An earlier version of this article was published in the Best Paper Proceedings of the 1991 Academy of Management meeting in Miami, Florida. I am deeply indebted to James R. Meindl for his invaluable guidance in the design and conduct of this study. I am also grateful to Ray Hunt, Jerry Hunt, Bernie Bass, Maurice Schweitzer, and the three anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on earlier versions of this paper.
Crisis and the Emergence of Charismatic Leadership in Groups: An Experimental Investigation1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 26, Issue 6, pages 543–562, March 1996
How to Cite
Pillai, R. (1996), Crisis and the Emergence of Charismatic Leadership in Groups: An Experimental Investigation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26: 543–562. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb02730.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Existing models of transformational change often highlight the charismatic attributes of leaders. Few approaches focus on the social preconditions which allow charismatic leadership processes to unfold. This research explores the notion that crisis is important to the emergence of charismatic leadership. The findings of a laboratory study indicate that crises foster the emergence of charismatic leaders who are then rated as more effective than group leaders who emerge in noncrisis situations. The implications for current conceptualizations of charismatic leadership processes and their role in frame-breaking organizational changes are discussed.