Love and leadership:constructing follower narrative identities of charismatic leadership

Parry, Ken and Kempster, Stephen (2014) Love and leadership:constructing follower narrative identities of charismatic leadership. Management Learning, 45 (1). pp. 21-38. ISSN 1350-5076

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Most extant research on charismatic leadership has an essentialist orientation which characterises it as leader behaviour, leader communication or follower dependency. Our approach is more discursively oriented. To research charismatic leadership we used aesthetic narrative positivism, which undertook utilitarian as well as critical method. We examined followers’ implicit narratives of their lived experiences of charismatic leadership in organizational settings. We examined metaphors for this experience. Most respondents identified with positive affect, a form of love story; a minority experienced negative affect, especially anger; some experienced both positive and negative emotions. We posit that if one adopts a certain identity within the context of a dramatic narrative, one might be attributed with charismatic qualities by followers. In this way we suggest that charismatic leadership might be less a gift from God and more a ‘gift from followers’.

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Journal Article
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Management Learning
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21 Nov 2012 08:46
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 23:07