The Theory of Charismatic Leadership

In a recent survey of Max Weber's political ideas, Karl Loewenstein observes that the concepts of "charisma" and the "charismatic leader" have had the greatest impact upon the thinking of recent time

Robert C. Tucker

2018

Scholarcy highlights

  • In a recent survey of Max Weber's political ideas, Karl Loewenstein observes that the concepts of "charisma" and the "charismatic leader" have had the greatest impact upon the thinking of recent time
  • Some writers are impressed with its power or potentiality as a tool for analyzing certain leadership situations of the historical past and present; others are skeptical and doubt whether the idea of charismatic leadership has much place in political science
  • Weber's thinking on charisma was much influenced by the examples with which he was familiar from the settings of traditional religion, where absolute obedience would be characteristic of the charismatic as well as other types of authority-relation
  • The first determinant of charismatic response is situational; the state of acute distress predisposes people to perceive as extraordinarily qualified and to follow with enthusiastic loyalty a leadership offering salvation from distress

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