This paper reviews and compares six theoretical explanations of the effects of charismatic leaders on their followers. Of the six explanations two are based on psychoanalytic theory, two on attribution theory, one on a sociological theory of symbolic centers, and one on the social psychology of the self-concept. The review exposes differences among the explanations in their motivational assumptions, their predictions regarding leader behaviors and effects on followers, and the mediating mechanisms they posit between leader behaviors and effects on followers. The most critical differences are highlighted and suggested as foci of future research on charismatic leadership.
The author is indebted to Michael B. Arthur, Jay A. Gonger, Robert J. House, Micha Popper and Dan Sankowsky for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.
Shamir, B. (2018), "The Charismatic Relationship: Alternative Explanations and Predictions", Katz, I., Eilam-Shamir, G., Kark, R. and Berson, Y. (Ed.) Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir (Monographs in Leadership and Management, Vol. 9), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 127-151. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-357120180000009018
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited