Sunday, August 7, 2011

Following Charismatic Leaders

Yukl (1999) acknowledged the strong personal identification followers have with charismatic leaders as a means of solving problems germane to the needs of followers. Yukl stopped short in his assessment by suggesting that followers identified more with the mission than with the charismatic leader when their needs were tied to the mission. Yukl also pointed to researchers often looking at the socially acceptable behavior of charismatic leaders to achieving a goal and not the manipulative practices sometimes practiced by charismatic leaders over followers. Researchers have preconceived notions about charismatic leadership and followership that often becomes self-fulfilling prophecies. Researchers either believed that charismatic leadership is directly related to organizational advancement or to organizational regression. Yukl suggested that there were opportune times when charismatic leadership was most effective for organizational development as well as providing the most advantageous opportunities for followers. These opportune times for charismatic leaders are: When a visionary entrepreneur overcomes difficulty in establishing a new organization, a guru of a new religion, a passionate revolutionary who transforms a corrupt organization from the ground up, and a manager who rescues a company from the brink of extinction.


Yukl. G. (1999 Summer). An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories. Leadership Quarterly, 10(2), 285.

Related: Charisma

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