Leadership and the Humanities

Mobilizing followers in the Spanish transition to democracy: Adolfo Suárez and Felipe González

Manuela Ortega-Ruiz * and Francisco Javier Luque-Castillo *

Keywords: self-concept, self-esteem, self-worth, transformational, Transition

Abstract

This article tries to demonstrate the power of discourses to promote followers’ self-esteem and self-worth. Following Shamir et al. (1993; 1994), promoting those feelings, followers refuse their individual goals in favor of a collective one. This action provides an unconditional commitment to the leader's proposals, and may pave the way for the leader. To get that objective, we analyse the Spanish case at two key moments: the Transition to democracy and the current crisis. The study of a society at two different times sheds light on the study of leadership and, more specifically, on the relationship between leaders and their followers. The methodology is qualitative, using the discourse analysis to identify those elements that Shamir et al. considered fundamental to the enhancement of self-esteem and self-worth: personal effort, faith in a better future, and past and present values, among others.

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