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Zeitschrift für Arbeits- u. Organisationspsychologie (2006) 50 (N. F.

24) 4, 203 ± 214  Hogrefe Verlag, Göttingen 2006

Charismatic and
Transformational Leadership
A Review and an Agenda for Future Research
Timothy A. Judge, Erin Fluegge Woolf, Charlice Hurst, and Beth Livingston

Abstract. Of all the leadership theories in organizational research, charismatic/transformational leadership has captured scholars in-
terest most over the past decade. This article reviews what has been learned about the antecedents of charismatic and transformational
leadership, their effects on individual and collective outcomes across cultures, and moderators of those effects. We conclude with a set
of recommendations for moving this field of study forward, including a call for more rigorous research designs that provide greater
insight into the process of transformational leadership (i.e., causal direction and mediating mechanisms), further conceptual clarifica-
tions, and further integration with other schools of leadership thought.
Key words: leadership, transformational leadership, charismatic leadership

Charismatische und transformationale Führung: Ein Überblick und eine Agenda für zukünftige Forschungsarbeiten

Zusammenfassung. Von allen Führungstheorien hat die charismatische/transformationale Führung während der letzten zehn Jahre das
gröûte Interesse in der Organisationsforschung hervorgerufen. Dieser Artikel gibt einen Überblick über die Erkenntnisse in Bezug auf
die Bedingungen von charismatischer und transformationaler Führung sowie die individuellen und kollektiven Wirkungen, wie sie sich
kulturübergreifend zeigen, sowie die Moderatoren dieser Effekte. Abschlieûend werden eine Reihe von Empfehlungen für die zukünf-
tige Forschung formuliert. Diese beinhalten die Forderung nach sorgfältigeren Forschungsdesigns, die einen besseren Einblick in den
Prozess der transformationalen Führung erlauben (z. B. Kausalzusammenhänge und Mediationsmechanismen), die Forderung nach
zusätzlichen konzeptuellen Klärungen sowie die Forderung nach einer weitergehenden Integration mit anderen Schulen der Führungs-
Schlüsselwörter: Führung, transformationale Führung, charismatische Führung

Leadership is, of course, one of those topics in which in- twisted a different way. It seems that the perception of
terest never wanes. Leaders are, by definition, at the pin- leadership is not merely immersed in our own values,
nacle of any societys largest organizations, and their ac- but in the perceived outcomes under a leaders watch, ir-
tions have the potential to change the course of history. respective of the leader behaviors that may or may not
Although the stakes are high and the importance of their have produced the outcome.
decisions fundamental, effective leadership is still very
much in the eye of the beholder. For instance, in a recent Thus, the leadership scholars task is a difficult one.
three-day period, one prominent Princeton historian pro- We study an important concept. In theory, most of us
claimed George W. Bush the worst U. S. President in his- would agree that Carlyle, Nietzsche, Weber, and others
tory (Wilentz, 2006, April 21), whereas a former deputy were telling the truth when they wrote of the importance
prime minister of Israel and survivor of the Soviet Gulag of heroes and great leaders to societies. However, in ap-
argued that Bush is a modern dissident whose doctrine is plying that concept, problems overwhelm us. Who are
likely to forever change the international political land- the great leaders? What makes them so? Are great lead-
scape (Sharansky, 2006, April 24). It seems, to para- ers always good? Are great leaders always effective? Ef-
phrase Shakespeare, that there is no good or bad leader fective in whose eyes, and over what time frame? In pos-
but thinking makes it so. ing questions like these, it seems leadership is as much an
aesthetic phenomenon as a scientific one.
Even more challenging is that we often succumb to
the tautology of judging effective leadership by the re- With that enigmatic preamble in mind, which must
sults. If one admits that many outcomes are beyond a hang over all of which we are soon to speak, we do think
leaders control, then one must wonder how history there have been and are (conditional) truths to be gleaned
might have judged a leader quite differently if fate had from the study of leadership. In this review, we focus our
DOI: 10.1026/0932-4089.50.4.203
204 Timothy A. Judge, Erin Fluegge Woolf, Charlice Hurst, and Beth Livingston

attention on a concept of leadership ± charismatic or the assumption that it is a quality held by a handful of in-
transformational leadership ± which has been the domi- dividuals (there are not enough such leaders to study). On
nant focus of contemporary leadership research. Accord- the other hand, if charisma is seen as relatively prosaic,
ingly, in this article we review the charismatic/transfor- have we damaged the concept? Clearly, the charismatic
mational leadership literatures. In so doing, we discuss qualities of political leaders from Lincoln to Hitler, reli-
measurement, validity, moderating factors, and finally gious leaders from Martin Luther to Pope John Paul II,
return to some of the issues above in offering an agenda and business leaders from EstØe Lauder to Jack Welch,
for future research. do not seem to be a general commodity.

Second, some researchers would distinguish charisma

as a trait or personal quality from the charismatic leader-
Review of Charismatic ship process. House, for example, argues in favor of the
and Transformational latter (House, 1977). Locke and colleagues, conversely,
Leadership Research clearly distinguish a charismatic communication style
from other leadership qualities (e.g., see Kirkpatrick &
Locke, 1996). This is a topic to which we return later.
Charismatic Leadership
Finally, though Conger (1990) has often described the
The first scholar to discuss charismatic leadership was dark side of charismatic leadership, judging from the re-
Max Weber. In particular, he discussed three types of au- search literature, he seems like a lone voice. As the afore-
thority as forms of control that people will accept: tradi- mentioned examples of charismatic leaders suggest,
tional, legal/rational, and charismatic. Weber (1947, however, charismatic leadership seemingly can be used
pp. 358 ± 359) defined charisma as being ªset apart from for either good or bad ends, depending on ones perspec-
ordinary people and treated as endowed with supernatur- tive and the hindsight of history. It seems obvious that
al, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional charismatic leadership is neither inherently good nor
powers or qualities ¼ regarded as of divine origin or as evil, but the implicit assumption in the literature has been
exemplary, and on the basis of them the individual con- that it is a positive force in organizations.
cerned is treated as a leader.º Despite the important influ-
ence of Webers work on researchers thinking about or-
ganizations, his work on charisma lay dormant until the Transformational Leadership
mid 1970s.
Robert House (1977) further developed Webers con- The Full Range Leadership model, developed by Bass
cept in articulating a theory of charismatic leadership and Avolio (see Avolio & Bass, 1991) is comprised of
that, at its core, argued that followers use an attributional both transactional and transformational leadership (see
process regarding their leaders. Based on certain behav- Figure 1). Elements of both types of leadership are ar-
iors displayed by leaders, followers attribute extraordi- ranged on a vertical axis measuring effectiveness (inef-
nary or heroic leadership abilities to those leaders. Based fective to effective) and a horizontal axis measuring in-
on Houses theory, researchers then began to uncover and volvement (passive to active). Transactional leadership
identify key characteristics of charismatic leadership. A styles tend to fall in the ineffective and passive quadrant,
widely accepted framework is that of Conger and Kanun- while transformational leadership styles largely fall in
go (1998), who explain that charismatic leadership is the effective and active quadrant of the model. Although
typified by four key characteristics: possessing and artic- this seems to indicate that transformational leadership is
ulating a vision, willing to take risks to achieve the vi- superior to transactional leadership, transformational
sion, exhibiting sensitivity to follower needs, and demon- leadership researchers argue that the two may actually
strating novel behavior. complement each other. To further clarify between the
two, we now examine the four dimensions of each type
Three interesting conceptual issues are worthy of dis- of leadership.
cussion here. First, much of the work on charismatic
leadership has eschewed the Weberian perspective that The four dimensions of transactional leadership are
charismatic leaders are rare or extraordinary. Conger generally referred to as contingent reward, management
(1989, p. 161), for example, opined that charisma ªis not by exception (active), management by exception (pas-
some magical ability limited to a handful.º As Trice and sive), and laissez-faire. In the case of contingent reward,
Beyer (1986) and Beyer (1999) noted, charismatic lead- leaders provide resources in exchange for follower sup-
ership has been tamed in that it is assumed that charisma port (Bass, 1990). Management by exception has two
is a property possessed by all individuals, to a greater or facets, active and passive. In the active sense, leaders
lesser degree. On the one hand, if we are to empirically monitor followers performance and take corrective ac-
study charismatic leadership, we cannot do so based on tion when necessary. In the case of passive management
Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 205

ment the effects of transactional leadership,

which suggests that the best leaders tend to be
both transactional and transformational (Bass,
Consideration 1985).
Effective Intellectual

Inspirational Charismatic and

Motivation Transformational Leadership
Some debate exists regarding the synonymy of
Contingent charismatic and transformational leadership.
Robert House, organizational behaviors found-
Management ing father of charismatic leadership research,
by Exception
(Active) claims that the two are rather tantamount with
Ineffective Management
only minor and modest differences. House and
by Exception Podsakoff (1994) characterized the disagree-
(Passive) ments among authors of these theories as ªmod-
Laissez estº, ªminorº, and ªfine tuningº (pp. 71 ± 72).
Conger and Kanungo (1998) noted, ªThere is lit-
tle real differenceº between charismatic and
Passive Active transformational leadership (p. 15). On the other
Grey squares represent dimensions of transactional leadership; hand, Bernard Bass and Bruce Avolio (the lead-
white squares represent transformational leadership characteristics. ing transformational leadership researchers)
claim that charismatic leadership is rather a com-
Figure 1. The Full Range Leadership Model (adapted from Avolio &
ponent of transformational leadership; thus they
Bass, 1991).
view transformational leadership as a broader
construct than charisma (Bass & Avolio, 1994).
Indeed, Bass (1985), while arguing that charisma
by exception, leaders do little monitoring and only inter- is part of transformational leadership, also argues that it,
vene when the problem becomes serious. In the laissez- in and of itself, is insufficient to ªaccount for the trans-
faire type of transactional leadership, leaders simply avoid formational processº (p. 31). While scholars may still
leadership responsibilities. These transactional leadership disagree on the specifics of these two types of leadership,
behaviors become decreasingly effective as leader partic- typically individuals that score high on one measure type
ipation declines. Thus, contingent reward is thought to be are likely to score high on the other measure. We now
the most effective form of transactional leadership where- turn to a discussion of such measures.
as laissez-faire is considered the most ineffective, the lat-
ter so much so that some argue it is not even transactional
leadership (see Judge & Piccolo, 2004).
Transformational leadership supplements the charac-
teristics of transactional leadership, and followers are in-
Bass and Avolios (1990) Multifactor Leadership Ques-
spirationally influenced. Bernard Bass, who laid the
tionnaire (MLQ) is the most extensively validated and
groundwork in transformational leadership research, ex-
commonly used measure of transformational and trans-
plains that transformational leadership is accomplished
actional leadership. Several different versions of the
through the four Is: idealized influence, inspirational
MLQ exist, such as the MLQ-Form 5R and the
motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized
MLQ-Form 10. The former addresses both leadership be-
consideration (Bass, 1985). Idealized influence is dem-
haviors and effects and has been therefore criticized (see
onstrated when the transformational leader serves as a
Hunt, 1991). The latter, however, only examines leader-
charismatic role model to followers. By articulating an
ship behaviors. For these reasons, the MLQ-Form 5X
inspiring vision to his or her followers, transformational
has been established in order to replace the MLQ-Form
leaders are said to foster inspirational motivation. Intel-
5R and resolve several inadequacies.
lectual simulation is generated when transformational
leaders stimulate followers creativity by questioning There are several important, unresolved issues in
and challenging them. Finally, attending to individual measuring transformational leadership. First, there is
needs of followers allows transformational leaders to some debate about whether the MLQ dimensions are dis-
promote individualized consideration. It is argued that tinct. Some writers argue that the evidence supports the
the effects of transformational leadership actually aug- distinctiveness of the dimensions (e.g., Avolio, Bass &
206 Timothy A. Judge, Erin Fluegge Woolf, Charlice Hurst, and Beth Livingston

Jung, 1999). However, the dimensions are highly cor- Kiker, and Cross (2000) also replicated the Lowe et al.
related (generally in the .70 to .90 range), and many re- (1996) findings, and examined additional criteria, in-
searchers combine the dimensions into a single factor cluding effort, job satisfaction, and commitment.
(see Judge & Piccolo, 2004). Yukl (1999, p. 288) notes,
ªThe partially overlapping content and the high inter-cor- The most recent meta-analysis of transformational
relation found among the transformational behaviors leadership is Judge and Piccolo (2004). This study dif-
raise doubts about their construct validity.º A second and fered from the previous meta-analyses in several ways.
perhaps an even more disturbing problem is the distinc- Most obviously, because it was performed later, it in-
tiveness of the transformational and transactional leader- cluded a larger number of studies than the others. Second,
ship dimensions. Judge and Piccolo (2004) found, in a it tested the hypothesis that charismatic and transforma-
meta-analysis of 87 correlations, that transformational tional leadership have similar validities, seeking to add
and contingent reward leadership correlated .80 (the clarity to the long-running debate about the difference be-
80 % credibility interval was .65 to .95, meaning that tween them. Third, consistent with the augmentation hy-
80 % of the individually corrected correlations were be- pothesis (Bass, 1985), Judge and Piccolo sought to estab-
tween .65 and .95). Since this correlation is roughly the lish whether transactional leadership behaviors offer
same as the correlation among the transformational lead- unique contributions to outcomes or recede entirely in sig-
ership dimensions, this calls into question the distinctive- nificance when transformational leadership is controlled.
ness of transformational and contingent reward leader-
ship. Third, although we have argued that charismatic The validities Judge and Piccolo (2004) found are dis-
and transformational leadership are conceptually distinct, played in Table 1. All confidence intervals for transfor-
we are not aware of distinct measures of charismatic lead- mational leadership excluded zero, as did all credibility
ership. Such measures should be developed, with an eye intervals except the one for longitudinal designs. As ex-
toward distinguishing it from transformational leader- pected, there was no significant difference in the overall
ship. Finally, perhaps explaining the aforementioned re- validities of charismatic versus transformational leader-
sult, there is the continuing problem endemic to all such ship. Also, among the dimensions of transactional leader-
rating instruments ± halo effects, attributional issues, and ship, transformational leadership displayed the highest
so forth. These issues may be unresolvable; solutions and most consistent correlations with contingent-reward
have not been forthcoming in the literature to date. (.80) and laissez-faire leadership (± .65). Notably, the dif-
ferences in validities between transformational leadership
and contingent-reward leadership were fairly small. Con-
tingent-reward even displayed somewhat higher correla-
Outcomes: Validity of Charismatic tions in business settings and with follower job satisfac-
tion, follower motivation, and leader job performance.
and Transformational Leadership However, the validities of transformational leadership
were stronger under better research designs and were
more consistent across study settings. Finally, with the ex-
Examinations of the validities of charismatic and trans- ception of leader job performance, transformational lead-
formational leadership reveal that both have important ership positively predicted all criteria in regressions that
effects on criteria of interest to organizational behavior entered all of the leadership types, though the validities
researchers. In a meta-analysis of the relationship be- were quite a bit lower than the zero-order relationships.
tween transformational leadership, as measured by the Contingent reward also positively predicted the criteria,
MLQ, and leader effectiveness, Lowe, Kroeck, and Siva- though the magnitudes of these relationships were consid-
subramaniam (1996) found validities of .71 for charisma, erably lower than those of transformational leadership.
.62 for individualized consideration, and .60 for intellec-
tual stimulation. In contrast, contingent reward and man- Beyond these meta-analyses, recent research has
agement-by-exception exhibited validities of .41 and .05, sought to link charismatic and transformational leader-
respectively. Corrected correlations were significantly ship to other criteria. These criteria can be broadly
higher for subordinate ratings of effectiveness (r = .81) grouped into constructs denoting subordinate attitudes
than organizational measures (r = .35). However, with and psychological states, subordinate behaviors and
the exception of intellectual stimulation, all of the confi- specific performance dimensions, and group processes.
dence and credibility intervals for correlations with lead- In the first category, transformational leadership has
er effectiveness gauged by organizational measures ex- been consistently positively associated with commitment
cluded zero. Two other meta-analyses essentially repli- (Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch & Topolnytsky, 2002): self-
cated these results, albeit with variations. Fuller, Patter- efficacy (e.g., Dvir, Eden, Avolio & Shamir, 2002); psy-
son, Hester, and Stringers (1996) meta-analysis found chological empowerment (Avolio et al., 2004; Hepworth
comparable relationships, focusing only on the charisma & Towler, 2004): organizational identification (Epitropa-
(idealized influence) subscale of the MLQ. DeGroot, ki & Martin, 2004): and safety consciousness (Barling,
Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 207

Table 1. Transformational Leadership Validities (Judge Falling somewhat outside of these three categories, an-
& Piccolo, 2004) other study (Bono & Anderson, 2005) examined the influ-
ence of transformational leaders on informal network po-
sitions of leaders and followers. They found that managers
By Criteria scoring higher on transformational leadership were more
± Follower Job Satisfaction .58 central in advice and influence networks. Moreover, their
direct and indirect reports were more central in advice net-
± Satisfaction with Leader .71 works, while their direct reports were also more central in
± Follower Motivation .53 influence networks. These findings are interesting be-
± Leader Job Performance .27 cause they illuminate a previously unconsidered mecha-
nism by which transformational leaders may exert influ-
± Group/Organization Performance .26
ence on their own and their followers outcomes.
± Leader Effectiveness .64
By Study Design There is sufficient laboratory and field evidence to
convince us that transformational leadership has impor-
± Cross-Sectional .50
tant effects on criteria of interest to organizational behav-
± Longitudinal .27 ior researchers. There is still much to be learned, how-
± Same-Source .55 ever, about the process by which transformational leader-
± Multi-Source .28 ship exerts influence, its relative validity, and its general-
izability across cultures. We examine these issues in the
Across all Criteria and Study Designs .44
following sections, beginning with what influences char-
Note. r = meta-analytic correlation corrected for measurement and sam- ismatic and transformational leadership and moving to
pling error; all confidence intervals for transformational leadership ex- variables that may moderate their effectiveness.
cluded zero, as did all credibility intervals except the one for longitudi-
nal designs.

Influences on Charismatic and

Loughlin & Kelloway, 2002). It has also been negatively
associated with employee cynicism about organizational Transformational Leadership
change (Bommer, Rich & Rubin, 2005).
With regard to specific performance dimensions and Over the past decade, a number of influences on transfor-
behaviors, transformational leadership positively predicts mational and charismatic leadership have been identified.
organizational citizenship (e.g., Podsakoff, MacKenzie & The antecedents studied are separated into individual and
Bommer, 1996). Little work has been done on the influ- contextual variables for the purpose of this review. Trans-
ence of transformational leadership on counterproductive formational leadership has recently been the subject of
behavior, though one study (Hepworth & Towler, 2004) two large-scale meta-analyses examining dispositional
found a negative relationship with workplace aggression and demographic antecedents: one summarizing its rela-
while another (Walumba & Lawler, 2003) found that sub- tionship with gender, and the other with personality. Ac-
ordinates of transformational leaders were less likely to cording to Eagly, Johannesen-Schmidt, and van Engen
exhibit job and work withdrawal. Several experimental (2003), women are more likely to exhibit transformational
studies have also examined the effect of transformational leadership behaviors than men, though the average differ-
leadership on creativity and creative performance. Most ence is quite small (d = ± .10, meaning that women, on
have found that, relative to transactional leadership, trans- average, score one-tenth of a standard deviation higher
formational leadership has a significantly more positive on transformational leadership than do men). In terms of
impact on creative performance (e.g., Hoyt & Blascovich, personality, Bono and Judge (2004) reported that extraver-
2003; Jung, 2001), although one found the reverse (Kahai, sion is the strongest predictor of transformational leader-
Sosik & Avolio, 2003). ship behaviors, (r = .24) although all of the Big Five, ex-
cept for conscientiousness, exhibit significant relation-
There have also been numerous experimental inqui- ships with transformational leadership (neuroticism:
ries into the impact of transformational leadership on r = ± .17; openness: r = .15; and agreeableness: r = .14).
group processes, providing substantial evidence that
charismatic leaders enhance group cohesiveness (e.g., Other individual differences variables that have been
Bass, Avolio, Jung & Berson, 2003; Hoyt & Blascovich, found to positively influence charismatic and transfor-
2003): group potency (Bass et al., 2003; Lester, Meglino mational leadership are proactive personality (Crant &
& Korsgaard, 2002): and collective efficacy (Kark, Sha- Bateman, 2000); traditional, self-transcendent (altruistic)
mir & Chen, 2003). One study, furthermore, found that and self-enhancement (egotistic) values (Sosik, 2005);
social loafing was less likely in groups led by transfor- and, somewhat ominously, narcissism and Machiavel-
mational leaders (Kahai et al., 2003). lianism (e.g., Deluga, 1997, 2001). Also, Bommer, Ru-
208 Timothy A. Judge, Erin Fluegge Woolf, Charlice Hurst, and Beth Livingston

bin, and Baldwin (2004) found that leaders who are cyn- (emphasizing respect for hierarchy) moderated the rela-
ical about organizational change are less likely to be tionship between transformational leadership and ratings
judged as transformational. of effectiveness by superiors such that transformational
leaders are perceived to be less effective when the superior
Several contextual antecedents of charismatic and is a traditionalist in both the United States and Taiwan.
transformational leadership have also been the subject of
research. The presence of peer leadership behaviors in- Contextual variables also may moderate the relation-
creases the likelihood of a leader exhibiting transforma- ship of transformational leadership with various out-
tional leadership (Bommer et al., 2004). In a meso level comes. The effects of transformational leadership have
examination of charismatic leadership, Pillai and Meindl been found, in particular, to vary by organizational sector.
(1998) report a positive relationship between organic Lowe et al.s (1996) meta-analysis revealed that relation-
structure (as opposed to mechanistic) and charismatic ships between transformational leadership behaviors and
leadership and between collectivistic cultural orientation effectiveness were significantly higher in public than pri-
(as opposed to individualistic) and charismatic leadership. vate organizations. Fuller et al. (1996) found that valid-
These, in concert with Sosiks (2005) findings that charis- ities for performance were significantly higher in student
matic leadership is positively predicted by collectivistic and military samples than in civilian samples while the
work characteristics, support additional examination of validity for perceived effectiveness was higher in mili-
contextual factors related to charismatic leadership. tary than in civilian samples. Likewise, Judge, and Picco-
lo (2004) found that transformational leadership was
more valid in military settings.
Moderators of Charismatic and Meta-analytic evidence also suggests that leader level
moderates the effects of charismatic and transformation-
Transformational Leadership al leadership. Fuller et al. (1996) found that the relation-
ship between charismatic leadership and performance is
In addition to influences on transformational and charis- somewhat stronger for upper-level leaders, and Judge
matic leadership, recent research has begun to identify and Piccolo (2004) found that transformational leader-
moderators of the relationship of charismatic and transfor- ship has a stronger impact on performance for leaders at
mational leadership with various outcomes. The five lead- the supervisory level (r = .48) than for those in middle-
er- or follower-level outcomes most investigated are effec- or upper-management (r = .37). Further supporting the
tiveness (e.g., Fuller et al., 1996; Spreitzer, Perttula & Xin, moderating effects of leader level, Avolio et al. (2004)
2005; Wofford, Whittington & Goodwin, 2001), perform- found that the relationship between transformational
ance (Fuller et al., 1996; Whittington, Goodwin & Mur- leadership and organizational commitment is more posi-
ray, 2004), motivation (Felfe & Schyns, 2002), satisfaction tive when the supervision is indirect (i.e., leader-follower
(Fuller et al., 1996), and commitment (Meyer et al., 2002). structural distance is high).
Individual differences variables that have been found Job characteristics also appear to moderate the rela-
to be moderators of transformational leadership are goal tionship between transformational leadership and organi-
setting, growth need strength, need for autonomy, and zational commitment. Whittington et al. (2004) found that
values. These variables reflect characteristics of the rater job enrichment substitutes for the effect of transforma-
or the employee that influence the effects found for trans- tional leadership on organizational commitment, and the
formational leadership. One study, for example, found relationship is more positive when the supervisor is indi-
that goal-setting moderated the effects of transformation- rect (structural distance is higher). Additional evidence
al leadership on both affective commitment and perform- that job characteristics act as moderators of transforma-
ance such that, for both, goal-setting enhanced the tional leadership effects was set forth by Felfe and Schyns
strength of the relationship (Whittington et al., 2004). (2002). They found that high task demands neutralize the
relationship between transformational leadership and
Growth need strength and need for autonomy also ap- self-efficacy, such that the relationship is zero when task
pear to enhance the effects of transformational leader- demands are high and negative when they are low.
ship. Wofford et al. (2001) found that, when need for
autonomy and growth need strength of the employee are Finally, the internal and external organizational con-
high, transformational leadership leads to greater group texts seem to influence the effects of transformational
effectiveness. They also found that growth need strength leadership. Felfe and Schyns (2002) found that climate
enhanced the effects of transformational leadership on moderates the relationship between transformational
satisfaction with the leader. leadership and self-efficacy, such that the relationship is
positive when climate is good and negative when it is
Other research has investigated individual differences bad. With regard to external context, another study found
that suppress the effects of transformational leadership. that high levels of environmental uncertainty strengthen
Spreitzer et al. (2005) found that valuing traditionality the positive relationship between CEOs charismatic
Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 209

leadership and subordinates perception of their perform- ismatic leadership and social network extensiveness. In
ance (de Hoogh et al., 2004). Furthermore, the relation- similar fashion, Walumba and Lawler (2003) found that
ship between charismatic leadership and firm profitabil- collectivism moderated the relationship between trans-
ity was stronger when the CEO was a firm owner rather formational leadership and several job outcomes such as
than a managing director. job satisfaction, withdrawal behavior, and organizational
commitment in a sample of Chinese, Indian, and Kenyan
There is a potpourri of evidence that individual differ- workers. Finally, Javidan and Carl (2004) compared Ira-
ences and contextual factors moderate the effects of char- nian and Canadian managers and found the former to be
ismatic and transformational leadership. Yet, systematic significantly lower-rated, suggesting a difference in ei-
study and integration are still needed. Shamir and Howell ther manifestations of leadership behaviors or in the ways
(1999) advanced a model of organizational and contextual in which such behaviors are interpreted.
influences on the transformational leadership process,
which suggested that factors like situational strength, or- In addition to culture at the nation-state level, culture
ganizational governance, and linkage of organizational may also be considered at the organization level, wherein
goals to dominant society values should influence wheth- organizational cultures may vary in their charismatic or
er transformational leaders emerge and their likely ef- transformational styles. For example, although Carly
fects. Their framework may be useful in guiding future Fiorina was hailed as the first rock star CEO when she
research on contextual moderators as well as inspiring became head of Hewlett-Packard in 1999, when she was
further specification of a model of individual differences ousted in 2005, people argued that she may have been too
moderators and the relationships between the two. flashy for HPs conservative culture (though HPs 50%
drop in stock price during her tenure certainly precipi-
tated her fall; Cowley & Rohde, 2005, February 9). A
Cross-Cultural Evidence theoretically-relevant cultural attribute may thus be ana-
lyzed at the national or organizational level.

Bass (1997) has posited that the effects of transforma- Kotter and Heskett (1992) offered a perspective of
tional leadership are universal, generalizing across cul- adaptive and non-adaptive cultures. Adaptive cultures
tures. This is a strong assertion given that cultural values are more prone to emphasizing innovation, integrity, en-
vary and, presumably, so do implicit assumptions about thusiasm, teamwork, frank communication, and risk tak-
leadership. While some research supports the universal- ing. On the contrary, non-adaptive cultures do not pro-
ity of charismatic and transformational leadership (e.g., mote risk taking, innovation, or change and are instead
Walumba, Orwa, Wang & Lawler, 2005), other studies focused on efficiency and order. Based on these charac-
challenge the role charismatic leaders may play in differ- teristics, adaptive cultures may be more amenable to the
ent cultures (e.g., Zagorsek, Jaklic & Stough, 2004). emergence and effects of charismatic leadership compar-
ed to non-adaptive cultures.
The GLOBE studies are particularly noteworthy with
regard to the cross-cultural relevance of transformational
leadership (e.g., Dorfman, Hanges & Brodbeck, 2004;
Den Hartog, House, Hanges, Ruiz-Quintanilla & Dorf- Directions for Future Research
man, 1999). Although there is some variation in the find-
ings across countries, in general, the results support the As is true of any literature that has reached a certain stage
importance of charismatic or transformational leadership of maturation, the low hanging fruit has been picked,
across cultures. Den Hartog et al. (1999, p. 250) con- which leads to the paradox that the most important topics
clude, ªThe combined results of the major GLOBE study to be researched are also the least tractable.
and the follow-up study demonstrate that several attri-
butes reflecting charismatic/transformational leadership
are universally endorsed as contributing to outstanding Causal Inference

Broad and convincing support exists for the relevance Although there have been some studies of charismatic
of transformational and charismatic leadership in various leadership that would satisfy the reader skeptical of causal
cultural settings, yet some characteristics of national cul- inference, the literature is dominated by cross-sectional
tures can influence the emergence, perceptions, and ef- correlational designs, where causal inferences are highly
fects of these leadership styles. For example, Stajkovic, suspect. Alternatively, some studies that would support
Carpenter, and Graffin (2005) examined data from senior causal inference are often conducted in the laboratory,
managers in the United States (an individualistic culture) which often constitutes a weak situation in leadership re-
and China (a collective culture). Results suggested that search (Judge, Bono, Ilies & Gerhardt, 2002). To be sure,
culture moderated the positive relationship between char- some field studies do support causal inferences to varying
210 Timothy A. Judge, Erin Fluegge Woolf, Charlice Hurst, and Beth Livingston

degrees. However, we think the problem is a greater one Using trained actors as leaders, Kirkpatrick and Locke
than that often recognized in the literature. The reason (1996) found that vision quality and cues for vision im-
for our concern is a research stream showing that individ- plementation each affected satisfaction and performance,
uals have implicit stereotypes of charismatic or transfor- whereas a charismatic communication style was unre-
mational leaders, meaning that, if a leader is deemed to lated to these outcomes. However, with the exception of
be effective, attributional labels comporting with stereo- Locke, Kirkpatrick and colleagues, no research has dis-
types of charismatic, transformational, or visionary lead- tinguished visionary leadership from a charismatic com-
ership often will be invoked (Epitropaki & Martin, 2004). munication style.
Although we realize it is much easier to call for rigorous
designs than it is to design and execute rigorous studies,
we do not think the ease of the call renders it invalid. Ignoring Transactional Leadership

Distinction between Charismatic In the largest meta-analytic review to date, Judge and Pic-
colo (2004) found that transactional leadership was as or
and Transformational Leadership more important than transformational leadership for many
criteria. Collapsed across all criteria, the overall validity of
As noted by Hunt and Conger (1999), the vast majority of transformational leadership was only slightly greater than
leadership research uses the terms charisma and transfor- contingent reward leadership (r = .44 vs. r = .39, respec-
mational leadership interchangeably. However, we tend tively). Judge and Piccolo (2004) also found that the nega-
to agree with Hunt and Conger (1999, p. 340) ªthat there tive effects of laissez-faire leadership were far from trivial.
needs to be more differentiation than there has typically Thus, current thinking about transformational leadership
been in the use of the two terms.º Although we agree with needs to take into account that, in many cases, transaction-
Conger (1999) that various models of charismatic and al leadership may be at least as important.
transformational leadership (e.g., Houses model [House,
1977], the Bass-Avolio model [Bass & Avolio, 1994],
Conger and Kanungos model [Conger & Kanungo,
1998], Shamir and associates model [see Shamir, House
Mediating Mechanisms
& Arthur, 1993]) share more similarities than differences
and that the models appear to be converging, we are not In 1999, Bass concluded, ªMuch more explanation is
altogether certain this is a positive development. needed about the workings of transformational leader-
shipº (p. 24). Since that time, there have been a large num-
We think there is a clear distinction to be made ± at ber of efforts to explore mediators of charismatic and
least in concept ± between vision (a desired end-state) transformational leadership (e.g., Avolio, Zhu, Koh &
and charisma (a personal quality that is manifested in a Bhatia, 2004; Bono & Anderson, 2005; Bono & Judge,
dynamic, expressive communication style). A vision 2003; Jung & Avolio, 2000; Jung, Chow & Wu, 2003;
may transcend an individual, and be passed on from lead- Kark, et al., 2003; McCann, Langford & Rawlings, 2006;
er to leader (Collins & Porras, 1991). Charisma, con- Purvanova, Bono & Dzieweczynski, 2006; Shin & Zhou,
versely, is necessarily a personal quality. This is not to 2003; Walumba et al., 2005; Wang, Law & Hackett,
say that individuals who are charismatic might not be 2005). However, this focus on mediators has occurred in
more likely to also have a vision. We suspect, measure- such a rush that it is difficult to integrate and make sense
ment problems aside, that charismatic leaders are prob- of the efforts. Indeed, it is scarcely the case that any of the
ably more likely to develop and communicate visions. same mediators have been investigated across studies. It is
But we think these concepts have not been measured in beyond the scope of this review to provide an integration
a way that reflects their actual distinctiveness. If one ex- of these mediators. We call for relatively more focus on in-
amines the MLQ and other popular measures, the items tegrative efforts and relatively less focus on the continued
often confound the two: ªTalks enthusiastically about generation of individual mediator variables.
what needs to be accomplishedº (emphasis added; Avo-
lio, Bass & Jung, 1995).
The best work here has been done by Locke and col- Are Leaders Made:
leagues. Baum, Locke, and Kirkpatrick (1998) found that Development of Charismatic/
entrepreneurial visions that possessed certain attributes
(e.g., brief, clear, future-oriented), were well-communi-
Transformational Leadership
cated, and focused on growth were associated with higher
levels of business venture growth. They also found that There is clear evidence that good leaders are born (John-
the communication of a vision also mattered, though they son, Vernon & Harris, 2004). But this does not necessarily
did not measure charismatic communication style per se. mean that good leaders cannot be made, anymore than a
Charismatic and Transformational Leadership 211

genetic component to intelligence means that individuals they threatened his power. Our point is that we see the
cannot learn. Indeed, there is evidence that transforma- presumption that transformational leadership is a force
tional leadership can be learned (Barling, Weber & Kello- for good to be heavy ontological baggage for the theory
way, 1996; Dvir et al., 2002; Frese, Beimel & Schoenborn, to carry.
2003). Although these studies are noteworthy for their use
of control groups, there are three ways in which future re- Although not necessarily resolving this implicit con-
search is needed to fully validate the developmental na- tradiction, Avolio and colleagues have recently focused
ture of charismatic or transformational leadership. First, on a concept they term authentic leadership. According
the longevity of training effects needs to be studied. The to Avolio and Gardner (2005, p. 321), authentic leaders
studies above were of relatively short duration (several are ªthose who are deeply aware of how they think and be-
months). What happens as more time passes? Is there a have and are perceived by others as being aware of their
permanency to what is learned, or do the learning and own and others values/moral perspectives, knowledge,
learned behaviors decay? Second, we need to determine and strengths; aware of the context in which they operate;
whether and when there are specific aspects of transfor- and who are confident, hopeful, optimistic, resilient, and
mational leadership training that are meaningful. Is it pos- of high moral character.º Although the lines of demarca-
sible that most any leadership training program would tion between this model of leadership and transformation-
have an effect? Only through a comparison of transforma- al leadership are yet to be clearly drawn, it does open up
tional leadership training with other leadership models the intriguing possibility of transformational leaders who
can this question be answered. Finally, if one is to separate project an image of good leadership, but act in the service
a charismatic communication style from visionary leader- of their interests at the expense of their followers. Avolio
ship (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1996), then can the former be and Gardner (2005) further distinguish authentic from
developed? Although Kirkpatrick and Locke (1996) suc- transformational leadership. In the former, ªthe leader
cessfully trained professional actors to display a charis- may not actively set out to transform the follower into a
matic communication style (a powerful, confident, and leader, but may do so simply by being role model for fol-
dynamic presence through both verbal and nonverbal be- lowersº, thus viewing authentic leadership ªas being
haviors), it is not clear whether the average person would much more relational, where both follower and leader are
similarly benefit from charisma training, nor how long shaped in their respective developmentº (p. 327).
such development might last.
Authentic leadership may or may not be the deus ex
machina that resolves the issue of whether transforma-
tional leadership is necessarily benevolent. After all, as
Moral Leadership can be clearly seen in the case of Osama bin Laden,
whether a leader is judged as moral or evil very much de-
pends on the perspective of the perceiver. Moreover, it is
One troubling aspect of transformational leadership theo- not entirely clear whether transformational leadership is
ry is the presumption that transformational leadership is a necessary condition for authentic leadership, or authen-
inherently positive. Bass (1985, p. 21) originally argued tic leadership a necessary condition for transformational,
that ªtransformational leadership is not necessarily bene- or neither. Despite these difficulties, we think this is a
ficial leadership.º However, he later appeared to modify pivotal issue for future research.
that position, arguing, ªtransformational leaders move
followers to transcend their own self-interests for the
good of the group, organization, or countryº (Bass,
1997, p. 133). Research on transformational leadership Integration with Behavioral School
has overwhelmingly been based on the assumption that
transformational leadership is universally positive. There Yukl (1989) noted, ª¼most researchers deal only with a
is no reason to believe that all change is good, nor is there narrow aspect of leadership and ignore the other aspectsº
any reason to believe that persuasive leadership is always (p. 254). Only a few studies examine the relative influ-
directed toward positive ends. Indeed, we would submit ence of different leadership conceptualizations (Bycio,
that in the realm of the most salient leaders in human his- Hackett & Allen, 1995; Howell & Avolio, 1993; Howell
tory, there are as many leaders deemed evil as benevo- & Hall-Merenda, 1999; Judge & Piccolo, 2004; Jung,
lent. For every Churchill, there is a Hitler. Moreover, to 2001; Seltzer & Bass, 1990), or the extent to which theo-
most acts of transformational leadership, there is a moral ries of leadership overlap. This is particularly a concern
ambiguity. Jack Welch may be viewed a great business given conceptual overlap in the theories. One of the four
leader by many, but what about the employees he was re- transformational leadership dimensions ± individualized
sponsible for firing? Even his critics would have to ac- consideration ± appears to directly overlap with the Ohio
knowledge that Franklin Roosevelt was a transformation- State dimension of consideration. In transformational
al U. S. President, but he also tried to usurp the power and leadership theory, individualized consideration is the de-
independence of the judicial branch of government when gree to which the leader attends to each followers needs,
212 Timothy A. Judge, Erin Fluegge Woolf, Charlice Hurst, and Beth Livingston

acts as a mentor or coach to the follower, and listens to ing role of psychological empowerment and moderating
followers concerns and needs (Bass, 1985). The Ohio role of structural distance. Journal of Organizational
State dimension of consideration refers to the degree to Behavior, 25, 951 ± 968.
Barling, J., Loughlin, C. & Kelloway, E. K. (2002). Develop-
which a leader shows concern and respect for followers, ment and test of a model linking safety-specific transforma-
looks out for their welfare, and expresses appreciation tional leadership and occupational safety. Journal of Ap-
and support (see Fleishman, 1995). Bass (1999) argued plied Psychology, 87, 488 ± 496.
that these two ideas are conceptually distinct, but such a Barling, J., Weber, T. & Kelloway, E. K. (1996). Effects of trans-
distinction is a fine one. Thus, there is a need for future formational leadership training on attitudinal and financial
research to compare and contrast transformational and outcomes: A field experiment. Journal of Applied Psychol-
ogy, 81, 827 ± 832.
transactional leadership with the Ohio State leadership Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond ex-
dimensions. pectations. New York: Free Press.
Bass, B. M. (1990). From transactional to transformational
leadership: Learning to share the vision. Organizational
Dynamics, 18, 19 ± 31.
Conclusion Bass, B. M. (1997). Does the transactional/transformational
leadership transcend organizational and national bounda-
ries? American Psychologist, 52, 130 ± 139.
ªOne of the most universal cravings of our time is a hunger Bass, B. M. (1999). Two decades of research and development
for compelling and creative leadershipº, wrote James in transformational leadership. European Journal of Work
MacGregor Burns in his 1978 Pulitzer Prize-winning and Organizational Psychology, 8, 9 ± 32.
book on leadership (p. 1). Accordingly, scholars and re- Bass, B. M. & Avolio, B. J. (1990). Manual for the Multifactor
searchers have long been fascinated with leadership con- Leadership Questionnaire. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psy-
structs and continue to study effects and antecedents of the chologists Press.
Bass, B. M. & Avolio, B. J. (1994). Transformational leadership
phenomenon decades after its original inception in the lit-
and organizational culture. International Journal of Public
erature. In this review, we sought to provide an overview of Administration, 17, 541 ± 555.
current knowledge about charismatic and transformation- Bass, B. M., Avolio, B. J., Jung, D. I. & Berson, Y. (2003). Pre-
al leadership and to suggest an agenda for future research. dicting unit performance by assessing transformational and
Sufficient laboratory and field evidence convinces us of transactional leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology,
the validity of charismatic and transformational leader- 88, 207 ± 218.
Baum, J. R., Locke, E. & Kirkpatrick, S. (1998). A longitudinal
ship across many different settings. However, there is still
study of the relation of vision and vision communication to
a need for scholars to elucidate upon some of the puzzles venture growth in entrepreneurial firms. Journal of Applied
that remain in this literature. Carrying out some of our rec- Psychology, 83, 43 ± 54.
ommendations for future research may require more rig- Beyer, J. M. (1999). Taming and promoting charisma to change
orous research designs and the challenging of some gener- organizations. Leadership Quarterly, 10, 307 ± 330.
ally-accepted pieces of wisdom in the field. Yet, we be- Bommer, W. H., Rich, G. A. & Rubin, R. S. (2005). Changing
lieve that more thorough investigation of transformational attitudes about change: Longitudinal effects of transforma-
tional leader behavior on employee cynicism about organi-
leadership along these lines is critical to our gaining a zational change. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26,
thorough understanding of leadership in general. 733 ± 753.
Bommer, W. H., Rubin, R. S. & Baldwin, T. T. (2004). Setting
the stage for effective leadership: Antecedents of transfor-
mational leadership behavior. Leadership Quarterly, 15,
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