Against a backdrop of increasing globalisation, deregulation, and the rapid pace of technological innovation, the primary task of management today is the leadership of organisational change. Seeks to examine the role of leadership in managing the challenge of deliberate large‐scale change and whether it is possible to pinpoint factors that are critical to leading change effectively. Also investigates the view that effective change leadership involves instrumental and charismatic roles, integrating operational know‐how with strong interpersonal skills. Uses a qualitative, case study approach, involving three multinational companies operating in Australia. Cross‐case analysis indicates that effective change leaders recognise the importance of blending the charismatic and instrumental dimensions of change leadership. The ability to conciliate and balance the two roles depends primarily on whether a leader possesses certain qualities and attributes required for effective change leadership. Strong interpersonal skills permeate these key change leadership qualities and attributes and provide the nexus between the charismatic and instrumental roles.
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