ERIC Number: ED206540
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Charismatic Leadership: The Historical Development of a Political Concept.
Duttweiler, Robert W.
This paper examines the changing concept of charisma with the aim of distilling some useful meaning that may be applied to current political organizations and leaders. The author begins by exploring the different meanings of charisma and briefly overviewing how it has historically been applied. Charisma is of Greek origin literally meaning a gift, and was originally identified as a gift of grace or a divinely inspired calling to service, office, or leadership. Today the term has entered common usage in a variety of forms and is widely applied to virtually every situation in which a popular public or political personality is involved. There are three ways charisma is normally defined today. First is the Classic Weberian idea of supernatural endowment in which a leader derives his charisma from divine gifts and maintains this power as long as his followers believe in his extraordinary qualities. Second, the term is expanded by Weber and others to refer to the sacred or awe inspiring property of groups, offices, and even objects. Third, charisma is popularly used to refer to the personal qualities or to the political presence of a leader in politics. The author then examines some of the important interpretations of charisma. In particular the interpretations of Max Weber, Carl Friedrich, K.J. Ratnam, Dorothy Willner, Robert Tucker, Arthur Schweitzer, and Bensman and Givant are discussed. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Charisma; Weber (Max)