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Leadership continues to play an important role in team effectiveness [Burke, C.S., Stagl, K.C., Klein, C., Goodwin, G.F., Salas, E., & Halpin, S.M. (2006). What type of leadership behaviors is functional in teams? A meta-analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(3), 288–307.]. A special type of team, television show production, utilizes an intact team of highly specialized and creative members. Charismatic leadership theory provides a useful lens from which to study how television directors facilitate the team's work and creativity. In this study we used two types of qualitative software to analyze interview transcripts from 21 television directors. Semi-structured interview protocol resulted in transcripts coded for the six factors of charismatic leadership [Conger, J.A., & Kanungo, R.N. (1988). Behavioral dimensions of charismatic leadership. In. J.A. Conger and R.N. Kanungo (Eds.), Charismatic Leadership (pp. 78–97). San Francisco: Jossey Bass Inc.], and aspects of leader distance [Antonakis, J., & Atwater, L. (2002). Leader distance: A review and a proposed theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 13, 673–704.; Shamir, B. (1995). Social distance and charisma: Theoretical notes and an exploratory study. The Leadership Quarterly, 6, 19–47.], shared leadership [Pearce, C.L., & Conger, J.A. (Eds.) (2003). Shared leadership: Reframing the hows and whys of leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.], and leadership self-schema [Gardner, W.L. & Avolio, B.J. (1998). The charismatic relationship: A dramaturgical perspective. Academy of Management Review, 23(1), 32–58.; Murphy, S.E. (2001). Leader self-regulation: The role of self-efficacy and “multiple intelligences”. In R. Riggio, S. Murphy, & F. Pirozzolo, (Eds.) Multiple intelligences and leadership, (pp. 163–186). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.; Wofford, J.C., & Goodwin, V.L. (1994). A cognitive interpretation of transactional and transformational leadership theories. Leadership Quarterly, 5, 161–186.]. In addition, a computerized content analysis program DICTION was used to identify factors of charismatic speech content such as optimism and reference to collectives following the protocol used by Bligh, Kohles, & Meindl [Bligh, M.C., Kohles, J.C., Meindl, J.R. (2004b). Charisma under crisis: Presidential leadership, rhetoric, and media responses before and after the September 11th terrorist attacks. The Leadership Quarterly, 15, 211–239.]. Results of the present study revealed that charismatic leadership can be important in explaining the leadership role of television directors in teams. Directors showed vision, sensitivity to member's needs, and other charismatic behaviors. Moreover, some charismatic leader behavior differed by leader distance from followers. Leadership self-schema appeared to be an important prerequisite for shared leadership.

Recommended Citation

Murphy, Susan & Ensher, Ellen. (2008). A Qualitative Analysis of Charismatic Leadership in Creative Teams: The Case of Television Directors. Leadership Quarterly. 19. 335-352.