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«J Bus Econ (2015) 85:793–815 DOI 10.1007/s11573-014-0753-1 ORIGINAL PAPER New insights on CEO charisma attribution in companies of different sizes ...»

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We also acknowledge that company size and ownership structure might be only one of numerous potential contextual factors that might affect the prior company performance–charisma attribution relationship. For example, especially in smaller companies where the relationship was not significant, the leader-member exchange (LMX) (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995) relationship might play an important role and should be researched in more detail in future studies. Having good personal relationships with employees might be a core prerequisite for CEO charisma attribution, in particular in smaller companies. Thus, in line with our arguments from Hypothesis 2 on the higher importance of personal interaction for CEO charisma attribution in small rather than large firms, we propose a three-way interaction of prior company performance, company size, and LMX on CEO charisma attribution, with a positive slope for the relationship only if CEOs in smaller companies focus on both prior company performance and good LMX relationships with subordinates.

In sum, our study increases the understanding of charismatic leadership, particularly in the context of companies of different sizes and ownership structure, and further illuminates past research concerning causal relationships between charismatic leadership and company performance. The study provides perspectives for fruitful future research that will contribute to a more widespread understanding of the dynamics of charismatic leadership.


The successful test condition of the quarterly report reads as follows:

‘‘The company’s revenue in the first quarter of 2008 increased by 29 % to €

15.48 million. In the first quarter of 2007, revenue were still at € 12 million.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITA) rose to €

2.59 million. In the first quarter of 2007 a loss of € 620,000 still had to be recorded.

These results exceeded our goals by far.’’

The non-successful test condition of the quarterly report reads as follows:

‘‘The company had a revenue decline in the first quarter of 2008 by 29 % to €

8.52 million. In the first quarter of 2007, revenue were still at € 12 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITA) decreased in the first quarter of 2008 to a loss of € 620,000. In the first quarter of 2007 a profit of € 2.59 million could still be recorded.

These results failed our goals by far.’’

–  –  –

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