Charismatic Leadership and its emergence under crisis conditions: A case study from the airline industry
Charismatic leadership is perceived as emerging under conditions of crisis. This study examines to what extent this statement is confirmed in an organizational context. Employing a case study from the airline industry, the behaviour of leaders and the perception of followers, regarding attributions of charisma in a crisis situation, are explored. A questionnaire based on the C-K scale is used to assess leaders’ engagement in charismatic behaviour from the followers’ point of view, whereas interviews at senior level management are conducted to verify the leaders’ reactions. The findings demonstrate that crisis is a significant, but not sufficient, factor for the emergence of charismatic leadership in a business context. Differences in business settings, organizational dynamics, followers’ certain features and culture have a significant role to play as well. The limitations and implications of the study are discussed and recommendations for future research are outlined.
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