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Perceptions of charismatic leadership and safety behaviors during the Covid-19 pandemic – a follower-centric perspective in India and Germany

Chris Giebe (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany)
Ashita Goswami (Korn Ferry Institute, Korn Ferry, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Thomas Rigotti (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 4 March 2022

Issue publication date: 13 July 2022

375

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the article is to examine the interplay between charismatic leadership and two follower characteristics in predicting safety behaviors during the Covid-19 pandemic in two distinct countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative investigation was conducted during the first wave of the Covid-19 crisis in India and Germany. Given the importance of safety behaviors during the pandemic, the authors proposed high charismatic public leadership, the perception of crisis and belief in science of the constituent influence safety behaviors.

Findings

Consistent with the hypothesis, the authors found that there was a positive relationship between charismatic leadership and safety behaviors. Contrary to the expectations, belief in science did not moderate the relationship between charisma and safety behaviors. Opposite to the hypotheses, the relationship between charisma and crisis was stronger under followers' low in perception of crisis.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the understanding of charisma during a crisis and the role of followers' perceptions. Implications include raising awareness about the importance of charismatic leadership in encouraging critical safety behaviors during a crisis, but these effects depend in part on the followers' attributions of the public leader.

Keywords

Citation

Giebe, C., Goswami, A. and Rigotti, T. (2022), "Perceptions of charismatic leadership and safety behaviors during the Covid-19 pandemic – a follower-centric perspective in India and Germany", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 189-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPL-08-2021-0042

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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