Charisma attribution during organizational change: the importance of followers' emotions and concern for well-being


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Chao C. Chen, Rutgers Business School, 1 Washington Park, Newark, NJ 07102, USA. E-mail:


Taking a follower-centric perspective, we examined how charisma attribution to a change leader was influenced by the well-being concerns and emotions of organizational members. We conducted three studies to examine how college business students and Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) students responded to a grading policy reform aimed at reducing grade inflation. We found that emotions and well-being concerns such as school year and grade point average influenced charisma attribution by the undergraduate students and that there was a greater divergence of emotional reactions and charisma attribution among undergraduate students than among the executive MBAs. Future directions for follower-centric leadership research on charismatic leadership are discussed.