Impact of situational framing and complexity on charismatic, ideological and pragmatic leaders: Investigation using a computer simulation

Samuel Todd Hunter, Katrina E. Bedell-Avers, Michael D. Mumford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Revisiting the work of Weber [Weber, M. (1921). The theory of social and economic organizations. New York: Free Press], Mumford and colleagues (e.g., [Strange, J. M., & Mumford, M. D. (2002). The origins of vision: Charismatic versus ideological leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 13, 343-377; Mumford, M.D. (2006). Pathways to outstanding leadership: A comparative analysis of charismatic, ideological and pragmatic leaders. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.]) explored the thesis that in addition to charismatic leadership, there exist at least two additional pathways to outstanding leadership: ideological and pragmatic. Despite the compelling results of initial studies, however, questions remain as to when and under what situational conditions these three leaders operate most effectively. As such, an experiment was conducted to investigate two noteworthy contextual influences: 1) situational congruence with a leader's mental model and 2) environmental complexity. The experiment made use of a computerized leadership simulation where participants took on the role of a university chancellor. Results indicate that leader type, complexity, and situational framing were critical factors in determining leader performance on multiple game performance criteria as well as creative process criteria. Implications and avenues for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-404
Number of pages22
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of situational framing and complexity on charismatic, ideological and pragmatic leaders: Investigation using a computer simulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this