How is charisma routinized? A new look at an old question



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


Leadership theorists Conger and Kanungo (1998, p. 28) wrote, “We know almost nothing about the routinization of charismatic leadership.” This dissertation addresses the question, “How is charismatic leadership routinized in organizations?” The research required finding an intersection of multiple literatures: (1) from Organizational Behavior, leadership, especially charismatic leadership; (2) from Organizational Theory, institutional theory, especially how institutional theory can account for organizational change; and (3) from Methods, system dynamics, especially how system dynamics can be used to assess sociological theory. Drawing on the work of Weber (1947), Trice and Beyer (1986) specified five essential elements of charisma and developed a theory of “the routinization of charisma”, which also consisted of five elements. Beyer and Browning (1999) later provided a case study of the SEMATECH organization to demonstrate how the routinization of charisma took place in that organization. This dissertation makes use Vensim® computer software to simulate and assess Trice and Beyer’s theory of charismatic leadership using a system dynamics model and using Beyer and Browning’s case study as a source of data. It demonstrates to what degree each of the five elements of charisma must be present for charisma to emerge and how the five elements interact. Likewise it demonstrates to what degree each of the five elements of routinization must be present for charisma to become institutionalized and how these elements interact.