Hirschman's Theory of Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Versus Hoffer's Analysis of "True Believers"

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1907 Words
Date:  2021-04-16

Hirschman's Theory of Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: an Overview

The main idea resonates with the reasoning that: people within an association, be it a dealing, a country or some other type of individual alliances, possess for all intents and purposes two likely reactions the moment they realize that the grouping is showing a reduction in excellence or profit to the associates: they probably will exit (pull out from the association); or, they can choose to voice (make tries at improving and repairing relationships by means of communicating about grievances, complaints, and change proposals). For instance, the nationals of a country using a statement of the complaint may react to rising political oppression by demonstrating or emigrating. In the same way, workers can make a choice to stop reporting to a job that is not pleasant or voice out their concerns in a bid to better the conditions. Unsatisfied end users may make a decision to buy from another shop, or they may ask to talk with the managers (Hirschman, 37).

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The proposition of Hirschman's school of thought can be very pronounced and can let brand new ideas come into light; ideas that have to do with social interaction. Voice and exit on their own are a representation of a liaison between political and economic action. The exit is linked with Adam Smith's invisible hand, whereby consumers and producers have the freedom to move quietly through the marketplace, continuously shaping and ruining connections. Voice, on the flip side, naturally assumes a political nature and many a time confrontational.

In as much as both voice and exit can be utilized to make a measurement of decline within a company setting, "voice" is characteristically more informative in that it offers a reason or several reasons for the occurrence of a decline. Exit, taken on its own, only offers the warning sign of turning something down. Exit and voice also come together in one of a kind and sometimes unexpected manners; through offering greater opportunities for criticism and feedback, exit can be limited; on the other hand, stifling of dissent culminates to increased pressure for organizational members to make use of the only other means possible to make an expression of discontent or departure. The general standard, for that reason, is that the greater the availability of exit, the less likely voice will be utilized. All the same, the interplay of loyalty may have an effect on the cost-benefit analysis of whether to make use of exit or voice. Wherever loyalty exists within a firm (as connoted by intense patriotism politically, or brand loyalty for customers), exit may be abridged, more so where exit as a choice is not very much appealing (limited job market, financial or political hurdles to moving or emigration). Dedicated members become especially devoted to the success of the organization the moment their voice will listen to, and they can change it (Hirschman, 28).

Through identifying with the association between voice and exit, the interaction that loyalty has with such choices, institutions can come up with the means to properly take care of the concerns of their members and issues, and thus be the proponents of improvement. Failure to be aware of these contending pressures can amount to organizational decline and possible failure.

Hoffer's analysis of "true believers": an Overview

According to Hoffer, each and every mass movements are extraordinarily similar, be they nationalist, religious, revolutionary, or others; the case is the same for true believers. Secondly, within the heart of every true believer is jealousy, frustration, and self-hate these are the situations that at times lead to the disintegration of groups and factions?

A doctrine that is regarded as effective or typical is bound to loathe the present situation, worships whatever it is that the future holds, and in some instances glorifies that past. It is also worth mentioning that every new leader to a regime promises to do better than the previous one; a trend that has been longstanding all through the sands of time (Hoffer, 55).

Movements are usually in need of true believers to affect their course. The advantage of true believers is that they desperately need to belong to a cause; the moment they join, they must then be isolated from the outside world. Isolation is important because it will help keep true believers away from emancipation, enlightenment, and windows of truth. Revolution comes about when there is a paradigm shift and leaders are changed; different leaders have different ideas.

The most successful leaders are the ones who commit towards the people; this is because mass movements are about self-sacrifice and selflessness. What's more, ceremonies and rituals are very crucial elements of any given movement; they are the influences of culture and tradition. Rituals and ceremonies are the meshwork of movements and revolutions.

History has proven that each and every mass movement has always had an adversary; the wicked the adversary, the better it is and the easier the leader can convince the masses. Moreover, force is a very important to make things happen even though it ought to be veiled by a lot of doctrines and put into the application with a lot of persistence. All the same, it is quite humbling that mass movements are usually brought down from within i.e. it is usually an inside job whenever a mass movement collapses and is brought down. In conclusion, mass movements are usually about cultural change something that is very healthy. This is despite the fact that blind deference is a relevant quality of each and every true believer; believers that are at times characterized by a healthy amount of suspicion which surely promotes obedience and uniformity (Hoffer, 83).

How can Hirschman's theory of exit, voice, and loyalty add to Hoffer's analysis of "true believers?"

Hirschman's theory of exit, voice, and loyalty are very much related to Hoffer's analysis of "true believers." This is because, within group contexts that typically define movements, there is a need for leaders to keep their followers interested and committed to the cause. If the leaders of a group are good when it comes to matters of people skills, then the subjects are very much likely going to stay with the group and not exit.

Respective to Hoffers school of thought, that the structure and dynamics of may mass movements are interrelated, it can be concluded that the theory of exit, loyalty, and voice apply on an equal measure for all types of mass movements. It is upon leaders of mass movements to make sure that their true believers are loyal and not about to exit the movement anytime soon. Whats more, Hirschman mentions that wise leaders within organizational settings make sure that they offer platforms through which "true believers" can "voice" their opinions on reforms and any manner of disgruntlement.

As a leader of a mass movement such as a religion, a political party, or a revolution, Hoofers school of thought recommends that leaders of true believers should not assume that everything is okay and relaxes without making any moves of retaining faithful group members. Leaders should see to it that the jealousy, self-hate, and frustration that at times define the hearts of true believers do not lead to the exit of members. This is because a mass exit of true believers is bound to culminate to the disintegration of a revolution.

To promote loyalty, to foster a platform for loyalty, and to prevent exit, there is a need to capture the minds of readers with doctrine. Doctrine is the "cement" that pieces together a lot of mass movements without which there would be no common ground to keep the peoples together. What's more, if the doctrine is bound to be effective in retaining Hoffer's true believers then it has been a loathing of past leaderships and doctrines. A new doctrine is a surefire way of convincing true believers that the ways of the past are unworthy and the present is their ultimate way of finding bliss.

The reasons why most world leaders in all facets of life and on a global basis seek numbers is because the tyranny of numbers operates on a global basis. In fact, most historians and theorists like Hoffer and Hirschman agree that democracy is not far from being a farce because it is dependent on votes; votes whose outcome aligns to the wants of the majority. With such a disposition world leaders need to make sure that their leadership style resonates with the wants of the majority. A failure to convert the majority to become your "true believers" makes it hard for any world leader to realize a true revolution.

True believers, however, may stay with a cause so along as there are no winds of change and doctrine that will bring competition and cause mass "exit." All this while they are bound to stay in touch with and stick to "group thinks" Respective to Hoffer's ideologies, it is evident that all leaders in search of true believers make those they lead to view competition in a bad light. Leaders with competing ideologies are regarded as enemies and painted as insensitive to the needs of the people. This is not necessarily true but is very necessary for covering enough ground and making the masses to comfortable settle for someone as a leader.

Hirschman's Thoughts on the Needs of True Believers

All that "true believers" need is to be part of something that is meaningful and with enough strength to bring change into the world. People are attracted to strength, and this very strength can only be realized by numbers. Besides, the true believers affiliated with any mass movement ought to be convinced that what they dislike i.e. the other movements they are not a part of is wicked and irrelevant. This is what resonates with doctrine and blind loyalty. When believers are hitched to something they deem to be a worthy enough doctrine they are bound to remain loyal, and thus cases of "exit" and "voice" will be very much unlikely. What Hoffer terms force (very necessary in the maintenance of loyalty" is what Hirschman calls assertiveness; the masses, i.e., "true believers" need to see that their leaders are never wavering every time occasion arises, and there is a need to make quick decisions. Assertiveness is simply a sign of strength and the much-needed direction that people (true believers) need and usually seek in group settings.


Both Hoffer's and Hirschman's ideologies resonate with the roles of leaders in different settings. Leadership is not easy and usually, comes with its fair share of challenges. With such a disposition it is only fair that good leaders realize the essence of accountability and truth in every facet of their reigns. Both these authors agree that some leaders have often, in a desperate attempt to get a hold of "true believers" and making sure that they are retained and do not "voice" or "exit," many leaders have often resorted to unfounded and underhand methods to maintain their positions. All the same Hoffer and Hirschman's ideologies resonate concerning the argument that real leaders remain relevant through proper and just deeds to the people they serve. What's more, partiality is something that they never show to their followers; at least not openly.

Works Cited

Hoffer, Eric. The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Movements. New York NY: HarperCollins, 1951.

Hirschman, Albert O. Exit, voice, and loyalty: Responses to decline in firms, organizations, and states. Vol. 25. Harvard University Press, 1970.

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Hirschman's Theory of Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Versus Hoffer's Analysis of "True Believers". (2021, Apr 16). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/hirschmans-theory-of-exit-voice-and-loyalty-versus-hoffers-analysis-of-true-believers

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