This study develops and tests a model of followers' attribution of charismatic qualities to their leader. The model stipulates that, leaders' visions being equal, followers' attributions of charisma to their leader will be determined by their leader's individual attributes and situational contexts. Specifically, this study theorizes that leaders' attributes, such as competence and sacrifice, become an important basis for followers to infer charismatic qualities from their leader. In addition to these leadership attributes, this study also postulates that situational contexts such as uncertainty and crises perceived by followers are also conducive to their attributions. Drawing upon the theories and literature, we derived two main and three interaction-effect hypotheses; the hypotheses were tested with data from vignette studies that included 501 Americans and 259 Koreans. Consistent with the main hypothesis predictions, the results revealed that subjects attributed more charisma to their leaders when the latter exhibited greater self-sacrifice and superior competence. The results also showed moderation effects on leaders' competence by sacrifice (American subjects) and on leaders' sacrifice by situational uncertainty (Korean subjects). The implications of these findings will be discussed in detail.
|Number of pages
|Current Research in Social Psychology
|Published - 21 Dec 2005