Qual Quant (2013) 47:1323–1335
What about the leader? What should the Hungarian
Prime Minister do after he lied?
Published online: 8 September 2011
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
Abstract This article shows how text analysis is used to investigate the role leadership
characteristics (in the sense of how to behave) play in the media before and after a political
leader has taken care of an event that has shocked a substantial part of the population in his
country. Here this is a lie by the Hungarian Prime Minister that became public in September
2006. It turns out that after the event took place the leader has to demonstrate vision and has
to keep or gain trust from the people.
Keywords Text analysis · Political leader
Text analysis is used at many places within social and political sciences, also in studies on
leadership. In this ﬁeld it is usually applied to measure the personal characteristics that are
ascribed to a leader. In such studies the occurrence of themes (characteristics) is counted.
Also other types of questions concerning leadership might be answered by using text analy-
sis, certainly when combinations of different text features are considered. One such question
is: What does the public, as formulated via a journalist, expect from a leader? The motive for
this question is found in a lie by a Prime Minister, a leader.
Leadership is “a process in which leader and followers interact in a way that enables the
leader to inﬂuence the actions of the followers in a non-coercive way, towards the achieve-
ment of certain aims or objectives” (Rollinson 2008, p. 351). The ability of an individual to
set rules for others and to control from the front is essential in leadership. A crisis is a good
moment to test the power of or the appreciation for a leader. If the leader is doing very well
he is strengthening his position.
The reverse is also possible, if he is not doing well he will
lose power and inﬂuence. Sometimes there is an event that asks for an answer by the leader.
In the text the he-form is used for the leader. If preferred this might be read as the she-form.
R. Popping (
Department of Sociology, University of Groningen, 9712 TG 31 Groningen, The Netherlands