Alternative forms of charismatic leadership in the integration of mergers and acquisitions

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70 Scopus citations


It is becoming increasingly clear that post-merger and acquisition (M&A) performance, especially in terms of achieving the integration of merging firms, is strongly affected by organizational factors, such as leadership. This paper presents a theoretical model showing how alternative forms of charismatic leadership can be relevant to the implementation of M&As. A unique aspect of our conceptualization is that we recognize the distinction between charismatic leaders with more of a personalized versus socialized power motive, the behaviors emanating from each respective type, and likelihood of resulting effects on the post-combination organization of an M&A. We also propose that personalized charisma will result in an absorption strategy and accompanying stress, resistance to change, and turnover that vary in degree between acquiring and acquired firms. Conversely, socialized charisma will result in collaborative vision-formation and decision-making processes that will ultimately achieve transformation in both of the combining firms. We further argue that absorption strategies can result in effective integration of the target firm into the acquiring firm when the pre-merger condition of the former is unfavorable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-142
Number of pages13
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Charismatic leadership
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Strategic management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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