Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir: Volume 9

Cover of Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir
Subject:

Table of contents

(17 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xi
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Part I. Leader-Centric Approaches

Abstract

The empirical literature on charismatic or transformational leadership demonstrates that such leadership has profound effects on followers. However, while several versions of charismatic leadership theory predict such effects, none of them explains the process by which these effects are achieved. In this paper we seek to advance leadership theory by addressing this fundamental problem. We offer a self-concept based motivational theory to explain the process by which charismatic leader behaviors cause profound transformational effects on followers. The theory presents the argument that charismatic leadership has its effects by strongly engaging followers’ self-concepts in the interest of the mission articulated by the leader. We derive from this theory testable propositions about (a) the behavior of charismatic leaders and their effects on followers, (b) the role of followers’ values and orientations in the charismatic relationship, and (c) some of the organizational conditions that favor the emergence and effectiveness of charismatic leaders.

Abstract

Despite apparent consensus about the importance of leader rhetoric, the topic has not received systematic attention from leadership scholars. The purpose of this article is to advance the study of the relationship between rhetorical behavior and charismatic leadership in three ways: first, by presenting theoretically derived propositions about the expected contents of charismatic leaders’ speeches; second, by offering a thematic content analysis of a representative speech by a charismatic orator, in order to demonstrate the content themes suggested by the propositions; and third, by specifying the requirements for more systematic studies of the relationship between speech content and charisma.

Abstract

In this paper, we first develop the concepts of authentic leaders, authentic leadership, and authentic leader development. We suggest a definition of authentic leaders, which is based on the leader’s self-concept: his or her self-knowledge, self-concept clarity, self-concordance, and person-role merger, and on the extent to which the leader’s self-concept is expressed in his or her behavior. Following, we offer a life-story approach to the development of authentic leaders. We argue that authentic leadership rests heavily on the self-relevant meanings the leader attaches to his or her life experiences, and these meanings are captured in the leader’s life-story. We suggest that self-knowledge, self-concept clarity, and person-role merger are derived from the life-story. Therefore, the construction of a life-story is a major element in the development of authentic leaders. We further argue that the life-story provides followers with a major source of information on which to base their judgments about the leader’s authenticity. We conclude by drawing some practical implications from this approach and presenting suggestions for further research.

Abstract

Serious questions have been raised regarding the necessity to continue focusing our research on what constitutes individual, or what the authors refer to as singular leadership. Although the authors consider these questions to be important to advancing the field of leadership theory, research, and practice, they also suggest that attempts to minimize the relevance of singular leadership may hinder progress in other domains of leadership research. In this chapter, the authors explore how and why singular leaders and their leadership matter, and how they may influence follower, peer, and organizational outcomes. The authors use a paradoxical framework to present a theoretical model and propositions that allow us to clarify the influence of different forms of singular leadership within organizations. In our examination of singular leadership, the authors consider both positive and harmful modes of attributes, cognitions, and behaviors.

Abstract

Pygmalion and charisma are mutually compatible leadership constructs that beg integration. They share some basic assumptions about human nature, about how leaders lead, and about how they could lead more effectively. Nevertheless, for the most part these constructs are discussed in disparate academic literatures. The present treatise integrates these somewhat divergent yet partially overlapping approaches to leadership and management. The differences between Pygmalion and charismatic leadership, and the commonalities that they share, are explicated. The aim is to understand better how leaders affect followers and how they can exert their influence with greater effectiveness. Some ideas for further research and for more effective management practice based on integration of Pygmalion and charisma constructs are presented. The result is a description of “charismatic Pygmalion,” an integrated management style that embodies both leadership constructs.

Part II. The Leader-Follower Relationship

Abstract

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.

Abstract

While organizationally relevant outcomes of charismatic leadership have been studied more extensively, we do not know as much about when and why followers attribute charisma to leaders. Drawing on the self-concept based motivational theory of charisma developed by Boas Shamir and colleagues, we propose that congruence between leaders and followers on a core characteristic, namely organizational identification plays an important role. When leaders are high on identification with the organization, they embody and communicate the values of the organization more strongly in their vision and behaviors, which is likely to affect the attribution of charisma to these leaders, but only for followers who themselves strongly identify with the organization. In contrast, those leaders low on organizational identification are more likely to communicate messages that appeal to followers who are similarly low on identification. A multi-source study in the healthcare sector largely supports our model as congruence between organizational identification levels of leaders and followers is positively linked to perceived charisma and, in turn, charisma relates to followers’ organizational citizenship behavior.

Abstract

Through his call to “reverse the lens” in leadership, Shamir (2007) helped trigger the emergence of followership theory as a new field of study in leadership research. While followership theory brings exciting new opportunities to leadership studies, it also introduces theoretical and conceptual challenges for researchers. In this chapter we address these challenges by showing how followership can be positioned fully within the leadership construct. We extend Shamir’s (2007) call for a balanced view in leadership by showing how followership theory adds new perspectives on the ways in which we can study leadership as a dynamic, fluid, relational process. The alternative views we present (e.g., position, role, identity, constructionist, and co-creation) approach leadership study from a range of paradigmatic perspectives that allow us to more fully capture the behaviors, interactions, relational dynamics, and processes through which leadership and followership are created and constructed. We conclude by reflecting on Shamir’s legacy as a scholar, and the contributions he made through his willingness to not only open his mind, but also to constructively challenge alternative perspectives and views.

Part III. The Context of Leadership

Abstract

The article addresses the relationship between social distance and charismatic leadership. Current theories of charismatic leadership in organizations have borrowed ideas from the literature on socially distant charismatic leaders and applied them to leadership situations that involve direct contacts between leaders and their immediate subordinates. This article argues that while social distance is not a necessary condition for charismatic leadership, there are fundamental differences between distant charismatic leadership and close charismatic leadership. The article attempts to identify these differences through a theoretical analysis of the two leadership situations and through an exploratory content analysis of interviews about close and distant charismatic leaders.

Abstract

The literature on charismatic leadership in organizations has neglected the organizational context in which such leadership is embedded. The purpose of this article is to enrich and refine charismatic leadership theory by linking it to its organizational context. We argue that while charismatic leadership principles and processes potentially apply across a wide variety of situations, the emergence and effectiveness of such leadership may be facilitated by some contexts and inhibited by others. We develop and present a series of propositions linking contextual variable to the emergence and effectiveness of charismatic leadership. Among the contextual variable we examine are the organizational environment, life-cycle stage, technology, tasks, goals, structure, and culture, as well as the leader’s level in the organization and the circumstances surrounding his or her appointment.

Abstract

This chapter deals with the issue of distance between leaders and followers. I claim that distance from a leader is not only a reflection of time and space (i.e., objective distance) but also connected to followers’ emotions toward the leader manifested in their construal of their leaders. I report the findings of initial investigations that demonstrate how the patterns of construal of leaders as close or distant can be explained by construal level theory as well as through psychological theories of emotions. Finally, I discuss implications to theories of leadership and followership.

Abstract

In the current era, characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA), organizations are becoming increasingly more complex and less formal. Consequently, traditional control processes are being replaced by knowledge-sharing processes, informal coordination, and networks. Hence, different leadership theories and methods, which are more in line with these developments, are required. Terms such as “leadership in the plural,” “emergent leadership,” “leadership as a structural and networked phenomenon” reflect changes in how the author understands the phenomenon of leadership and sets the direction for new approaches. This chapter describes four paradigm shifts from the traditional approach to leadership, which highlighted the role of a formal leader who influences a group of followers. The author presents a stream of research emphasizing a relational approach among multiple individuals and reframe leadership as an influence action of many. These influence exchanges result in an emergent influence pattern or a leadership configuration. Nevertheless, the author sought to not “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” therefore the author claims that the formal leader is embedded in this configuration. Building on social network analysis and recently developed methodologies, the author provides a platform for measuring leadership as a many-on-many influence process. The author depicts the research she conducted analyzing advice networks, while aspiring to create a synthesis between the traditional and emergent leadership approaches. At the practical level, to understand and develop leadership in organizations nowadays, the author suggests acquiring a “broad and multi-focal lens” to capture the complexity of leadership.

Part IV. Epilogue

Index

Pages 325-334
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Cover of Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir
DOI
10.1108/S1479-3571201809
Publication date
2018-10-05
Book series
Monographs in Leadership and Management
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78743-200-0
eISBN
978-1-78743-200-0
Book series ISSN
1479-3571