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Is Charisma Important For Being A Good Leader?

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Is charisma important in being a good leader? “There is no good or bad leader but thinking makes it so” Shakespeare phrased once and it seems relevant to perceive the importance of charisma in being a good leader. Who are the good leaders? What makes a good leader? Are charismatic leader always good? Good in whose eyes and in what time frame? It is trivial to get bogged up with intuitive questions when we are asked such a straightforward but complex question about the importance of charisma in being a good leader. Max Weber (1947, pp.358-359) tossed the term charisma in early 1920s as being “set apart from ordinary people and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities.” Up until 1970s, Weber’s hypothesis lay dormant and it wasn’t until 1977 when Robert House further developed the charismatic leadership theory. This literature review will argue that charisma isn’t important in being good leader by bringing together various literature studies focusing on both the sides of the coin but ultimately filtering the core argument.

According to Ehrhart and Klein (2001), the primary research on charismatic leadership was conducted by firstly House (1977) developed by Bass (1990) but majorly contributed by Conger and Kanungo (1987), and then Shamir (2001). Charismatic leaders can only be perceived as charismatic when leaders express themselves with certain behaviours and skills for the followers to attribute charisma back
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