for him, are hindering development, to be convinced that the curriculum needs to be changed. He seemed not be questioning himself at all in the whole communication process. He supposed that, because he told things to others, so others are supposed to receive his message in its entirety and u se it the way he thought they should. He clearly expressed his frustration (verbally as well as non verbally) of the fact that people are resisting ideas that he wanted to impose on them. Channels of communications seem to be blocked at different levels. B ut the main problem, it seems, is the fact that the Minister wants to dictate his ideas, whereas others are asking for empowerment and to have a voice. The result of such a mismatch between a leader (the Minister), who wants to impose a downward type of c ommunication, and the followers who need empowerment and a voice through a bottom up communication, is widespread resistance to change. That is what the Minister was trying to describe: the country is suffering from a resistance to move forward. Thus, the problem is unequivocally communicative in nature. With such an over simplistic transmission view of human communication, the Minister is assuming putting the blame on o thers who do not want to understand. Besides, how can he expect accountability from those people who have no voice in decision making? One person from the audience commented on his speech, saying that he was frightened by the image of the president render


41 also said that while the minister had tried to convince the audience of one thing, the audience had understood the speech otherwise. This showed a dramatic discrepancy between what the Minister was trying to accomp lish and how the audience interpreted his nature of accountability as discuss ed in this section. The mismatch was due to a framing issue: he forced a qualitative process into a quantitative frame. The Sensitivity of Accountability The first panelist who was invited to speak after the Minister was Dr. Dean Williams, a chief advisor to the president of Madagascar, who has been working with the president for four years on the leadership strategies for rapid development and transformation of the nation. Interestingly, Dr. Williams, who professionally belongs to the same group of the Min emerged from the speech. He skillfully reframed several comments that were made by the Mini there is a lot happening in Madagascar and by virtue of leadership being exercised on negative form (it is not), which comes to negate something that has just been of leadership is based on the principle of distributed intelligence, contrary to the


42 hier leading and others are following. y virtue the president himself is Williams, who is a faculty member of Harvard Univ Government where he teaches public leadership, seemed to be aware of the risks that can en he [the minister] is taking about people being the problem, he is meaning that the problem resides in the values and the not a problem, but a difficulty or a c hallenge and that the challenge is shared. Ultimately, he admitted that the government has to understand different parameters, including The next strategy that Dr. Williams used to illustrate his last idea is a little story that he told Recently, the development agency decided to build a well in the center of the village to help women have easy access to water after having noticed that they used to travel two to four hours a day down the mountain and over the river stream to collect the water. No sooner was the well built than it was destroyed. Initially no one could understand who would dare destroy such a facility. Investigations revealed that women themselves


43 d estroyed the well, because they wanted to keep spending that much time everyday out of their homes. For these women, the time they spend away from their husbands was part of their habits. Therefore, they destroyed the well to keep the freedom to be away fr om home for several hours and chat among themselves. This story was a very powerful strategy in the reframing process discussed by Dr. Williams. The journalist of the sta The story itself, the way it was narrated, and the way it was connected to the idea it illustrated, was very effective in the reframing process. More importantly, Dr. Williams reframes the same idea (that people are the problem) in such a way that the audience now thinks that people are hard to predict and so the difficulty is in fact understanding how people think about their needs. Con sequently, less blame would be put on the Malagasy government, which according to Dr. Williams, is striving to help people who are themselves opposing their own benefits. Another way to identify the gaps between the framing style of the Minister and of D r. Williams is to pay particular attention to the use of personal pronouns in both speeches. rsonal pronoun strategy that engages the listener to think of the difficulty of the context he is describing. It is used in rhetorical questions that implicate the a


44 was of particular importance, because whenever it is a matter of decision making, there is serving as a chief advisor to the Malaga create unnecessary tensions of nationalism; i.e., Malagasy people can reject his use of he refers to the leadership team and not when referring to the whole country, simply forty personal pronouns reflected the individualistic leadership style that he was describing. On the contrary, the two times that Dr. Williams referred to the president were to mention that the president was orchestrat ing the efforts rather than making decisions. about his president, not about himself, when he was addressed to by the journalist as He probably was expecting only questions about his president, not about hi mself or both of them together.


45 Framing around Effectiveness Leadership Effectiveness through Classroom Learning One of the tensions that arose from the discussions about leadersh ip effectiveness was around the question of whether or not it is appropriate (or even possible) to formally teach leadership. There was a debate between Dr. Lan Xue (the Executive Associate Dean at the School of Public Policy and Management in Tsinghua Uni versity, China) and most of the other discussants over the idea that classroom learning can help to develop leaders. Dr. Xue was supporting his view with figures and statistics about the leadership learning opportunities that were part of the agenda made b y the Chinese government to ensure successive generations of good leaders. However, before Dr. Xue started his knows that China is probably the greatest country for futu re development at the moment introduction was an attempt to influence the audience by stating the assumption that the Chinese approach is an example that the rest of the world should follow, given the concrete developmental results that it achieved. However, the panelists rejected the model presented by Dr. Xue, without responding to the statistical evidence that he presented to illustrate the success of the Chinese go leadership training became a tradition in the Chinese government in response to the war peo


46 ew on how framing should be crafted, in particular, how the careful selection of expressions is important. Regardless of what kind of leadership style Dr. Xue adheres to, the fact that he stated that leadership came from the need to wage war, there is much chance that negative thoughts, such as battle, hostility and conflicts, would be associated with such a suggest that the leadership he is describing is still influen ced by the mentality of war. due to the war evocation and partly, because the prese nted leadership style was based on soldiering, where followers only obey the rules and do not attempt to provide the least feedback even when they feel and think they their opinions matter. Obviously, soldiering does not resonate with the Capacity Day part icipants who attended the event to discuss objective of the meeting entitled Capacity Day 2007: Leadership Development Concept Note The same document also claims th at the Capacity day approach to leadership contradiction with the soldering type of leadership. But, the panelists did not give any significance to the culture as a substantial part of the leadership style in question. Dr. Xue was simply describing a style that was, according to him, successful in the Chinese context. Who can prove that to be not tru e?


47 such a view can be applicable and also appropriate in such cultural and historical contexts. They only opposed his views that might seem shocking to other person s coming from other cultures, such as this claim that Dr. Xue made, which reflects the hierarchical do you really make sure that they can be diffused throughout the coun ideas is a phrase that clearly illustrates the discrepancy of views between the leadership style that Dr. Xue presented and that of the rest of the panelists who come from other countries. Such a cultural discrepancy in leadership views pe rfectly matches the case study mentioned in Eisenberg et al. (2007). In this study, a Japanese man, who won both world championship and a silver medal in the sport of Judo, moved to Florida and was able to successfully establish his own Judo school. Howeve dropped off dramatically due to the unwillingness of students to tolerate his discipline. The moral of the story is that the leadership type that the Japanese man wanted to implement was not suitable to the cultural con text in the Florida, although the style was effective in Japan. Returning to the discussion about whether classrooms can make effective leaders, Dr. Williams offered an interesting anecdote to illustrate the idea that leadership teaching can be even dange rous, as it may make people think they have the leadership skills when in fact they are exercising tyranny or the like:


48 We had a coup attempt four, five months ago and this General captured o land researcher why did you do this? why would you humm and you know and he is thinking that he is exercising leader ship he said yeah this is leadership I was gonna try to show you guys that you got it all wrong. month course on leadership at Harvard University in 200 4 [audience laughter]. So the question what are we Through the use of this anecdote, Dr. William was able to provide a striking example on how leadership teaching can be destructive. The anecdote clearly appealed to the audience due to a number of factors: a) it was a real life story, b) it was narrated very concisely, and most important c) it involved a striking irony (i.e. the General legitimi zing his coup attempt, which caused deaths of civilians, by a recent leadership course that he took at Harvard University). What is Leadership Effectiveness? The Capacity Day framed leadership effectiveness in the Capacity Day 2007: Leadership Development Concept Note


49 clarify who is in charge of such a huge task that requires an unlimited number of skills and an extraordinarily ma ssive knowledge that we can hardly think of to be found in just one person. Hence, this framing of effectiveness implies that leadership is a collective task, where each individual has some input to make. Implementing viable solutions, in particular, is al most impossible to achieve, without having different perspectives and expertise on the very complex issues that a leadership is facing. The was revisited during the discussions of the Capacity Day as a real life example that urged the p articipants to look at effectiveness in a very tangible way. The story was about those Malagasy women who themselves destroyed the well that it was built by the development agency to help them have easy access to water. The question raised by one of the au dience was what would good leadership do in such a case? None of the panelists was able to answer this question. It first seemed to be an easy question to answer, but thinking about being effective in responding to the well destruction is very relative to There are at least three immediate options here: the first option is to rebuild the well anytime it is destroyed. The second is to not build the well anymore. And the third is to discuss the issue with t he women who destroyed it and react based on that. None of these options is fully advantageous. If the government decides to continually rebuild the well, there are financial problems emanating from wasting money on a development project that was to be don e once. If the government decides not to build the well anymore, other groups of people (not the women) may want the well. The problem cannot be solved fully by pleasing the women and depriving others. The problem of the third option is what


50 happens if the se women would not be convinced that the well should not be destroyed? With this option, we will be trapped again into the problems emanating from either the first or the second option. And so effectiveness here becomes very relative, not only to the conte xt itself, but to the way a leader views effectiveness. Interestingly, Dr. McKee drew the audience attention into another aspect of the well issue. She said that a substantial part of the problem is why did these women want to leave their husbands and home s for a number of hours everyday? With this question, effectiveness was brought to a more sophisticated level. Effectiveness, in this regard, does not only reside in solving problems, but in understanding where they are coming from. By asking such a questi on, the government might discover more serious social or family problems. Furthermore, these women might have destroyed the well purposefully as a way to draw the attention of the government. Therefore, the way effectiveness was framed in the Concept Note did not seem to address this complexity of leadership effectiveness, because it only presented it as the ability of problem solving. Is effectiveness only a matter of problem solving? And is it e? Karina Constantino David, the Chair of the Civil Service Commission in the Philippines, who talked about leadership in general, did not see effectiveness as limited to problem solving. She thinks that it is more important that leaders do not just invest their time doing good things while they are there; it is more important to cultivate a culture of service and expertise in the people who are in the bureaucracy, because it is these people who will continue the work. In this way, leadership effectiveness resides in the ability to orchestrate efforts in such a


51 way that results are achieved by the group, not by the leader. Such an understanding of effectiveness allows the system to keep running, especially for the time that comes after the leader leaves thei r position. One person from the audience made the comment (though in a different context) that a leader can be known to be good only when he or she leaves the position. But, how can a group? This mission is rather difficult, due to the heavy legacy of our understanding to leadership that we inherited from the old panoptic leadership views compared to the period of time where democracy has become institutionalized. The difficulty is also due to the psychological aspect of the issue; i.e., leaders need to make the effort to leave off the order giving attitudes and start seeing themselves as coordinators more than as rulers. This effort is what Bennis and Nanus (2007) called the deployment of self. It is the pointed that without the management of self, leaders m ay do more harm than good. The Framing Strategy: A Linguistic Weapon The Irish playwright Oscar Wilde once said: the truth is rarely pure and never can easily detect p type of such manipulation. Stating a true part of a story may (or may not) make only part of the story truth, but never the whole truth of that story. In this Capacity Day, a number


52 of half truth telling instances which are also instances of framing strategies were noticed. The coup attempt story that Dr. Williams mentioned is unmistakably an instance of half truth framing. When he mentioned the General attempted to shoot the presi plane down after the General had captured the airport, he did not mention that the General had attempted to run as a candidate in the presidential election. Neither did he mention that the General had been refused candidacy, which was the main motiv e of the coup attempt (New York Times; November 19, 2006). Now, regardless of the fact that such violence is unjustifiable, its motivations are at least explicable. In a news item obtained from Reuters, the New York Times mentioned that the General had iss ued leaflets, in which he announced an interim government led by a military board, saying York Times, November 19, 2006). This part of the truth adds to the story a po litical aspect and therefore reframes it as a political conflict that ended up with violence. Furthermore, Dr. Williams mentioned this story as an illustration of how leadership coup attempt in a silly and childish frame. Also, he presented a direct relationship between the month course on e specially to the participants of the Capacity day, who were discussing leadership in terms of a life


53 intimi dating for an audience member to make comments that may legitimize the coup contextualized. He might have mentioned the leadership course he took, in response to another que coup A cynical interpretation of why Dr. Williams framed the whole situation as such may emphasizing that leadership cannot be learned, Dr. Williams implied that the president cannot suddenly become an independent leader, and decide to dismiss him. Within that a temporary training stint. Most importantly, he used his status as Harvard faculty as a proof that the president is willing to learn, to improve the country, and to listen to others, contrary to the General who opted for violence and unwillingness to communicate. Dr. trying their best to move the country forward, with an open door policy. Another significant, yet hegemonic, manipulation of framing happened around the whole approach to the concept of leadership effectiveness. During the discussion about leadership effectiveness all of the Capacity Day participants except Dr. McKee, did not discuss the ineffectiveness of leaders themselves. Participants spent most of their time discus sing effectiveness in terms of the visible work that leaders perform. This was a dominant frame, which suggests that the leaders themselves are unquestionable and that leadership effectiveness is an external issue. Here, again, I understood that effectiven ess


54 was implicitly presented as a technical issue that can be solved once the technical solutions are found and implemented. Dr. McKee completely reframed the situation by diverting the audience attention to allows us to enact our leadership in our spheres? Whatever this sphere might be with ] You know it really does start by looking In a way or another, it was an audacious step that Dr. McKee took to shift the audience attention to themselves, knowing that among the audience there are ministers, diplomats and very highly ranked officials of different countries who came to discuss the problems they are facing, not to hear that the problem might, in fact, be them. Most interestingly, Dr. McKee reframed leadership effectiveness by first using the beca use she was unsure of the audience reactions. She needed some time to build Teleos Leadership Institute) and reframing that was formulated over two steps: first, leaders (we) need to look at themselves and see what they can improve in themselves, before starting to help oth ers;


55 Summary, Limitations, and Suggestions for Future Research This study has illuminated various framing practices that emerged during formal discussions about leadership development. Exposing how the participants framed their views about vision accountability and eff ectiveness in leadership made it possible to examine the implicit meanings of their language, actions and stories. Concretely, the analysis of the framing practices has made the following conclusions: First, this study identified and explained instances of skillful and strategic use of framing as opposed to unskillful and risky framing practices. One of the most pertinent examples of skillful framing was made by Dr. Williams, who was able to completely ership style; after a framing of the same subject had just been made by the Malagasy Minister of Education. The success which mirrored the collective type of leadership he was clearly trying to describe. The evoked several times by the audience as a concrete example to use during discussions. On und unappealing to the audience due to his president. The contradiction between the two framing practices was clearly noticed at reactions.


56 Second, it was possible to discern hidden meanings that emerge from the presented frames and the contradictions between what was stated and what was understood. The description of vision was a good example of how it was described by many partici pants to be shared, but the meta linguistic analysis revealed that it was in fact imposed by the leaders. One pertinent example of such a contradiction was revealed in a document that diately in the next emphasis that vision in on the idea of vision sharing on the one hand and his statement that the government had participants were however, very careful in their language use and did not make such contradictions. Third, the setting of this study was unique in making it possible to observe the xample of the Minister of Education in Madagascar was very pertinent. His unsuccessful framing was immediately reprimanded due to his paralinguistic accounts and resulted in aggressive responses from the audience. It was interesting to witness how people a re able to see through what others say and how serious their responses can be. Similarly, the example of Dr. Xue, who presented the leadership style that was implemented by the Chinese government, failed to appeal to the audience and received severe critic ism and sarcastic attitudes, due to the use


57 presented as the most successful in terms of economic achievements, the audience rejected such a model. In order to unders tand the severity of the outcomes of such an followers. The question here is would their followers react in the same way the audience reacted? What if they choose not to make immediate reactions, but resist the talks in what the outcomes of such unsuccessful framings are in real life situations? Fourth, the study discussed issues o f clarity and ambiguity in the framing process. Both clarity and ambiguity were found to be efficient strategic elements of meaning making. The efficiency of their use was a matter of degree, because both of them are somehow useful. In its attempt to frame vision in the Concept Note document, the WBI was strategically ambiguous; to allow for an unlimited number of views to fit in the sense they gave to it. Similarly, none of the participants tried to explore the meaning of vision or operationalize it accord ing to their contexts. All of them contented themselves with the metaphorical use of the term. One merit of such a strategy in framing was the prevention of unnecessary disagreements about the meanings of terms and the consideration that every person can s ee vision in the ways that is suitable to their contexts. Conversely, clarity was identified to be important when we talk about a vision in a specific context. vision.


58 Fifth, the study found that frames undergo constant negotiations and are seldom static illustrating how she was concerned about the fact that the participants did not question their own effectiveness. She added a completely new parameter to the frames that were presented. Before her comments, the participants did not put themselves under any scrutiny, but rather were referring to effectiveness as an external factor. She urged the participants to look in the mirror and critique themselves before starting looking for effectiveness externally. Tension was apparent in her comments through the gradual reframing process and the unwillingness to shock the audience by t needed to Finally, this paper found instances where framing was used as a manipulative tool to obtain the popular buy in. The manipulation was partly made by the half truth saying. Half truth telling can be successful to a limited extend, by harnessing the audience to see the part of the story that the teller is willin coup attempt was a pertinent example of half truth telling, which, regardless of its unethical considerations, was successful in his attempts to direct the audience views into one specific direction. Manipulative framin


59 she stressed that leaders need to question themselves, she implied that her school helps leaders achieve those goals; hence she started marketing her institution. However, Dr. n this case, be said to be unethical. It was simply a framing that went into the same direction with her personal interests. One aspect of this study that is both a limitation and an advantage is the fact that it did not examine the reactions of the follow ers of these leaders vis vis the leaders framing practices. In order to better assess the effectiveness or defectiveness of the studied frames, it would be useful to examine them in real life situations; i.e. as they occur within organizations. However, doing so would not allow for a comparison of the Conducting a similar study within a single organization would not be appropriate if the aim is to see how one frame can be more or less efficient as compared to its alternative. Conversely, the setting of this study is ideal to achieve such an aim because it was possible to see different leaders of different backgrounds framing around one and the same topic in one and the same place at one and a same time and in front of one and the same audience. Nevertheless, a longitudinal study within a same organization that looks at how the same people react differently to same events framed differently by different leaders over time woul d make very important contributions to the understanding of framing dynamics. Bearing in mind that frames are time sensitive (Entman 2004), there is a need to understand if frames are perceived differently by the same followers (if so they are) due to diff erent framing strategies or because of the time sensitivity of the issue.


60 the leadership to others, not to exchange knowledge about leadership. I suspect that given the fact that the panelists and key speakers were political personalities, it might be hard for some of them to put themselves in the position of learners during that event. Here, again, the way the World Bank Institute would frame its invitations to the next Capacity Day participants may make a difference in preparing their guests to be learner s and put aside their political positions. I would also suggest that framing in leadership be a theme in one of the subsequent Capacity Days. This can make a unique shift into the discussion of Leadership from a behavioral perspective, which would urge the participant leaders to critique their own leadership practices. Finally, I think that focusing more on the behavioral aspects of leadership would significantly contribute to the development of leadership skills among the participants.


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