Two experiments tested hypotheses, derived from social identity and self-categorization theories, regarding the attribution of charisma to leaders. In Experiment 1 (N=203), in-group prototypical leaders were attributed greater levels of charisma and were perceived to be more persuasive than in-group non-prototypical leaders. In Experiment 2 (N=220), leaders described with in-group stereotypical characteristics were attributed relatively high levels of charisma regardless of their group-oriented versus exchange rhetoric. Leaders described with out-group stereotypical characteristics, however, had to employ group-oriented rhetoric to be attributed relatively high levels of charisma. We conclude that leadership emerges from being representative of `us'; charisma may, indeed, be a special gift, but it is one bestowed on group members by group members for being representative of, rather than distinct from, the group itself.,
ERIM Article Series (EAS)
British Journal of Social Psychology
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Platow, M., van Knippenberg, D., Haslam, A., van Knippenberg, B., & Spears, R. (2006). A special gift we bestow on you for being representative of us: Considering leader charisma from a self-categorization perspective. British Journal of Social Psychology (Vol. 45, pp. 303–320). doi:10.1348/014466605X41986