The Paradigm of the Charismatic Leader

Sverre Spoelstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This invited contribution is a reflection on my motivation for writing the book Leadership and Organization: A Philosophical Introduction (Spoelstra, 2018). The premise of the book is that popular leadership adjectives, e.g. ‘transformational’, ‘authentic’ and ‘servant’, are much more interesting than the corresponding leadership constructs suggest. The book claims that these popular leadership concepts are still shaped by the figure of the charismatic leader, even though the concept of charisma in leadership studies has lost much of its appeal. In this paper,I further suggest that popular leadership concepts, including the ones mentioned, create a followership that deserves to be critically interrogated.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)744-749
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Leadership
  • Philosophy
  • Charisma
  • Followership
  • Construct development

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