Charisma Research, Knowledge Growth and Disciplinary Shifts: a Holistic View

Diana Tal, Avishag Gordon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In everyday language, charisma has been used to refer to a broad spectrum of human relations, from romantic love to admiration for certain extraordinary abilities of public figures. Historically, the term has been used to describe “a gift of divine grace,” an attribute of magical magnetism and the power of a religious or secular leader as seen by that person’s followers. Over time, the term became detached from its religious origin although the importance of this source is still acknowledged in present-day research on the term. The present, structural analysis observes the knowledge growth in charisma research, as well as disciplinary shifts that the term charisma has undergone over time. The results of the analyses show that the focus of charisma studies has shifted from the emotional (religious) to the socio-political arena and from there to the management domain. As the amount of knowledge on charisma grew, research on this subject evolved into a mixture of emotional (psychology) and rational (business and management) research issues. In the new millennium, though, charisma studies have been characterized mostly by the management/business domain. It is evident from this study that although charisma is a contextual phenomenon, it still permits multidisciplinary treatment. In addition to bibliometric data on the current state of research on the subject, several indicators of future research directions and interest are presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)351-359
    Number of pages9
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 24 Aug 2015

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


    • Charisma
    • Disciplinary shift
    • Knowledge growth
    • Leadership theories

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Social Sciences (all)


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