The Handbook of Research on Top Management Teams
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The Handbook of Research on Top Management Teams

Edited by Mason A. Carpenter

This Handbook presents original research and theory on executives, top management teams, and boards of directors and illustrates the vital importance of this field of study.
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Chapter 5: Charismatic Leadership, Social Networks, and Goal Setting Among US and Chinese Executives

Alexander D. Stajkovic, Mason A. Carpenter and Scott D. Graffin


Alexander D. Stajkovic, Mason A. Carpenter, and Scott D. Graffin We integrate three widely studied theories, from three management disciplines, which have not seen such integration in the literature. We integrate theories of charismatic leadership (leadership field), social networks (strategy), and goal setting (organizational behavior) to propose that: (1) charismatic leaders tend to attract more followers; (2) as a result, they will be able to form more extensive social networks; (3) those leaders with more extensive social networks will exhibit higher career aspiration operationalized through the setting of challenging career goals; (4) charismatic leadership would not directly lead to setting of more challenging goals without the aid (mediation) of one’s social network, and (5) these relationships may vary across national cultures. Using cross-cultural samples of executives from the US and China, we find a positive relationship between a leader’s charisma and the size of his/her social network, which then positively relates to that leader’s setting of challenging career goals (see Figure 5.1). These new insights (further elaborated below) would not have been possible without the theory integration process. That is, while social network theory frequently makes an economics-based argument that networks are formed mostly because people want to gain some material/financial benefit from it, no arguments are made that networks may be formed also because people are psychologically attracted to the charismatic leadership. Also, there is no linking in the present literature of social networks potentially being Cultural context Cultural context Charismatic leadership behavior Social network extensiveness Career goals Part...

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