Sunday, September 25, 2011

Environments for Charismatic Leadership

Shamir and Howell (1999) spoke about the environmental conditions best suited and most ill-suited for charismatic leaders. Shamir and Howell said charismatic leaders are more likely to emerge in weak or uncertain environments where performance is difficult to measure, because emotions run high and individuals are easier to influence in their desire for things to return to normal. Conversely, charismatic leaders are ill-suited when environmental conditions are strong or stable, because individuals are more certain and rational requiring more transactional rewards for increased productivity. The determination of whether environmental conditions are weak or strong is purely subjective and decided by employees.


Shamir, B., and Howell, J.M. (1999 Summer). Organizational and contextual influences on the emergence and effectiveness of charismatic leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 10(2), 257.

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