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The Charismatic Leader: Behind the Mystique of Exceptional Leadership by Rabindra N. Kanungo, Jay A. Conger

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1

Theoretical Foundations of Charismatic Leadership

Jay A. Conger

As was discussed in the Introduction, our theories of charismatic leadership in management are only now beginning to take shape. To use a management metaphor, we are in the start-up phase of the venture. The topic has actually suffered from a serious lack of attention. To put its neglect in perspective, we turn to Stogdill's Handbook of Leadership (Bass, 1981), which is considered the reference book on leadership studies. Combing through the more than 5,000 studies included in the handbook, only a dozen references to charismatic leadership are to be found. This is an ironic and disheartening discovery given the profound impact of charismatic leaders. As Kanungo and I suggest in ...

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