Effects of charismatic leadership and rewards on individual performance

Nicoleta Meslec*, Petru L. Curseu, Oana C. Fodor, Renata Kenda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We report two replication attempts for the positive main effects of charismatic leadership and performance-based rewards on individual performance from a field experiment in a charitable context (Antonakis, d'Adda, Weber, and Zehnder, 2015). Using video based treatments - instead of the live treatments in the original study - we only replicate the effect of performance-based rewards in a sample of 118 participants; we do not find an effect of charisma on performance. In a second study, we address the reasons that could explain the unsuccessful replication of the charisma effect by: (a) using a larger sample (n = 274) and (b) ensuring the experimental task context to have ingroup - cultural and hence value - fit between the workers and the beneficiaries of a charity. In the second study we fully replicate the positive effects of charisma as well as performance-based rewards on individual performance. In extending the original work we tested and found no interaction between economic incentives and charisma. Furthermore, using the manipulations as experimentally randomized instrumental variables (ERIVs, see Sajons, 2020), we find that the effect of charisma on individual performance is channelled through the vision dimension of leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101423
Number of pages12
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Charismatic leadership
  • Conceptual replication study
  • Individual performance
  • Performance-based rewards


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