Developing leaders for a complex world: The emergence and effects of charismatic leadership and organizational unlearning

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Type and Duration

FFF-Förderprojekt, March 2019 until December 2021 (finished)


Institute for Entrepreneurship

Main Research

Growth and Complexity

Field of Research



Effective leadership allows companies to navigate the uncertainties inherent in rapidly changing markets. These challenges are usually met by high adaptability, which relies on a managerial force that initiates necessary organizational changes and guides their employees through them. Many companies either fail to react to changes, or are incapable of successfully making their employees engage with the necessary organizational adaptations. Both are core functions of effective leadership. In fact, recent findings show that effective leaders are deemed in short supply, both in the economy and wider society.
Charismatic leadership is the most effective form of leading, enhancing the performance of a company at all levels, and facilitating organizational change. However, the concrete behaviors and techniques that constitute charismatic leadership are hitherto sparsely researched, and the processes which aid organizational adaptation largely unknown.
Our research develops a solution applicable to training managers in charismatic leadership, thereby facilitating organizational changes through the enhancement of learning processes. Our evidence-based program of training, aimed at organizational leaders in Liechtenstein and the surrounding region, has been developed with high scientific rigor. It trains leaders in employing effective techniques and strategies to effect charismatic leadership in their organizational contexts, as well as training learning processes that stimulate the company's adaptability.
The program will be implemented in, among other, the Master of Business Administration: Technology and Innovation of the University of Liechtenstein. The effectivity of the training is evaluated following scientific standards, by carefully mapping differentiated changes in leadership behavior.
The criteria for success of the project are the development of an effective Leader Development Program for the managers of the region, as well as the identification and processing of the learning mechanisms of organizational change. The results of our research will be employed by the University of Liechtenstein for both education and consulting, as well as being published in leading scientific journals.

Project Results:


Leadership, Charismatic Leadership, Leader / Leadership Development Programs, Leader Development, Leadership Development


  • Forschungsförderungsfonds der Universität Liechtenstein


  • Boemelburg, R., Zimmermann, A., & Palmié, M. (2020). Learning paradox: Antecedents and mechanisms of paradox mindset development. Presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Virtual.