Personal Meaning Factors That Influence Personal Meaning Charisma Weber’s Conceptualization of Charisma Differentiating Between Charismatic and Noncharismatic Leaders Charismatic Leadership Locus of Charismatic Leadership The Effects of Charismatic Leadership Qualities of Charismatic Leaders How One Acquires Charismatic Qualities Charisma: A Double-Edged Sword Transformational Leadership The Effects of Transformational Leadership Charismatic versus Transformational Leadership Transformational Leader Behaviors and Attributes Transformational versus Transactional Leadership The Transformation Process Stewardship and Servant Leadership The Nature of Stewardship and Servant Leadership Framework for Stewardship Framework for Servant Leadership 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership Learning Outcomes After studying this chapter, you should be able to: 1.
Describe personal meaning and how it influences attributions of charismatic qualities. p. 330 2. Briefly explain Max Weber’s conceptualization of charisma. p. 334 3. Describe the behavioral qualities that differentiate charismatic from noncharismatic leaders. p. 335 4. Explain the locus of charismatic leadership. p. 337 5. Discuss the effects of charismatic leadership on followers. p. 338 6. Describe the characteristics that distinguish charismatic from noncharismatic leaders. p. 341 7.
Discuss how one can acquire charismatic qualities.
p. 344 8. Explain the difference between socialized and personalized charismatic leaders. p. 345 9. Distinguish between charismatic and transformational leadership. p. 349 10. Explain the difference between transformational and transactional leadership. p. 352 11. Explain the four phases of the transformation process. p. 354 12. Explain the basis of stewardship and servant leadership. p. 356 13. Define the following key terms (in order of appearance in the chapter): personal meaning self-belief legacy selflessness spirituality values charisma vision socialized charismatic leader (SCL) personalized charismatic leader (PCL) ransformational leadership transactional leadership stewardship servant leadership 328 Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 329 Opening Case In 1986, Oprah Winfrey launched Harpo Productions, Inc. Two years later, in October 1988, television history was made when Harpo Productions announced that it was taking over all production responsibilities for the Oprah Winfrey Show from Capitol Cities/ABC, making Winfrey the first woman in history to own and produce her own talk show. The Oprah Winfrey Show has remained the number one talk show for 22 consecutive seasons. The show is seen by more than 48 million viewers weekly in the United States and airs in more than 120 countries.
Oprah has differentiated her show from the rest of daytime talk shows by offering a self-empowering vision of hope and uplift. To capitalize on her name brand, Discovery Communications has formed an alliance with Winfrey to launch a new network that will go by the acronym, “OWN”—-Oprah Winfrey Network—-due to begin airing in 2009. Oprah will be the creative force behind the channel, developing programs on topics familiar to her predominantly female audience. 1 Her popular magazine, O, sold an average of 2. 4 million copies per month in 2007. Her Book Club can turn any title into a best seller. She has a satellite show, “Oprah & Friends,” on XM Satellite Radio. When it comes to popularity of celebrities, Oprah tops the list in name recognition and likeability.
When people are asked whether they believe she is “an influence in today’s world,” she beats everyone else on the list. She is unmatched as a celebrity spokesperson. In an AP poll taken in 2006, Oprah was selected the best celebrity role model of the year. 2 From her humble beginnings in rural Mississippi, Oprah is not only America’s richest celebrity, she is also one of the most charitable. In 1987, she created the Oprah Winfrey Foundation to aid women, children, and families. Oprah’s Angel Network, formed in 1998, also raises money for A P P L I C A T I O N charitable causes. In January 2007, she opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Oprah’s goal for the academy is to find talented girls who come from difficult economic backgrounds and give them education and leadership training. 3 Oprah’s legacy has established her as one of the most important figures in popular culture. Through her television, publishing, and film endeavors, Oprah entertains, enlightens, and empowers millions of viewers around the world. Opening Case Questions: 1. Why is Oprah such a popular and admired figure on TV? 2. Oprah seems to have a clear sense of her personal meaning or purpose in life. What factors do you think have contributed to her understanding? 3. What is the locus of Oprah’s charisma? 4.
What effects has Oprah’s charisma had on her followers? 5. What qualities of charismatic leadership does Oprah possess? 6. Does Oprah embody the example of a socialized charismatic leader or a personalized charismatic leader? 7. Is Oprah a transformational leader, a charismatic leader, or both? Can you answer any of these questions? You’ll find answers to these questions and learn more about Oprah Winfrey’s businesses and leadership style throughout the chapter. To learn more about Oprah Winfrey, visit her Web site at http://www. oprah. com. he last 20 years have witnessed a renewed interest in and scholarship focus on charismatic and transformational leadership. This growth in interest has coincided with significant geopolitical, social, and economic change. Much higher levels of turbulence, uncertainty, discontinuous change, and global competition characterize today’s work environment. The challenge many institutions face is how to continually cope with new situations in order to survive and prosper. Organizations are faced with the need to adapt or perish. Adaptation requires that organizations learn to do things differently, such as the need to transform internal cultures, empower organizational members, adapt or develop new technologies, restructure personnel and workflow T 330 Part 3 Organizational Leadership atterns, eliminate concrete and artificial boundaries, pave the path to continuous innovation, and foster a high-involvement and risk-taking organizational climate. 5 The charismatic and transformational leader, according to many scholars and practitioners, represents a new paradigm of leadership that may be capable of steering organizations through the chaos of the twenty-first century. 6,7,8 In the literature, both charismatic and transformational forms of leadership are commonly discussed from two separate but interrelated perspectives: in terms of the effects that leaders have upon followers, and in terms of the relationships that exist between leaders and followers.
Charismatic and transformational theories return our focus to the leader. These theories shine the light on exemplary leaders who have extraordinary effects on their followers and ultimately on entire social, cultural, economic, and political systems. According to this new paradigm of leadership theories, such leaders transform the needs, aspirations, and values of followers from a focus on self-interest to a focus on collective interest. They practice trust building to create strong commitment to a common mission. They generate emotion, energy, and excitement that cause followers to make significant personal sacrifices in the interest of the mission, and to perform above and beyond the call of duty.
According to some scholars, charismatic and transformational leadership represents a shift from an emphasis on financial capital to human capital. It’s a leadership philosophy in which strategy, structure, and systems thinking are replaced with purpose, process, and people thinking—“purpose leadership. ”9 Charismatic and transformational leaders often have a more heightened sense of who they are than most people do. They seem to have a clearer picture of their personal meaning or purpose in life much sooner, and seek to actualize it through active leadership. To lay the foundation for charisma and charismatic leadership, we will focus the discussion first on the concept of personal meaning.
Then we will discuss the unique and complementary qualities of charisma, charismatic leadership, transformational leadership, stewardship, and servant leadership, focusing on the impact of each on individuals and the organization. Opening Case A P P L I C A T I O N 1. Why is Oprah such a popular and admired figure on TV? Oprah possesses the charisma and transformational qualities alluded to above. She has already left an indelible mark on the face of television. She has used her celebrity status to push for social change in our society. She has championed the cause for child abuse, poverty, domestic violence, illiteracy, and much more. Her audience represents a cross-section of the American ethnic landscape.
As supervising producer and host of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah entertains, enlightens, and empowers millions of viewers not just in the United States, but around the world. Learning Outcome 1 Describe personal meaning and how it influences attributions of charismatic qualities. Personal Meaning Personal meaning is described in terms of meaningfulness or purpose in life. A more formal definition is the degree to which people’s lives make emotional sense and to which the demands confronted by them are perceived as being worthy of energy and commitment. It is the “work–life balance” or the achievement of equilibrium in personal and official life. Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 331 One scholar described charismatic leaders as “meaning makers. 10 Thus, personal meaning is that which makes one’s life most important, coherent, and worthwhile for him or her. The theoretical basis of personal meaning is derived from research on purpose in life (PIL). PIL represents a positive attitude toward possessing a transcendent vision for life. 11 The depth (i. e. , strength) and type (i. e. , content of meaning associated with a goal) of personal meaning are major determinants of motivation, especially for individuals facing challenges. There is a general recognition that compared to noncharismatic leaders, charismatic leaders have a heightened sense of their personal meaning and are willing to act on it.
Therefore the question becomes, what factors influence and differentiate leaders who are willing to act to realize their personal meaning or PIL from others who are less inclined to actively pursue the journey? Factors That Influence Personal Meaning Exhibit 9. 1 lists a variety of factors that influence personal meaning, derived from a review of the literature. Each factor is briefly discussed below in terms of its contribution to the personal meaning of leaders. EXHIBIT 9. 1 Factors That Influence Personal Meaning a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. Self-belief Legacy Selflessness Cultural heritage and traditions Activist mind-set Faith and spirituality Personal interests Values Source: Based on G. T. Reker, and P. T. P. Wong (1988), Meaning and Purpose in Life and Well-Being: A Life-Span Perspective.
Journal of Gerontology 42 (1992): 44–49. Self-Belief Self-belief is knowing who you are based on your lifespan of experiences, motivation states, and action orientation. The search for meaning involves finding opportunities to express the aspects of one’s self that motivate subsequent behavior. Closely related to self-belief is a trait called positive self-concept. Individuals with a positive selfconcept possess emotional stability, believe in their self-worth (high self-esteem), see themselves as generally capable of accomplishing things (high generalized selfefficacy), and feel they are in control of their lives (internal locus of control).
In many cases, the charismatic leader is a person who has overcome an inner conflict to realize his or her full potential and, through this process, developed a strong belief in himself or herself. The resolution of this conflict serves as a stimulus and model for followers. 12 Legacy The need to leave behind something of enduring value after one’s death can be both a powerful motivator and a source of personal meaning. Legacy is that which allows an individual’s accomplishments to “live on” in the ideals, actions, and creations of one’s followers, long after his or her death. 13 Charismatic leaders are driven to leave 332 Part 3 Organizational Leadership their personal mark on the society they serve.
Gandhi advocated passive resistance and passion for truth. His legacy has influenced many subsequent social and political activists and leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr. , and Nelson Mandela. These leaders derived meaning from a realization that their legacy may provide their followers with a framework for self-development, harmony and fellowship, and a more socially desirable future. Selflessness Selflessness is an unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others. Therefore, a leader with an unselfish attitude derives motivation through concern for others rather than for oneself. Servant leadership is rooted in providing service to followers.
For example, helping followers to develop and work toward collective goals may satisfy a charismatic leader’s motives and therefore make sacrifices and suffering meaningful. Examples of selfless charismatic leaders include Bishop Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, and Princess Diana. They were all driven by a concern for others. Cultural Heritage and Traditions Rites and ceremonies may be used as vehicles to transfer charisma to others. Charismatic leaders of religious organizations (e. g. , Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Rev. Billy Graham) derive personal meaning by leading their churches, while their personal meaning helps define rites, doctrine, and ceremonies. Also, oral and written traditions may make the charismatic leader’s vision meaningful over time.
For example, Frederick Douglass sought to preserve the traditions and heritage of African people by emphasizing the value of education as a vehicle for self-empowerment and growth. His determination not to live as a slave but to live proudly as a black American is part of the heritage of the African-American culture today and has added meaning to his life. Activist Mind-Set Charismatic leaders tend to have a more activist mind-set than noncharismatic leaders. They use political and social causes as opportunities to influence change and provide a better life for their followers. These accomplishments provide charismatic leaders with meaning for their existence and satisfy their motives. Charismatic leaders have a greater sensitivity to political, societal, and organizational situations that are ripe for change.
They magnify a climate of dissatisfaction by encouraging activism that heightens followers’ willingness to change the status quo. When followers are going through periods of turmoil and collective stress, they may respond to a leader who is able to give meaning to their experiences in terms of a new social or political order. For example, Oprah’s commitment to children led her to initiate the National Child Protection Act in 1991, when she testified before the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee to establish a national database of convicted child abusers. On December 20, 1993, President Clinton signed the national “Oprah Bill” into law. Faith and Spirituality
Spirituality concerns an individual’s awareness of connections between human and supernatural phenomena, which provide faith explanations of past and present experiences and, for some, predict future experiences. Supporters believe that religion and spirituality endow individuals’ lives with meaning and purpose and give them hope for a better future. Charismatic leaders face hardship and suffering while leading missions of change. They often rely on their faith for support. Faith and spirituality influence one’s meaning and purpose in life, and some argue that without meaning and Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 333 purpose there would be no reason for charismatic leaders to endure their struggles.
In addition, charismatic leaders sustain faith by linking behaviors and goals to a “dream” or utopian ideal vision of a better future. Followers may be driven by such faith because it is internally satisfying. Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, Jr. , and Gandhi illustrate charismatic leaders whose purpose in life is or was influenced by their spirituality. In the end-of-book Appendix, “Leadership and Spirituality in the Workplace,” we provide more details on this topic. Personal Interests Personal pursuits may reflect aspects of one’s personality. By engaging in meaningful personal pursuits, we may establish and affirm our identity as either extroverts or introverts, high or low risk-takers, and open- or close-minded.
Hobbies and other activities of personal interest have been linked to sets of personally salient action that add meaning to individuals’ lives and leader behavior. Values Values are generalized beliefs or behaviors that are considered by an individual or a group to be important. Values provide basis for meaning. Charismatic leadership has been described as values-based leadership. By aligning their values with those of followers, and appealing to followers’ subconscious motives, charismatic leaders may derive personal meaning from their actions. Opening Case A P P L I C A T I O N 2. Oprah seems to have a clear sense of her personal meaning or purpose in life. What factors do you think have contributed to her understanding?
Much has been published about Oprah in books and on the Internet. It is apparent from reading through these materials that her sense of personal meaning has been influenced by all the factors described above and listed in Exhibit 9. 1 on page 331. The following examples illustrate Oprah’s selflessness, values, activist mind-set, and legacy. The Oprah Winfrey Foundation was established to support the inspiration, empowerment, education, and well-being of women, children, and families around the world. Through this private charity, Oprah has directly served the needs of low-opportunity people and has awarded hundreds of grants to organizations that carry out this vision.
She has contributed millions of dollars toward providing a better education for underserved students who have merit but no means. She created the “Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program,” which gives scholarships to students determined to use their education to give back to their communities in the United States and abroad. The Oprah Winfrey Foundation continues to expand Oprah’s global humanitarian efforts in developing countries. In December 2002, Oprah brought a day of joy to tens of thousands of children with “ChristmasKindness South Africa 2002,” an initiative that included visits to orphanages and rural schools in South Africa where children received gifts of food, clothing, athletic shoes, school supplies, books, and toys.
Sixty-three rural schools received libraries and teacher education, which continued throughout 2003. In addition, Oprah announced a partnership with South Africa’s Ministry of Education to build a model leadership school for girls. The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls–South Africa is now up and running. Oprah speaks openly of her strong faith and spirituality on her show every day. From a conceptual standpoint, the stronger one’s perception of his or her personal meaning or purpose in life, the greater the likelihood that such an individual will act to realize his or her PIL. We propose a two-step process by which this can happen: 334 Part 3
Organizational Leadership • First, a leader’s personal meaning influences his or her behavior to act. In turn, the leader’s behavior is reflected in the formulation and articulation of a vision or rationale for action. • Second, the leader’s extraordinary actions or compelling vision garner attribu- tions of charisma from followers. Therefore, a key aspect of the charismatic leadership process involves the perceptions and evaluations—that is, attributions—made by followers about a leader’s behaviors and effects. From a follower perspective, charismatic leaders are viewed as out-of-the-ordinary persons who can satisfy a need for finding meaning in life. 4 The extraordinary quality or image of the charismatic leader is seen not only as a source of influence but also a symbol of the realization of the meaning that is constructed in an appealing and/or evocative vision. 15 Vision is the leader’s idealized goal that he or she wants the organization to achieve in the future. Based on this interconnection between a leader’s personal meaning, behavior, and attributions of charisma, some scholars have argued that charismatic leaders are “meaning makers” who “interpret reality to offer us images of the future that are irresistible. ”16 The next section focuses on this concept of charisma. Applying the Concept 1 Sources of Personal Meaning Referring to the sources of personal meaning in Exhibit 9. 1 on page 331, match each statement to its source using the letters a–h. 1.
A desire to leave your personal mark on history long after you are dead. 2. A collection of lifespan experiences, motivation states, and action orientation that serves as a source of personal meaning. 3. Faith in a higher power that motivates one to endure hardships and struggles and thus serves as a source of personal meaning. 4. A leader derives personal meaning by being very sensitive to societal, political, and organizational situations that are ripe for change and acting on them. 5. Rites and ceremonies used as vehicles to transfer charisma to others or to define one’s personal meaning. Charisma The Greek word charisma means “divinely inspired gift. Like the term leadership itself, charisma has been defined from various organizational perspectives by researchers studying political leadership, social movements, and religious cults. 17 Nevertheless, there is enough consistency among these definitions to create a unifying theme. This section will focus on Max Weber’s early conceptualization of the concept and the differences between charismatic and noncharismatic leaders. Learning Outcome 2 Briefly explain Max Weber’s conceptualization of charisma. Weber’s Conceptualization of Charisma Of the early theories of charisma, the sociologist Max Weber made what is probably the single most important contribution. Weber used the term “charisma” to explain
Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 335 a form of influence based not on traditional or legal–rational authority systems but rather on follower perceptions that a leader is endowed with the gift of divine inspiration or supernatural qualities. 18 Charisma has been called “a fire that ignites followers’ energy and commitment, producing results above and beyond the call of duty. ”19 Weber saw in a charismatic leader someone who single-handedly visualizes a transcendent mission or course of action that is not only appealing to potential followers, but compels them to act on it because they believe the leader is extraordinarily gifted. 0 Other attributes of charisma identified in the political and sociological literature include acts of heroism, an ability to inspire and build confidence, espousing of revolutionary ideals, oratorical ability, and a “powerful aura. ” Combining these attributes with relational dynamics between leaders and followers provides a comprehensive picture of this phenomenon. Therefore, charisma is “a distinct social relationship between the leader and follower, in which the leader presents a revolutionary idea, a transcendent image or ideal which goes beyond the immediate . . . or the reasonable; while the follower accepts this course of action not because of its rational likelihood of success . . . but because of an effective belief in the extraordinary qualities of the leader. 21 Learning Outcome 3 Describe the behavioral qualities that differentiate charismatic from noncharismatic leaders. Work Application 1 Think of a leader from your work experience or education who you believe has charisma. Explain why. Differentiating Between Charismatic and Noncharismatic Leaders Attribution theory states that followers make attributions of heroic or extraordinary leadership abilities when they observe certain behaviors in their leader. These attributions form the basis on which a leader is seen as possessing or not possessing charismatic qualities, which explains why the theory of charismatic leadership is seen as an extension of attribution theory. 2,23,24 It is argued that such attributions of charisma are either concomitants or early indicators of the onset of other psychological and behavioral outcomes, such as unconditional loyalty, devotion, selfsacrifice, obedience, and commitment to the leader and to the cause the leader represents. 25,26 Noncharismatic leaders will find it much harder to garner the same behavioral attributes from their followers. If the followers’ attribution of charisma depends on observed behavior of the leader, the question then becomes: what are the behavioral qualities responsible for such attributions? Some studies have gone so far as to propose that if these attributions can be identified and operationalized, the knowledge gained can then be used to develop charismatic qualities in noncharismatic leaders.
The attribution of charisma to some leaders is believed to depend on four behavior attributes that distinguish charismatic from noncharismatic leaders. They are listed and discussed below: 1. Dissatisfaction with status quo 2. Compelling nature of the vision 3. Use of unconventional strategies for achieving desired change 4. A realistic assessment of resource needs and other constraints for achieving desired change Disatisfaction with Status Quo The discrepancy between charismatic and noncharismatic leaders is such that the former is very much opposed to the status quo and strives to change it, while 336 Part 3 Organizational Leadership the latter essentially agrees with the status quo and strives to maintain it.
For the charismatic leader, the more idealized or discrepant the future goal is from the present status quo, the better. And the greater the gap from the status quo, the more likely followers will attribute extraordinary vision to the leader. Vision Formulation and Articulation Charismatic leaders have the ability to articulate an ideological and inspirational vision—a transcendent vision that paints or promises a better future than the present. 7 The question that persists is why a few possess this quality or ability to visualize a future that many other leaders fail to see or grasp. Effective articulation of vision is measured in what is said (content and context) and how it is said (oratorical abilities).
Charismatic leaders articulate the context of their message by highlighting positive images of the future vision and negative images of the present situation. The present situation is often presented as unacceptable, whereas the vision is presented as the most attractive alternative in clear, specific terms. This makes the case for change very strong and convincing. 27 Effective communication skills are an imperative in the successful articulation of a compelling vision and maintenance of a leadership role. Through verbal and nonverbal means, charismatic leaders communicate their self-confidence, convictions, and dedication in order to give credibility to what they advocate. They are often described as great orators who know how to incite passion and action among their followers.
Followers tend to model the charismatic leader’s high energy and persistence, unconventional and risky behavior, heroic actions, and personal sacrifices. Use of Unconventional Strategies The noncharismatic leader’s expertise lies in using available or conventional means to achieve existing goals, whereas the charismatic leader’s expertise lies in using unconventional means to transcend the existing order. Unconventional leader behavior is perceived as novel—that is, original or new. Research linking unconventional leader behavior with subordinate satisfaction and perception of leader effectiveness revealed positive correlation between the variables.
In other words, unconventional behavior was found to be significantly related to follower satisfaction with the overall experience and perceptions of leader effectiveness. 28 Admirers of charismatic leaders believe that such individuals possess heroic qualities that enable them to persist in spite of the odds against them. Charismatic leaders are thought to possess heroic characteristics such as courage, determination, and persistence to face and prevail against those who would resist their noble efforts. Follower perceptions of such heroic qualities evoke sentiments of adoration, especially when the leader’s activities exemplify acts of heroism involving personal risk and self-sacrificing behavior.
Thus, the behavior of the noncharismatic leader is seen as standard and conforming to existing norms while that of the charismatic leader is unconventional and counter to the norm. 29 Work Application 2 Think of a leader in our society today who is generally perceived to be a charismatic leader. In your opinion, which of the behavioral components of charisma described in the text can be attributed to him or her? Awareness for Resource Needs and Constraints Charismatic leaders are also very good strategists. They understand the need to perform a realistic assessment of environmental resources and constraints affecting their ability to effect major change within their organization.
They are sensitive to both the capabilities and emotional needs of followers, and they understand the resources and constraints of the physical and social environment in which they operate. They are aware of the need to align organizational strategies with existing capabilities to ensure a successful transformation. This need is low for noncharismatic leaders—fitting with their focus on maintaining the status quo. From the basic concept of charisma, we now turn our attention to the broader concept of charismatic leadership. Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 337 Applying the Concept 2 Charismatic versus Noncharismatic Behavior Identify which behavior corresponds to either the charismatic or the noncharismatic leader. a. charismatic behavior b. noncharismatic behavior 6.
Relies on using unconventional means to transcend the existing order. 7. Accepts the status quo and seeks to maintain it. 8. Models the values and beliefs to which you want your followers to subscribe. 9. Relies on using conventional means to achieve existing goals. 10. Opposes the status quo and seeks to change it. Charismatic Leadership The term charismatic leadership has generally been defined in terms of the effects of the leader on followers, or in terms of the relationship between leaders and followers. 30 It is a complex paradigm that has generated a number of theories regarding its nature, causes, and implications for organizational performance.
From Weber’s early conceptualization of the theory as a distinct style of leadership, contemporary leadership theorists have taken the view that charismatic leadership is a variable—that is, a matter of degree—and have made significant advances in discovering the unique patterns of behavior, psychological motives, and personality traits of leaders that are correlated with varying levels of charismatic effects on followers. 31 Some of these effects include the charismatic leader’s ability to • garner strong personal attraction from followers; • articulate a compelling and evocative vision; • and enhance followers’ self-conceptions. 32,33 Among charismatic leaders of different cultural backgrounds, similarities may be attributable to their intrinsic and universal human desires for autonomy, achievement, and morality. 4 This section will focus on the following topics: the locus of charismatic leadership, the effects of charismatic leadership, qualities of charismatic leaders, how other leaders can develop charismatic qualities, and the notion of charisma as a double-edged sword. Learning Outcome 4 Explain the locus of charismatic leadership. Locus of Charismatic Leadership Over the years, scholars from different schools of thought have commented on Weber’s conceptualization of charismatic leadership. Perhaps the most controversial concerns the locus of charismatic leadership. The question at the center of the debate is whether charisma is primarily the result of 1. the situation or social climate facing the leader; 2. the leader’s extraordinary qualities; or 3. an interaction of the situation and the leader’s qualities.
Proponents of the view that charismatic leadership could not take place unless the society was in a crisis argue that before an individual with extraordinary qualities 338 Part 3 Organizational Leadership could be perceived as a charismatic leader, the social situation must be such that followers would recognize the need for the leader’s qualities. The sociological literature, led by Weber, supports this viewpoint, emphasizing that charismatic leadership is born out of stressful situations. It is argued that under stressful situations, charismatic leaders are able to express sentiments that are different from the established order, and deeply felt by followers.
Proponents of this view would argue that neither Martin Luther King, Jr. , nor Gandhi would have emerged as charismatic leaders to lead their followers without the prevailing social crises in their respective countries. However, others argue that charisma need not be born out of distress but rather that charisma is primarily the result of leader attributes as seen by their followers. These attributes include a strong sense of vision, exceptional communication skills, strong conviction, trustworthiness, high self-confidence and intelligence, and high energy and action orientation. Proponents of this view would argue that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi possessed these qualities, and without them would never have emerged as leaders of their respective followers regardless of the situation. Finally, there are those who believe that charismatic leadership does not depend on the leader’s qualities or the presence of a crisis alone, but rather that it is an interactional concept. There is increasing acceptance of this view. Most theorists now view charisma as the result of follower perceptions and reactions, influenced not only by actual leader characteristics and behavior but also by the context of the situation. The next section discusses the effects of charismatic leadership on individuals and organizations.
Opening Case A P P L I C A T I O N 3. What is the locus of Oprah’s charisma? The locus of Oprah’s charisma can be attributed more to her extraordinary qualities than to any external factor in her environment. “Knowledge is power! With knowledge you can soar and reach as high as your dreams can take you,” said Oprah. This belief has guided Oprah Winfrey on her brilliant journey from a troubled youth to international fame. Oprah Gail Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Oprah lived with her grandmother until age six, when she moved to Milwaukee to live with her mother, Vernita Lee. At the age of nine she was sexually abused by a teenage cousin.
Over the next five years, she was molested several times by a family friend and once by her uncle. Without a doubt, she became a rebellious child and was reportedly headed toward a juvenile-detention center. Fortunately, at the age of fourteen, she went to live with her father, Vernon Winfrey, a strict disciplinarian. This, she said, was the turning point in her life. Oprah Winfrey is a success story that the everyday person can relate to. She has worked hard to gain success. Oprah’s achievements came after a lot of hard work, determination, and education. Learning Outcome 5 Discuss the effects of charismatic leadership on followers. The Effects of Charismatic Leadership
An area of interest for many scholars of charisma concerns the effects that charismatic leadership has on follower motivations, effectiveness, and satisfaction as well as organizational performance. 35,36 The relationship between the charismatic leader and followers is often described as very emotional. 37 This emotional element involves feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction derived from the pursuit of Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 339 worthwhile activities and goals and from positive beliefs and values about life. The relationship between the charismatic leader and the followers is comparable to that of disciples to a master. Though not always the case, followership is not out of fear or monetary inducement, but out of love, passionate devotion, and commitment. 8 Such a strong emotional bond is possible because the charismatic leader is believed to have the power to effect radical change by virtue of a transcendent vision that is different from the status quo. The strong belief in the vision of the charismatic leader is a key factor in distinguishing followers of charismatic leaders from those of other types of leaders. Charismatic leaders are seen as generally more positive in their personality than noncharismatic leaders. Research on positiveness as a personality trait has found that people enhance their own feelings of well-being by sharing positive experiences with others and, as a consequence, treat others more positively because they themselves are in a positive mood. 39 Charismatic leaders generally possess this type of positiveness and have the capacity to spread it.
When this happens, a positive atmosphere permeates the organization and fuels excitement and energy for the leader’s cause. 40 The charismatic leader is seen as an object of identification by followers who try to emulate his or her behavior. Thus, an effect of charismatic leadership is to cause followers to imitate the leader’s behavior, values, self-concept, and cognitions. 41 Charismatic leadership has been found to affect the general risk propensities of followers. Followers tend to assume greater risk with charismatic leaders than they would with other types of leaders. 42 They are willing to suffer whatever fate awaits the leader as he or she fights to hange the status quo. This was the case with Gandhi and Martin Luther King’s followers, as they fought to bring about equality and freedom for all. Therefore, on the upside, charismatic leadership can be very effective in encouraging followers to buy into the future vision and potential change in an organization; however, the downside is that a parent/child relationship can develop with followers switching off and not challenging leadership decisions. 43 Another effect of charismatic leadership on followers is to cause them to set or accept higher goals and have greater confidence in their ability to contribute to the achievement of such goals. 4 By observing the leader display self-confidence, followers develop self-confidence as well. Also, the leader’s character has an effect on followers. When the character of the leader is grounded on such core values as integrity, trust, respect, and truth, it influences the leader’s vision, ethics, and behavior. The leader is also empowered through his or her character to serve as a mentor. We are all aware of business leaders—such as Steve Jobs (Apple), Richard Branson (the Virgin Group), and Jack Welch (former GE CEO)—who command an extraordinary level of respect from their followers and have effectively initiated change and innovation for their respective companies.
According to some scholars, the effect of the leader’s character on followers is more critical than charisma itself. 45 Character, more than charisma, is seen as the basis for leadership excellence. Focusing on the effect of charismatic leadership on external support for an organization, some scholars observed that the use of charismatic appeals and charismatic leadership may indeed make the organization more attractive to outside stakeholders. There is an ongoing debate in academic circles about charismatic CEOs and organizational performance. The question is whether charismatic CEOs achieve better organizational performance than their less charismatic counterparts.
One study found that organizational performance was associated with subsequent perceptions of CEO charisma, but that perceptions of CEO charisma were not associated with subsequent organizational performance. 46 340 Part 3 Organizational Leadership According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Yale University, CEO charisma had little lasting effect on a company’s financial performance. Further, the study revealed that while a charismatic CEO can in fact boost shareholder value between 10 and 12 percent during the first five years of his or her tenure, the effect on performance becomes negligible after that. 47 The May 15, 2000, edition of Fortune asked the question: “Is John Chambers the best CEO on earth?
Is it too late to buy his stock? ”48 There are those who believe that much of a company’s stock market value these days depends on the image and reputation of the CEO. There are more questions than answers in this area because of limited research interest; instead the focus has almost exclusively been on the effects of charisma on organizational members—an internal focus. An important function of the executive is to manage the external environment of the firm; therefore, research support for the effects of charismatic leadership on external stakeholders is critical. 49 Exhibit 9. 2 summarizes these effects. EXHIBIT 9. 2 Effects of Charismatic Leadership • • • • • • • • •
Follower trusts in the “rightness” of the leader’s vision Similarity of follower’s beliefs and values to those of the leader Heightened sense of self-confidence to contribute to accomplishment of the mission Acceptance of higher or challenging goals Identification with and emulation of the leader Unconditional acceptance of the leader Strong affection for the leader Emotional involvement of the follower in the mission Unquestioning loyalty and obedience to the leader Source: Based on R. J. House, and M. L. Baetx (1979). “Leadership: Some Empirical Generalizations and New Research Directions. ” In B. M. Staw (ed. ), Research in Organizational Behavior, vol. 1 (Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1979), 399–401. Opening Case A P P L I C A T I O N 4. What effects has Oprah’s charisma had on her followers? The effects of charismatic leadership summarized in Exhibit 9. are very much applicable to Oprah and her followers. Oprah’s followers and supporters seem to have an unquestioning loyalty to her and all that she stands for. There is a strong affection and unconditional acceptance of her, and a willingness to trust in the “rightness” of whatever cause she champions. For example, in a 1997 episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah encouraged viewers to use their lives to make a difference in the lives of others, which led to the creation of the public charity Oprah’s Angel Network in 1998. To date, Oprah’s Angel Network has raised more than $30 million, with 100 percent of audience donations going to nonprofit organizations across the globe.
Oprah’s Angel Network has helped establish scholarships and schools, support women’s shelters, and build youth centers and homes—-changing the future for people all over the world. As John Grace, executive director of Interbrand Group, a New York-based brand consultant, puts it, “Oprah stands for a certain set of very specific American values that very few of her celebrity competitors can claim, like honesty, loyalty, and frankness. It’s a value set that is rare in business institutions and celebrities. ” Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 341 Learning Outcome 6 Describe the characteristics that distinguish charismatic from noncharismatic leaders.
Qualities of Charismatic Leaders A number of studies have identified qualities that differentiate charismatic and noncharismatic leaders, and have described the behaviors and personal attributes that help charismatic leaders achieve remarkable results. These attributions, based on leader behaviors, constitute the personality profile of charismatic leaders. 50 Attribution theorists have thus used behaviors as distinguishing characteristics for charismatic and noncharismatic leaders. 51 (Many of these characteristics also apply to transformational leaders because charisma is a key component of transformational leadership, which is discussed later in this chapter. A study exploring charismatic leadership in the public sector focused on four qualities: (1) energy and determination, (2) vision, (3) challenge and encouragement, and (4) risk taking. 52 Another study narrowed charismatic leadership attributes to three core components—envisioning, empathy, and empowerment. 53 The charismatic leader is seen as someone who has a compelling vision or sense of purpose; the ability to effectively communicate that vision; the ability to motivate others to join the cause; and is consistent and focused, highly confident, and understands what it will take to accomplish the mission. Exhibit 9. 3 summarizes these qualities, along with other distinguishing characteristics of charismatic leaders, and is followed by an explanation of each.
You will realize that many of these characteristics have already been featured throughout the discussion so far. Therefore, the purpose of this section is to bring all the qualities together. EXHIBIT 9. 3 Qualities of Charismatic Leaders a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. Vision Superb communication skills Self-confidence and moral conviction Ability to inspire trust High risk orientation High energy and action orientation Relational power base Minimum internal conflict Ability to empower others Self-promoting personality Vision Research has consistently emphasized the role of vision in charismatic leadership. Charismatic leaders articulate a transcendent vision that becomes the rallying cry of a movement or a cause. Charismatic leaders are future-oriented.
They have the ability to articulate an idealized vision of a future that is significantly better than the present. They quickly recognize fundamental discrepancies between the status quo and the way things can (or should) be. 54 Vision is the ability to imagine different and better conditions and the ways to achieve them. A vision uplifts and attracts others. For this to happen, the leader’s vision must result from a collaborative effort. Charismatic leaders formulate their vision by synthesizing seemingly disparate issues, values, 342 Part 3 Organizational Leadership and problems from many sources of the organization or work unit. They have a compelling picture of the future and are very passionate about it. Superb Communication Skills
In addition to having a vision, charismatic leaders can communicate complex ideas and goals in clear, compelling ways, so that everyone from the top management level to the bottom level of the organization can understand and identify with their message. Their eloquent, imaginative, and passionate manner heightens followers’ emotional levels and inspires them to embrace the leader’s vision. 55 Charismatic leaders use their superior rhetorical skills to stir dissatisfaction with the status quo while they build support for their vision of a new future. They employ rhetorical techniques such as metaphors, analogy, and stories to drive home their points so that their message will have a profound impact on followers. Fitting examples here include Martin Luther King, Jr. s “I Have a Dream” speech, Hitler’s “Thousand-year Reich,” or Gandhi’s vision of an India in which Hindus and Muslims live in harmony independent from British rule. While metaphors and analogies are inspiring, charismatic leaders are also adept at tailoring their language to particular groups, thereby better engaging them mentally and emotionally. For example, a CEO attempting to inspire vice presidents may use an elevated language style; but that same CEO attempting to inspire firstline employees to keep working hard may speak on a colloquial level. Another significant aspect of the communication style of charismatic leaders is that they make extensive use of anecdotes to get their message across. Communicating through anecdotes tells inspiring stories. Self-Confidence and Moral Conviction
Charismatic leaders build trust in their followers through unshakable self-confidence, an abiding faith, strong moral conviction, and optimism. The importance of selfconfidence in everyday interactions is critical, and all the more so for a leader who must convince others to join his or her cause. Studies examining the role and influence of self-confidence and optimism on the growth and performance of a leader have found it to be a critical ingredient for success. 56,57 Self-confidence increases one’s level of performance. Optimism, according to some experts, is an essential component behind charismatic leaders because followers feel connected to leaders who are themselves optimistic and positive about their mission. 58 Martin Luther King, Jr. s “I Have a Dream” speech is an example of how a leader’s self-confidence, faith, optimism, and strong moral conviction can inspire hope and faith in a better future, and move an entire nation. Ability to Inspire Trust Constituents believe so strongly in the integrity of charismatic leaders that they will risk their careers to pursue the leader’s visions. Charismatic leaders build support and trust by showing commitment to followers’ needs over self-interest and by being fair. These qualities inspire followers and often result in greater cooperation between a leader and followers. Also, a leader’s credibility could result from modeling desired behavior and projecting an image of being likable and knowledgeable.
Research supports the proposition that leaders with charisma tend to model the values and beliefs to which they want their followers to subscribe. That is, the leader “role models” a value system that is congruent with the articulated vision for the followers. Gandhi represents an outstanding example of such systematic and intentional role modeling. He preached self-sacrifice, brotherly love, and nonviolent Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 343 resistance to British rule. Repeatedly he engaged in self-sacrificing behaviors, such as giving up his lucrative law practice to live the life of a peasant, engaging in civil disobedience, fasting, and refusing to accept the ordinary conveniences offered to him by others. High Risk Orientation
Charismatic leaders earn followers’ trust by being willing to incur great personal risk. It is said that charismatic leaders romanticize risk. People admire the courage of those who take high risk. Putting themselves on the line is one way charismatic leaders affirm self-advocacy for their vision and thus gain the admiration and respect of their followers. It has been reported that Martin Luther King, Jr. , received death threats against himself and his family almost every day during the civil rights movement. Yet, he persisted with his mission until his assassination. In addition to assuming great risk, charismatic leaders use unconventional strategies to achieve success.
Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, is a leader who was well known for inspiring employees with his unconventional approach, thus helping to make the airline consistently profitable. Kelleher encouraged employees to break the rules, maintain their individuality, and have fun—a style he called “management by fooling around. ” It is a style that has made Southwest Airlines’ employees the most productive in the industry. High Energy and Action Orientation Charismatic leaders are energetic and serve as role models for getting things done on time. They engage their emotions in everyday work life, which makes them energetic, enthusiastic, and attractive to others.
Charismatic leaders tend to be emotionally expressive, especially through nonverbal means, such as warm gestures, movement, tone of voice, eye contact, and facial expressions. It is partly through their nonverbal behaviors that charismatic leaders are perceived to have a magnetic personality. Relational Power Base A key dimension of charismatic leadership is that it involves a relationship or interaction between the leader and the followers. However, unlike other types of leadership, it is intensely relational and based almost entirely upon referent and expert power (Chapter 4), even when the leader occupies a formal organizational role. Charismatic leadership involves an emotionalized relationship with followers. Followers are often in awe of the leader.
There is a powerful identification with and emulation of the leader and an unquestioning acceptance of and affection for the leader. Minimum Internal Conflict Typically, charismatic leaders are convinced they are right in their vision and strategies, which explains why they persist and stay the course, even through setbacks. Because of this conviction, they experience less guilt and discomfort in pushing followers to stay the course even when faced with threats. Ability to Empower Others Charismatic leaders understand that they cannot make the vision come true alone. They need help and support from their followers. Charismatic leaders empower followers by building their self-efficacy.
They do this by assigning followers tasks that lead to successively greater positive experiences and heightened self-confidence, thus persuading followers of their capabilities and creating an environment of 344 Part 3 Organizational Leadership Work Application 3 Identify a leader from your past or current employment that you believe is or was a charismatic leader. Which of the characteristics described in the text did he or she possess? Support your answer. positive emotions and heightened excitement. Charismatic leaders also empower followers by role modeling and coaching, providing feedback and encouragement, and persuading followers to take on more responsibilities as their skills and selfconfidence grow. 59 Self-Promoting Personality
Even if no one will take up their cause, charismatic leaders are frequently out promoting themselves and their vision. Richard Branson has relied on self-promotion to help build his empire. Charismatic leaders are not “afraid to toot their own horn. ” Opening Case A P P L I C A T I O N 5. What qualities of charismatic leadership does Oprah possess? “I am guided by the vision of what I believe this show can be. Originally our goal was to uplift, enlighten, encourage and entertain through the medium of television. Now, our mission statement for ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ is to use television to transform people’s lives, to make viewers see themselves differently and to bring happiness and a sense of fulfillment into every home” (Oprah Winfrey). 0 Not only does Oprah have a vision, she is a superb communicator with a strong self-confidence and moral conviction in everything she does. She has inspired and empowered millions of people through her show. She is of high energy and does not shy away from self-promotion. As revealed in the opening case, Oprah is described by those close to her as confident, brilliant, and personable. She is considered a sister by many of her key employees. She is one of the richest women in America; yet, she finds it hard to let all of her success go to her head. Oprah exemplifies all the qualities of charismatic leaders summarized in Exhibit 9. 3 on page 341. Applying the Concept 3 Qualities of Charismatic Leaders Referring to the characteristics listed in Exhibit 9. on page 341, identify each statement by its characteristic using the letters a–j. 11. We don’t need a committee to evaluate the plan. I’m ready to implement it next week. Let’s get going before we miss the opportunity. 12. Last month our department had the highest level of productivity in the organization. 13. The odds of hitting that high a sales goal are maybe 70 percent. Are you sure you want to set this goal? 14. Cutting our plant pollution is the right thing to do. I’m sure we can exceed the new EPA standards, not just meet the minimum requirements. 15. Will you do me a favor and . . . for me, right away? Learning Outcome 7 Discuss how one can acquire charismatic qualities.
How One Acquires Charismatic Qualities There are those who believe that charisma is inborn and cannot be trained into someone. They argue that those without charisma are “not off the leadership track . . . just in a slower, more challenging lane. ”61 However, there are also those Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 345 who believe charisma can be developed or enhanced. 62,63 Several of the qualities of charismatic leaders described in this chapter are capable of enhancement. For example, it is possible through training to enhance communication skills, build self-confidence, and learn techniques to inspire and empower others. 4,65 Suggested strategies for acquiring or enhancing one’s charismatic qualities follow: • Through practice and self-discipline, you can develop your visionary skills by practicing the act of creating a vision in a college course like this one. This would be a key factor in being perceived as charismatic. The role-play exercise at the end of this chapter is directed at this issue. • You can practice being candid. Although not insensitive, the charismatic person Work Application 4 Identify a leader you have worked with or currently work with who you think has charismatic potential. Describe one trait or characteristic of this individual that, if developed, can transform him or her into an effective charismatic leader. s typically forthright in giving his or her assessment of a situation, whether the assessment is positive or negative. Charismatic people are direct rather than indirect in their approach, so that there is no ambiguity about their position on issues. • You can develop a warm, positive, and humanistic attitude toward people rather than a negative, cool, and impersonal attitude. Charisma, as mentioned earlier, is a relational and emotional concept and ultimately results from the perception of the followers. • You can develop an enthusiastic, optimistic, and energetic personality. A major behavior pattern of charismatic people is their combination of enthusiasm, optimism, and a high energy level.
Learning Outcome 8 Explain the difference between socialized and personalized charismatic leaders. Charisma: A Double-Edged Sword Most people agree that charisma can be a double-edged sword capable of producing both positive and negative outcomes. It is possible in reading about the personal magnetism, vision, self-confidence, masterful rhetorical skills, and empowering style of charismatic leaders to conclude that they are all good moral leaders that others should emulate. As one observer warns, it can be foolish, futile and even dangerous to follow leaders just because they are charismatic. 66,67 Be careful of hero worship. 68 It is important to remind ourselves that not all charismatic leaders are necessarily good leaders.
Leaders such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. , John F. Kennedy, and Winston Churchill exhibited tremendous charisma. So did leaders such as Charles Manson, David Koresh, Adolph Hitler, and the Reverend Jim Jones of the People’s Temple. This second group of charismatic leaders represents the dark side of charisma. These leaders and many others like them are prone to extreme narcissism that leads them to promote highly self-serving and grandiose goals. 69 Therefore, charisma can cut both ways; it is not always used to benefit others. 70 One method for differentiating between positive and negative charisma is in terms of the values and personality of the leader.
The key question for determining classification is whether the leaders are primarily oriented toward their own needs or the needs of followers and the organization. 71 Valuation theory proposes that two opposing but complementary basic motives drive an individual’s behavior: self-glorification and self-transcendence. The selfglorification motive, based on self-maintenance and self-enhancement, influences one’s meaning in life by protecting, maintaining, and aggrandizing one’s self-esteem 346 Part 3 Organizational Leadership Work Application 5 Describe a leader in your work experience that mainfested positive or negative charismatic qualities. How did this affect your relationship with the leader? and is consistent with negative or destructive charisma.
On the other hand, the selftranscendence motive, based on collective interest, provides meaning through supportive relationships with others and is consistent with altruistic and empowering orientations of positive or constructive charisma. 72 Based on this notion of positive and negative charisma, two types of charismatic leaders are identified—the socialized or positive charismatic leader and the personalized or negative charismatic leader. 73 The socialized charismatic leader (SCL) is one who possesses an egalitarian, self-transcendent, and empowering personality. The personalized charismatic leader (PCL) is one who possesses a dominant, Machiavellian, and narcissistic personality. This leader is exploitative, nonegalitarian, and self-aggrandizing.
SCLs pursue organization-driven goals and promote feelings of empowerment, personal growth, and equal participation in followers; whereas PCLs pursue leader-driven goals and promote feelings of obedience, dependency, and submission in followers. In the former, rewards are used to reinforce behavior that is consistent with the vision and mission of the organization; in the latter, rewards and punishment are used to manipulate and control followers, and information is restricted and used to preserve the image of leader infallibility or to exaggerate external threats to the organization. 74,75 Socialized charismatic leaders are said to have work groups that are more cohesive and team oriented. 6 Some charismatic leaders intentionally seek to instill commitment to their ideological goals and, either consciously or unconsciously, seek follower devotion and dependency. 77 Negative charismatic leaders emphasize devotion to themselves more than to ideals. Decisions of these leaders are often self-serving. Group accomplishments are used for self-glorification. In terms of affect, negative charismatic leaders emphasize personal identification rather than internalization. Personal identification is leader-centered while internalization is follower-centered. Ideological appeals are only a ploy to gain power, after which the ideology is ignored or arbitrarily changed to serve the leader’s selfinterest.
In contrast, positive charismatic leaders seek to instill devotion to ideology more than devotion to self. In terms of affect, they emphasize internalization rather than personal identification. Therefore, outcomes of their leadership are more likely to be beneficial to followers and society. 78 Opening Case A P P L I C A T I O N 6. Does Oprah embody the example of a socialized charismatic leader or a personalized charismatic leader? Oprah’s philanthropic activities and the way she conducts herself would suggest that she is more of a socialized than a personalized charismatic leader. As explained above, the socialized charismatic leader is driven by a self-transcendence motive.
The self-transcendence motive focuses on collective interest, provides meaning through supportive relationships with others, and is consistent with altruistic and empowering orientations of positive or constructive charisma. The Oprah Winfrey Foundation was established to support the inspiration, empowerment, education, and well-being of women, children, and families around the world. Through this private charity, Oprah has directly served the needs of low-opportunity people and has awarded hundreds of grants to organizations that carry out this vision. She has contributed millions of dollars toward providing a better education for underserved students who have merit but no means.
She created the “Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program,” which gives scholarships to students determined to use their education to give back to their communities in the United States and abroad. Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 347 Ethical Dilemma 1 Obesity and Charismatic Ads The federal government has reported that obesity might overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death in the United States. 79 Some social activists are blaming part of the obesity problem on marketing junk food to kids,33 and food makers and ad agencies are defending advertising to children. 80 Some companies use charismatic star performers and athletes to promote their junk food products to get people to eat more.
At the same time, American health officials are trying to persuade people to lose weight. The government has taken out public service ads to convince people to get in shape and eat right. Part of the ads’ success depends on whether people take personal responsibility for their own health and weight. 81 1. What is the reason for the increase in obesity in the United States? Are junk food ads using charismatic stars to promote their products contributing to the obesity problem? 2. Is it ethical for junk food sellers to use charismatic stars to promote their products? 3. Is it ethical and socially responsible for the government to try to get people to lose weight, through ads and other methods?
Despite the contributions of charismatic theorists to the field of leadership, charisma is not without its limitations. Charismatic leadership theories emphasize the role of an individual leader who takes the initiative for developing and articulating a vision to followers. In this “heroic leadership stereotype,” the leader is omnipotent and followers are submissive to the leader’s will and demands. 82 However, it is more likely the case that in times of crisis (such as an organization facing significant external challenges or serious internal weaknesses), greater success comes from a shared strategic leadership approach than a lone star individualistic approach.
Most of the descriptive literature on effective leaders suggests that charisma in its individualized form may be inadequate to achieve major changes in an organization’s performance. In fact, it is more likely the case that positive organizational change is the result of transformational leadership by individuals not perceived as charismatic. Thus, charismatic theories that emphasize “lone star” leadership by extraordinary individuals may be most appropriate for describing a visionary entrepreneur who establishes a new organization. Examples include Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, Stephen Case of America Online, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. com, and the exceptional “turnaround manager” Al Dunlap, former CEO of Sunbeam Corporation.
Lone star leadership is not a panacea for the problems of every organization. The second half of this chapter focuses on transformational leadership. Transformational Leadership J. M. Burns first articulated the idea of transformational leadership in 1978 before Bernard Bass expanded on it almost a decade later. Burns proposed two leadership approaches for getting work done: transactional or transformational. 83 Transformational leadership focuses largely on the leader’s vision rather than on follower attributions. Transformational leaders are known for moving and changing things “in a big way,” by communicating to followers a special vision of the future, 348 Part 3
Organizational Leadership tapping into followers’ higher ideals and motives. 84 They seek to alter the existing structure and influence people to buy into a new vision and new possibilities. 85 As is the case with charismatic leaders, followers trust, admire, and respect the transformational leader. There is a collective “buy in” to the organizational vision put forth by the leader and, as such, followers willingly expend exceptional effort in achieving organizational goals. Transformational leadership serves to change the status quo by articulating to followers the problems in the current system and a compelling vision of what a new organization could be.
Transactional leadership seeks to maintain stability within an organization through regular economic and social exchanges that achieve specific goals for both the leaders and their followers. We will examine the effects of transformational leadership; the similarities and differences between charismatic, transactional, and transformational leadership; transformational leader behaviors and attributes; and the transformation process. The Effects of Transformational Leadership As organizations continue to face global challenges, the need for leaders who can successfully craft and implement bold strategies that will transform or align the organization’s strengths and weaknesses with emerging opportunities and threats is ever greater.
Increased volatility and uncertainty in the external environment is seen as one of the contributing factors to the emergence of transformational leadership. 86 Transformational leadership describes a process of positive influence that changes and transforms individuals, organizations, and communities. Research studies have consistently revealed that transformational leadership is positively related to individual, group, and organizational performance. 87,88,89 At the individual level, transformational leaders influence their constituencies to make the shift from focus on self-interests to a focus on collective interests. Transformational leaders understand the importance of trust building as a means to creating a strong commitment to mission-driven outcomes.
Effective transformational leaders use their charisma and power to inspire and motivate followers to trust and follow their example. They generate excitement and energy by focusing on the future. 90 Researchers investigating these proposed linkages have found support for some proposed correlations and not for others. For example, transformational leadership has been found to be positively related to employee service performance, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction. 91,92 Examining the effects of transformational and change leadership on employees’ commitment to change, researchers found a positive relationship between the two variables, especially when the change had significant personal impact. 3 Another study found that employees with supervisors high on transformational leadership experienced more positive emotions throughout the workday, including interactions with coworkers and customers, and also reported increased job satisfaction. 94 Relating back to Chapter 7, one study found that transformational leadership relationships are significantly stronger for followers who perceive a high-quality leader–member exchange relationship. 95 Relating the effects of transformational leadership to empowerment and team effectiveness, transformational leadership increased subordinates’ selfreported empowerment and team effectiveness. 96 Another study investigating the effects of self-awareness of empowering and transformational leadership found that self-awareness of transformational eadership was related to leader effectiveness and followers’ supervisory satisfaction. 97 At the group level, transformational leadership was found to influence team performance and team potency. 98,99 At the organizational level, there is broad support for the proposition that transformational leadership can change both an organization’s climate and culture. 100 A number of studies have found that transformational leadership Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 349 has a strong, significant influence on organizational learning. 101,102,103 Organizational learning, as we will see in Chapter 12, has direct effect on firm innovation.
Learning Outcome 9 Distinguish between charismatic and transformational leadership. Charismatic versus Transformational Leadership Some authors make no distinction between the charismatic and the transformational leader, preferring to combine them into one theory. They refer to the two theories as charismatic because charisma is a central concept in both of them, either explicitly or implicitly. Others have conceptualized charisma as one of several attributes that may define the transformational leader. The other attributes include honesty, optimism, communication skills, confidence, and consideration. It adds another dimension of behavior traits of the leader.
Charisma is seen as just one of a collection of attributes that may explain transformational leadership behavior. Yet, charisma is relational in nature. It is not something found solely in the leader as a psychological phenomenon, nor is it totally situationally determined. Instead, charisma manifests itself in the interplay between the leader (his or her traits and behaviors) and the follower (his or her values, needs, perceptions, and beliefs). There is general agreement that charismatic leaders by nature are transformational, but not all transformational leaders achieve their transforming results through the charismatic effects of their personalities.
According to this viewpoint, some transformational leaders lacking in charisma may still be able to influence and inspire others by meeting the emotional needs of their followers through individualized consideration, and/or they may intellectually stimulate their followers through rationalizing the need for change, involvement of followers into possible solutions, and the passion to bring about resolution. One prominent leader who comes to mind is Bill Gates. Many will agree that he is definitely a transformational leader, but few will label him as a charismatic leader. He has led not only the transformation of Microsoft as a leader in the computer software industry, but also transformed our society in the way we use computer technology to better our lives. From a power and moral leadership perspective, charismatic and transformational leadership overlap as well as support and reinforce each other. A leader like Nelson Mandela has been described as charismatic and transformational.
Mandela is known to live by the tenets of consultation, persuasion, and cohabitation, and shuns coercion and domination. Transformational leaders seek to transform or change the basic values, beliefs, and attitudes of followers so that they are willing to perform beyond the minimum levels specified by the organization. Transformational leaders are similar to charismatic leaders in that they can articulate a compelling vision of the future and influence followers by arousing strong emotions in support of the vision. Transformational leaders can emerge from different levels of the organization. Therefore, an organization may have many transformational leaders. In contrast, charismatic leaders are few in number.
Charismatic leaders are most likely to emerge in the throes of a crisis, when an organization is in turmoil because of conflicting value and belief systems. The response by people to a charismatic or transformational leader is often highly polarized, because those with the most to lose by abandoning the old system will put up the most resistance to any change initiative. Additionally, it would appear that the emotional levels of resistance toward charismatic leaders are more extreme than those toward transformational leaders. This may be the underlying cause for the untimely, violent deaths of some 350 Part 3 Organizational Leadership charismatic leaders (such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. , John F. Kennedy, and Mahatma Gandhi).
Both charismatic and transformational leadership always involve conflict and change, and both types of leaders must be willing to embrace conflict, create enemies, make unusual allowances for self-sacrifice, and be extraordinarily focused in order to achieve and institutionalize their vision. Transformational Leader Behaviors and Attributes Although much remains to be learned about transformational leadership, there is enough consensus from the many years of research to suggest that there are common behaviors associated with transformational leaders. Like charismatic leaders, effective transformational leadership requires an ability to initiate change and challenge the status quo, recognize opportunities for the organization as well as for others, take risks, and encourage others to do the same. Transformational leadership requires an ability to effectively inspire a shared vision. 04 Such leaders rally others around a common dream and are adept at envisioning the future and enlisting others in seeing and moving toward the vision. They must be able to model the way—that is, set the example of commitment to shared vision and values. 105 Bass and Avilio proposed that transformational leadership is composed of four behavior dimensions, and referred to them as the “four I’s”—idealized influence, inspirational motivation, individual consideration, and intellectual stimulation. 106 The “four I’s” have been used in other disciplines and cultures to explain the transformational leader–follower relationship:107,108,109 • Though not required to be a successful transformational leader, idealized influence (charisma) is still a fundamental factor in the transformation process.
Transformational leaders with charisma possess the ability to develop great symbolic power that is then used to influence followers. Followers idealize such a leader and often develop a strong emotional attachment. • The next attribute associated with charisma is inspirational motivation. Trans- formational leaders tend to be inspirational individuals as well. Inspiration describes how the leader passionately communicates a future idealistic goal or situation that is a much better alternative to the status quo and can be shared. The transformational leader employs visionary explanations to depict what the workgroup can accomplish. Excited followers are then motivated to achieve organizational objectives. The third attribute, individual consideration, is a factor that reveals the mentoring role often assumed by transformational leaders. The leader serves as a mentor to followers. He or she treats followers as individuals and uses a developmental orientation that responds to follower needs and concerns. • Finally, intellectual stimulation describes the transformational leader’s creative and out-of-the-box thinking style. He or she encourages followers to approach old and familiar problems in new ways. By stimulating novel employee thinking patterns, the leader inspires followers to question their own beliefs and learn to solve problems creatively by themselves.
Transformational leaders understand that in order to get followers to fully contribute to the transformation process, they have to empower them and offer support in getting things done, encourage creativity, challenge followers to rethink old ways of doing things and to re-examine old assumptions, foster collaboration, motivate, and reinforce positive behavior (such as recognizing and acknowledging the accomplishments of others and celebrating small wins). 110,111 Nelson Mandela led the change that is depolarizing a nation racially polarized for decades. Mandela’s Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 351 transformational leadership humanized apartheid South Africa and led to the emergence of a nation deserving of global recognition. His charismatic effect softened the hardest stances of the haves and have-nots and aligned them in pursuit of a constructive common cause.
In summary, transformational leaders • See themselves as change agents • Are visionaries who have a high level of trust for their intuition • Are risk-takers, but not reckless • Are capable of articulating a set of core values that tend to guide their own behavior • Possess exceptional cognitive skills and believe in careful deliberation before taking action • Believe in people and show sensitivity to their needs • Are flexible and open to learning from experience Exhibit 9. 4 highlights key transformational leader behaviors. It should be noted that some of these behaviors have received broad conceptual support among researchers while others have only been partially supported.
For example, creating and articulating a vision has been identified by virtually every study on the subject as an important component of the transformational leadership process. Also, facilitating acceptance for team goals and modeling appropriate behavior have been identified by a majority of studies as key elements of transformational leadership. Martin Luther King, Jr. was both a charismatic and a transformational leader like Nelson Mandela. A study focused on examining his legacy concluded that he personified all the attributes of transformational leadership listed above. The study EXHIBIT 9. 4 Transformational Leader Behaviors Behavioral Components Creation and articulation of vision Description
Leader behavior that is directed at finding new opportunities for the organization; formulating, articulating, and inspiring followers with the vision of a better future Setting an example for followers that is consistent with the organizational values and expectations Behavior aimed at encouraging and building teamwork among followers and commitment to shared goals Behavior that conveys the leader’s expectations for everyday excellence and superior performance on the part of followers Behavior that indicates that the leader trusts, respects, and has confidence in each follower, and is concerned about their personal needs, not just organizational needs Behavior on the part of the leader that challenges followers to think “outside of the box” and re-examine old ways and methods Role modeling Fostering a “buy in” of team goals High performance expectations Personalized leader–member exchange Empowerment Source: Based on P. M. Podsakoff, S. B. Mackenzie, R. H. Moorman, R. Fetter, “Transformational Leader Behaviors and Their Effects on Followers’ Trust in Leader, Satisfaction, and Organizational Citizenship Behavior,” Leadership Quarterly 1(2) (1990): 107–142. 352 Part 3 Organizational Leadership mphasized the importance of building follower confidence, challenging taken-forgranted assumptions, developing follower needs, and upholding high moral values. 112 Martin Luther King, Jr. embodied all these things, and that is why his status as a transformational leader who changed America is unquestioned. Opening Case A P P L I C A T I O N 7 Is Oprah a transformational leader, a charismatic leader, or both? . A cursory review of the creation and evolution of the Oprah Winfrey Show and Harpo Productions is enough to conclude that Oprah is definitely a transformational leader. In 1986, Oprah formed her own production company, Harpo Productions, to bring quality entertainment projects into production.
Two years later, television history was made when Harpo Productions announced that it had assumed ownership and all production responsibilities for the Oprah Winfrey Show from Capitol Cities/ABC, making Oprah Winfrey the first woman in history to own and produce her own talk show. Today, Harpo is well on its way to becoming a formidable force in film and television production. That growth has meant financial success. Oprah’s Harpo Entertainment Group, the corporate umbrella over her film and TV production operations, is privately held and executives do not publicly talk about its finances. However, published reports say Oprah is well on her way to becoming the first African-American billionaire, with an estimated net worth of $675 million, according to Forbes magazine. Oprah’s venture into magazine publishing is another example that she has the ability to start and transform any venture she embarks upon.
In April 2000, Oprah and Hearst Magazines introduced O, The Oprah Magazine, a monthly magazine that has become one of today’s leading women’s lifestyle publications. It is credited as being the most successful magazine launch in recent history and currently has an audience of over 2 million readers each month. O, The Oprah Magazine, is another medium through which Oprah connects with her audience and provides possibilities for transforming their lives. In April 2002, Oprah launched the first international edition of O, The Oprah Magazine, in South Africa. Oprah is a transformational leader with charismatic qualities. She embodies both leadership styles. Learning Explain the difference between transformational and transactional Outcome 10 leadership. Transformational versus Transactional Leadership
Begin this section by completing Self-Assessment 1 to determine if you are more of a transactional or transformational leader. S E L F – A S S E S S M E N T 1 Are You More of a Transactional or Transformational Leader? Complete the following questions based on how you will act (or have acted) in a typical work or school situation. Use the following scale: 1 2 Disagree 3 4 5 Agree 1. I enjoy change and see myself as a change agent. 2. I am better at inspiring employees toward a new future than motivating them to perform their current jobs. Chapter 9 (Self-Assessment 1 continued) Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 353 3. I have/had a vision of how an organization can change for the better. 4.
I see myself as someone who is comfortable encouraging people to express ideas and opinions that differ from my own. 5. I enjoy taking risks, but am not reckless. 6. I enjoy spending time developing new solutions to old problems rather than implementing existing solutions. 7. I deliberate carefully before acting; I’m not impulsive. 8. I like to support change initiatives, even when the idea may not work. 9. I learn from my experience; I don’t repeat the same mistakes. 10. I believe the effort to change something for the better should be rewarded, even if the final outcome is disappointing. Add up the numbers on lines 1–10 and place your and on the continuum below. otal score here 10 20 Transactional leader 30 40 50 Transformational leader The higher the score, generally, the more you exhibit transformational leader qualities. However, transformational leaders also perform transactional behaviors. It is also generally easier to be transformational at higher levels of management than at lower levels. Using Weber’s seminal work on charismatic leaders as his base, Burns conceptualized that leadership occurs in one of two ways—transformational or transactional. 113 The transactional leadership process involves an exchange of valued benefits, based on present values and motivations of both leaders and followers.
It therefore revolves around the leader–follower exchange (LMX), in which the leader rewards the follower for specific behaviors and performance that meets with the leader’s expectations and punishes or criticizes behavior or performance that does not meet expectations. 114 Such exchanges cater to the self-interest of followers, while transformational leadership inspires followers to go beyond self-interest and act for the good of the organization. 115,116 Transformational leadership motivates followers by appealing to higher ideals and moral values. Some scholars refer to transactional leaders as managers and transformational leaders as leaders. These scholars hold the view that leadership and management are not interchangeable.
They argue that leadership is about developing and communicating a vision and the objectives and strategies for realizing such a vision; while management’s role is to plan, organize, and implement the leader’s vision. Managers, it is argued, serve as the means to achieve the leader’s ends. 117 Leaders rated as transformational are described as influential, inspirational, and charismatic, whereas leaders rated as transactional are described as task- and rewardoriented, structured, and passive. 118,119 Transformational leadership serves to change the status quo by articulating to followers the problems in the current system and a compelling vision of what a new organization could be. The transactional leader enters into specific contractual arrangements with followers.
In exchange for meeting specified objectives or performing certain duties, the leader provides benefits that satisfy followers’ needs and desires. 120 An example of transactional leadership occurs when managers give monthly bonuses to salespeople for meeting and exceeding their monthly sales quotas, or to production people for exceeding quality standards. Transactional leadership is conceptually similar to the cultural maintenance form of leadership, which acts to clarify or strengthen existing tasks, work standards, and outcomes. Some scholars have proposed that transactional leadership consist of three dimensions—contingent reward, management by exception, and passive leadership.
Depending on a leader’s personality traits, each dimension represents an option that can be employed to shape strategies and structures, reward subordinates’ efforts and 354 Part 3 Organizational Leadership Work Application 6 Identify your present or past manager as being more transformational or transactional. Explain why and include examples. commitment, and take corrective action to address mistakes and deviations from expectations; all efforts aim at achieving established organizational performance goals. 121 Transactional leadership tends to be transitory, in that once a transaction is completed the relationship between the parties may end or be redefined. Transformational leadership is more enduring, especially when the change process is well designed and implemented.
Transactional leaders promote stability, while transformational leaders create significant change in both followers and organizations. Managing knowledge effectively can provide firms with sustainable competitive advantages. The process of managing knowledge involves three processes—creating, sharing, and exploiting knowledge. Leaders play a critical role in each of these processes. A study of these constructs concluded that transformational leadership may be more effective in creating and sharing knowledge at the individual and group levels, while transactional leadership is more effective at exploiting knowledge at the organizational level. 22 Research examining the degree to which cultural values and norms influence follower receptivity to different leadership styles found that transformational leaders inspire by emphasizing the importance of group values and focusing on collective interests, while transactional leaders tend to focus more on defining roles and task requirements and offering rewards that are contingent on task fulfillment. 123 This explains why transactional leadership is also referred to as contingent reward leadership. Despite these differences, it is worth mentioning that effective leaders exhibit both transactional and transformational leadership skills in appropriate situations. 124 Bernard Bass argued that contrary to Burns’s assertion that transformational and transactional leadership are at opposite ends of a single continuum of leadership, the two approaches are actually interdependent and complementary. A meta-analytic test of the relative validity of transformational and transactional leadership styles confimed Bass’s assertion.
The study revealed that both are valid approaches for achieving organizational objectives, with transformational leadership showing the highest overall relations and transactional or contingent reward leadership a close second. 125,126 Applying the Concept 4 Transformational or Transactional Leadership Identify each statement as being more characteristic of one or the other style: a. transformational leadership b. transactional leadership 16. We don’t need a committee to work on a plan. Let’s get going on this now. 17. I’d say we have a 75 percent chance of being successful with the new product. Let’s market it. 18. The present inventory system is working fine. Let’s not mess with success. 19. That is a good idea, but we have no money in the budget to implement it. 20.
We need to monitor the demographics to make sure our products satisfy our customers. Learning Explain the four phases of the transformation process. Outcome 11 The Transformation Process Transformational leaders are usually brought into an organization that is experiencing a crisis or approaching total collapse, to institute turnaround Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 355 strategies that can rescue the organization. This often involves fundamental changes in followers’ actions, thoughts, and work ethic to bring about profound and positive outcomes. There is some agreement among scholars and practitioners that certain transformational leadership practices are necessary for successful transformation.
Key questions often used to highlight such practices include the transformational leader’s ability to (1) challenge the status quo and make a convincing case for change, (2) inspire a shared vision for the future, (3) provide effective leadership during the transition, and (4) make the change a permanent and institutionalized part of the organization. Echoing a similar point of view, one study describes key managerial competencies necessary to lead an organization’s transformation. These competencies include creativity, effective communication, vision, passion and charisma, and the ability to empower followers so that they feel valued. 127 From this discussion, a four-stage process of transformation is developed. Exhibit 9. 5 lists these four stages, with suggested activities to ensure effective and efficient execution of each stage. EXHIBIT 9. 5 The Transformation Process Stages 1. Make a compelling case for change
Suggested Activities Increase sensitivity to environmental changes and threats. Initiate change and challenge the status quo. Search for opportunities and take risks. Encourage everyone to think of a new and brighter future. Involve others in seeing and moving toward the vision. Express new vision in ideological, not just economic, terms. Instill in managers a sense of urgency for the change. Empower, support, foster collaboration, and strengthen followers. Help followers understand need for change. Increase followers’ self-confidence and optimism. Avoid the temptation of a “quick fix. ” Recognize and deal openly with emotional component of resisting change.
Enable and strengthen followers with a “greatness attitude”; for example, recognize and celebrate accomplishments. Help followers find self-fulfillment with new vision. Help followers look beyond self-interests to collective interests. Change reward systems and appraisal procedures. Implement team-building interventions and personnel changes. Appoint a special task force to monitor progress. Encourage top leaders and managers to model the way. 2. Inspire a shared vision 3. Lead the transition 4. Implant the change Source: Based on Carolyn Hines and William Hines Jr. , “Seminar on the Essence of Transformational Leadership (Leadership Training Institute),” Nation’s Cities Weekly 25(9) (March 4, 2002): 8 (1). 356 Part 3
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