Charismatic Leadership

Jay A. Conger

in The Oxford Handbook of Leadership

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398793
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Charismatic Leadership

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This chapter addresses charismatic leadership. It explores the more recent literature on the leader's behavior, the followers' behavior and motives, the leader's and followers' psychological profiles, contextual influences, forces that institutionalize the outcomes of the leader–follower relationship, and the liabilities of charismatic leaders. It first considers Max Weber's insights into charismatic leadership. The search for a universal set of qualities common to all charismatic political and religious leaders would not yield decisive results. Charismatic leaders change the nature of work by making it appear more heroic, morally correct, and meaningful. It is observed that institutionalization of the leader's charisma is a fragile affair and, therefore, rare. In terms of impression management, charismatic leaders seem prone to exaggerated self-descriptions and claims for their visions, which can mislead. It is clear that there are behaviors linked with charismatic leaders which distinguish them from other forms.

Keywords: charismatic leadership; leader's behavior; followers' behavior; charismatic leaders; Max Weber; institutionalization; charisma

Article.  11713 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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