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From a Behavioral Toward an Interactional Theory of Charisma in Organizations
Unformatted Document Text:  Student Paper Interactional Theory of Charisma 21 members. This interplay between the charismatic qualities of a leader and the practical needs of the follower point toward the following propositions about why charisma becomes institutionalized in organizations: Proposition 1a: Charisma will become institutionalized when the qualities or persuasive strategies of a leader cannot provide for the growing management needs of organizational members. Due to the extreme dedication and persistence necessary of charismatic leaders, leadership begins to take its toll on the leader (Weber, 1968). It is difficult for one person to do it all. Organizations constantly grow and change, and the larger and more successful they become, the more attention they demand from the leader. The effects of such expansion and growth often result in the need for bureaucratic structures (Blau, 1970; Bendix & Guenther, 1980). As a result, the leader is simply not capable of being a charismatic leader to so many members. Yet the members still desire a charismatic leader who will produce positive organizational outcomes. This trouble leads to a second proposition about why charismatic leadership is routinized: Proposition 1b: When the charismatic leader can no longer address the needs of growing numbers of organizational members, and members still look toward the leader for support and direction, charisma will be routinized so as to be able to be dispersed and meet the needs of organizational members. Even if there are valid reasons for charismatic leadership to be routinized into charisma of office, the important question of how this is to be done still remains. Organizational members undoubtedly play a key role in this transformation. First, as with any type of leadership,

Authors: Leonardi, Paul.
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Student Paper Interactional Theory of Charisma 21
members. This interplay between the charismatic qualities of a leader and the practical needs of
the follower point toward the following propositions about why charisma becomes
institutionalized in organizations:
Proposition 1a:
Charisma will become institutionalized when the qualities or
persuasive strategies of a leader cannot provide for the growing
management needs of organizational members.
Due to the extreme dedication and persistence necessary of charismatic leaders,
leadership begins to take its toll on the leader (Weber, 1968). It is difficult for one person to do
it all. Organizations constantly grow and change, and the larger and more successful they
become, the more attention they demand from the leader. The effects of such expansion and
growth often result in the need for bureaucratic structures (Blau, 1970; Bendix & Guenther,
1980). As a result, the leader is simply not capable of being a charismatic leader to so many
members. Yet the members still desire a charismatic leader who will produce positive
organizational outcomes. This trouble leads to a second proposition about why charismatic
leadership is routinized:
Proposition 1b:
When the charismatic leader can no longer address the needs of
growing numbers of organizational members, and members still
look toward the leader for support and direction, charisma will be
routinized so as to be able to be dispersed and meet the needs of
organizational members.
Even if there are valid reasons for charismatic leadership to be routinized into charisma
of office, the important question of how this is to be done still remains. Organizational members
undoubtedly play a key role in this transformation. First, as with any type of leadership,


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