Sunday, October 30, 2011

Charismatic Leadership in the Public Sector

Javidan and Waldman (2003) looked at the impact of charismatic leadership in the public sector. They found that leaders who are risk takers in pursuit of their visions instill higher esteem in subordinates. Also leaders who encouraged independent thinking and provided constructive feedback tended to build the esteem of subordinates. Charismatic leadership was perceived within the public sector, but it may not produce the same performance or motivational results typically associated in the private sector. Although there are degrees of uncertainty, crisis, and turbulence within the public sector, conditions in which charisma leaders tend to flourish, these factors do not appear to affect employees the same in the public sector as their private sector counterparts. A possible reason could be the merit system that many public jobs are based, protects workers from being dismissed without cause. Javidan and Waldman ruled that more research was needed in determining the impact of charismatic leadership in the public sector. However, these authors did note that environmental uncertainty manifested itself in the way of political changes, budget cuts, natural disasters, etc… They could not conclusively determine these factors on charismatic leaders’ effectiveness in the public sector.


References

Javidan, M. and Waldman, D.A. (2003 Mar./Apr.). Exploring charismatic leadership in the public sector: Measurement and consequences. Public Administration Review, 63(2), 229-242.

For more information, visit:  http://charismaticleadership.coreedgecharisma.com/

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Creating Loyalty within Employees & Followers through Charismatic Leadership

Researchers on the charismatic leadership model often lambast charismatic leaders for being selfish, self-absorbed, and narcissistic in their dealings with followers. The same researchers criticize followers for being, helpless, mindless sycophants who exhibit codependent traits that rob them of their self-identity. However, very few, if any, researchers have embraced the mutually beneficial and symbiotic relationship between charismatic leaders and followers. Philosopher Thomas Carlyle postulated that individuals seem to be hard-wired for hero worshipping. In other words, if there were no demigods to worship, individuals would somehow create their own. Cicero and Pierro (2007) hypothesized that charismatic leadership is positively associated with followers’ work effort, job involvement, job satisfaction, and performance, and negatively associated with turnovers. Cicero and Pierro’s finding agreed with past researchers that charismatic leadership was positively related to work group identification. Also there was a correlation between charismatic leadership and organizational outcomes. Cicero and Pierro results seem to suggest that there is a direct connection between charismatic leadership and employee performance in that employees have a greater proclivity to work optimistically and productively when a charismatic leader is at the helm. De Hoogh et al. (2004) drew a correlation between charismatic leadership and subordinates’ positive work attitudes. Employees had a greater willingness to invest in efforts to achieving organizational goals.

Galvin, Balkundi, and Waldman (2010) discussed the ability of charismatic leaders to develop disciples or surrogates within an organization. The authors said these surrogates promote, defend, and model behavior after the charismatic leader. Charismatic leaders identify and train surrogates, either formally or informally, which allows charismatic leaders to have influence in distant areas within an organization. Surrogates create networks, social processes, and flow information within the organization. These networks serve as means for the charismatic leader to influence an organization by dispersing information. Although a rouge surrogate could harm a networked system by sending information oppositional to the goals of the charismatic leader, the authors note that surrogates are selected to occupy their positions based on the supportive behavior they exhibit in line with the desires of the charismatic leader.

In many respects, narcissism is the fuel that prompts charismatics to go farther than the average individual in achieving goals within and without crisis situations. Eminent psychologist Alfred Adler described this aspect of narcissism as the “Superiority Complex.” Maniacci (2007) asserts:

They see others from the vantage point of who is above—or below—whom. If they are not on top, they feel grossly inferior. Others tend to feel inadequate around them. They are overly responsible, too involved, and far too controlling. When confronted with the possibility of not being superior, these people blame, attack, and criticize others. They may be wrong, but others are more wrong than they are. They hate the notion of not having a purpose in life, and they often work too hard and far too long. Winning is everything, and they are willing to cut corners, cheat, or even hurt others if they perceive themselves as losing. Winning is not the only thing: It is everything. They are excessively concerned with their appearance, and while they often take care of their outward appearance through dressing well and superb hygiene, they often neglect their inner health, both emotionally and physically. They are far too busy achieving to be worried about such things, and after all, they are special, so they don't have to worry about diets, sleep, and their health—nothing could ever happen to them (p.138-139).

When these characteristics are exemplified within charismatics, it is often seen as “missionary zeal” and “the love and concern” for people. In actuality, people are mere pleasantries utilized to implement and bring to fruition an ultimate goal. “In advance of performance, narcissists seem to care most about attaining desirable rewards associated with meeting or exceeding performance goals, and they typically show less concern about the prospect of failing to achieve the desired goal” (Wallace, et al, 2009. P. 79). It is important to note that these vainglorious acts are cultivated by an enabling culture. Western culture, which relishes and embraces its Judeo-Christian leanings, inherently support the narcissism of individuals generally and charismatics, specifically. A tenet which espouses man being created in the image of an omnipotent God-head, by definition relegates man to a superior position. If everything is created by a superior being than how did man become the inheritor of this largesse? Man’s self-importance, through scriptural edict or ethnic domination, saw fit to find self-defining roles to pit his esteem against real or perceived adversaries. “Throughout history, the pretense of masculine superiority has had to be continually reinforced by patriarchal laws, religion, and cultural rituals and ceremonies that elevated men and made woman subservient, all too often through the application of brute power and violence. The appearance of harmony between the genders was more often the experience of subjugation by fear, male dominance followed by the submissive acts of women who had been stripped of power and status in the world” (Bitter, 2008, p.271).

Essentially, the symbiotic relationship between charismatic leaders and followers is based on the need of charismatic leaders to be adored by followers and the need of followers to adore charismatic leaders. In this sense, both parties are getting their needs met. Researchers who denigrate this notion rely on an over-idealistic, extremely sanguine reality of human nature. To deny the personality, experiences, and environmental influences of charismatic leaders is disavowing the evolutionary process that brings these individuals into existence. In addition, the inherent need of followers to achieve hope and certainty in their lives via religious affiliation or charismatic leadership is also disavowed by researchers who attempt to intellectually disconnect an emotional connection.

Instead of researchers attempting to divide the needs of charismatic leaders and followers as a means of establishing some utopic idealism, it would be better to allow the intellectual and emotional relationship to exist between charismatic leaders and followers. In short, allow the charismatic leader to be loved by adoring followers and followers to find encouragement, inspiration, and hope within the ideals of the charismatic leader. Invariably, researchers cannot have it both ways---organizational development, social cohesion, and collectivism at the behest of rugged individualism, hopelessness, and barbarism. The idea of the fully-contained individual devoid of the need for external support, emotional attachment, and unadulterated self-confidence is illusory. Such understanding by researchers suggests a naiveté and myopia about human nature and the world that is counterproductive to social progress.



References


Bitter. J. (2008 Fall). Reconsidering narcissism: An Adlerian-feminist response to the article in the special section of the journal of individual psychology. The Journal of Individual Psychology, 64(3), 270-279.


Cicero, L., and Pierro, A. (2007 Oct.) Charismatic leadership and organizational outcomes: The mediating role of employees’ work-group identification. International Journal of Psychology, 42(5), 297-306.

De Hoogh, A., den Hartog, D., Koopman, P., Thierry, H., van den Berg P., van der Weide, J., and Wilderom, C. (2004 Dec.). Charismatic leadership, environmental dynamism, and performance. European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology, 13(4), 447-471.

Galvin, B., Balkundi, P., and Waldman, D.A. (2010 Jul.). Spreading the word: The role of surrogates in charismatic leadership. Academy of Management Review, 35(3), 477-494.

Maniacci, M.P. (2007 Summer). His majesty the baby: Narcissism through the lens of individual psychology. Journal of Individual Psychology, 63(2), 136-145.

Wallace. H.M., Ready, C.B. , and Weitenhagen, E. (2009 Jan-Mar.). Narcissism and task persistence. Self & Identity, 8(1), 78-93.

For more information, visit: http://coreedgehrworkforcesolutions.core-edge.com/

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How Corporate Boards Choose Charismatic Leaders

Often the board of directors is not an effective auditor for recruiting and monitoring the actions of charismatic leaders. Greve (2004) pointed to Khurana’s (2002) work on the irrational search for charismatic CEOs. Board of directors of major corporations believe strongly in the ability of a CEO to rescue a troubled firm. This irrational enthusiasm stems from: 1. Directors taking cues from securities analysts and business journals prompting directors to believe that a celebrity CEO can turn around a company’s low performance, 2. Directors evaluating CEOs based on past performance and viewing social traits characterized as charisma as a panacea, and 3. Directors and analysts being complicit in choosing a CEO based on these preconceived notions of CEO value. Invariably, there is no voice of reason between directors and analysts in auditing and objectively searching for a CEO with the best overall fit within a company’s corporate culture. Once a board sets its sights on a specific CEO, analysts follow suit. Greve’s reported that this favoritism toward charismatic CEOs has impact on organizational development. First, by choosing a CEO based on past performance or celebrity status before searching inside the company for qualified candidates causes low morale within the company. Second, directors operate from a position of weakness in contractual negotiations with a highly sought-after CEO. Inflated expectations of the new CEO is a recipe for failure when expectations do not materialize based on high expectations, risky strategic decisions, and the exorbitant power of the new CEO. Corporate challenges may be more complex than originally defined or take longer to solve than anticipated.

References

Greve, H. (2004 May). Searching for a corporate savior: The irrational quest for charismatic ceos reviewed work(s). American Journal of Sociology, 109(6), 1542-1544.

Khurana, R. (2002). Searching for a corporate savior: The irrational quest for charismatic ceos. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

For more information, visit: http://charismaticleadership.coreedgecharisma.com/

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Charismatic Leaders Spark Innovation Within Followers

Michaelis, Stegmaier, and Sonntag (2009) said that charismatic leadership is related to innovation implementation behavior and plays a significant role in followers demonstrating behavior characterized as innovative. Second, this innovative-oriented environment allows followers to create a greater trust for the leader, particularly as it relates to the opportunity for followers to be change agents in that environment. Third, followers had to feel trust in the innovative aspirations of top managers as well as immediate managers. It was more important for followers to trust in top management because top management is where the fundamental changes within an organization take place. If top management was not committed to change initiatives, it logically follows that trust in immediate managers would be limited.


References

Michaelis, B., Stegmaier, R., and Sonntag, K. (2009 Dec.). Affective commitment to change and innovation implementation behavior: The role of charismatic leadership and employees’ trust in top management. Journal of Change Management, 9(4), 399-417.

For more information, visit: http://coreedgehrworkforcesolutions.core-edge.com

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Charismatic Leaders Develop Disciples to Influence Organizational Development

Galvin, Balkundi, and Waldman (2010) discussed the ability of charismatic leaders to develop disciples or surrogates within an organization. The authors said these surrogates promote, defend, and model behavior after the charismatic leader. Charismatic leaders identify and train surrogates, either formally or informally, which allows charismatic leaders to have influence in distant areas within an organization. Surrogates create networks, social processes, and flow information within the organization. These networks serve as means for the charismatic leader to influence an organization by dispersing information. Although a rouge surrogate could harm a networked system by sending information oppositional to the goals of the charismatic leader, the authors note that surrogates are selected to occupy their positions based on the supportive behavior they exhibit in line with the desires of the charismatic leader.


References

Galvin, B., Balkundi, P., and Waldman, D.A. (2010 Jul.). Spreading the word: The role of surrogates in charismatic leadership. Academy of Management Review, 35(3), 477-494.

For more information, visit: http://charismaticleadership.coreedgecharisma.com/