Pathways to Outstanding Leadership

A Comparative Analysis of Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders

By Michael D. Mumford

© 2006 – Psychology Press

312 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780805851113
pub: 2006-03-22
US Dollars$63.95
Hardback: 9780805851106
pub: 2006-03-27
US Dollars$150.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

The intent of this book is to provide a comprehensive comparison of charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic leadership. One hundred twenty leaders from government, military, business, religion, and politics are examined with respect to key leadership behaviors, including problem solving, leader–follower interactions, communications, politics, and integrity. Additionally, the implications of these paths for development and performance are examined. Most prior books on outstanding leadership have focused exclusively on vision-based leadership and have not focused on historically notable leaders and incidents of truly outstanding leadership. Case material from relevant biographies illustrate in concrete form the conclusions flowing from the various quantitative analyses. This is an important book for university and organizational courses on leadership.


"…the findings reported in this book will help identify the best institution-leader match on the basis of a clear understanding of the availability of three leader types - charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic - and the organizational and environmental conditions in which each type of leader thrives."


"Providing stimulating information, this book will appeal to those interested in leadership development in general and those interested in the particular institutions studied. An appendix lists the biographies used in the content analysis. Recommended."


“The volume is extremely thorough. The authors present reasons to study ‘outstanding leadership’ and suggest a number of reasons why traditional leadership research has shied away from studying extreme cases of historical leadership. This apparent gap in the literature is one in which the current volume stands to make a measurable contribution in addressing. The book fills an important niche and is likely to generate quite a bit of interest from the leadership research community.”

Michelle C. Bligh

School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Claremont Graduate University

“Mumford's book contributes significantly to the literature by articulating in fine conceptual manner the distinctions among different forms of outstanding leadership and providing a framework for thinking about and researching these different pathways.”

Stephen Zaccaro

Department of Psychology, George Mason University

Table of Contents

Contents: E.A. Fleishman, J.N. Cleveland, Series Foreword. Preface. Part I: Examining Distinct Pathways to Outstanding Leadership. M.D. Mumford, J.M. Strange, K.E. Bedell, Introduction-Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders: Are They Really Different? M.D. Mumford, G. Scott, S.T. Hunter, Theory-Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders: How Do They Lead, Why Do They Lead, and Who Do They Lead? M.D. Mumford, B. Gaddis, J.M. Strange, G. Scott, General Method-What History Remembers and Predicts for Outstanding Leaders. Part II: Behaviorally Distinct Pathways to Outstanding Leadership. M.D. Mumford, J.M. Strange, B. Gaddis, B. Licuanan, G. Scott, Performance-Who Masters the Art of Influence? Charismatic, Ideological, or Pragmatic Leaders? M.D. Mumford, K.E. Bedell, S.T. Hunter, J. Espejo, P.R. Boatman, Problem Solving-Turning Crises Into Opportunities: How Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders Solve Problems. M.D. Mumford, J.M. Strange, G. Scott, L. Dailey, C. Blair, Leader-Follower Interactions-Heroes, Leaders, and Tyrants: How Do They Relate? M.D. Mumford, B. Gaddis, B. Licuanan, B. Ersland, K. Siekel, Communication Strategies-Persuasion or Logic: How Do Outstanding Leaders Connect With Their Followers? M.D. Mumford, B. Licuanan, R.T. Marcy, L. Dailey, C. Blair, Political Tactics-Getting Ahead: How Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders Use Influence Tactics. Part III: Early Distinct Pathways to Outstanding Leadership. M.D. Mumford, G. Scott, R.T. Marcy, M.J. Tutt, J. Espejo, Development-What Early Life Experiences Prepare You for Outstanding Leadership? M.D. Mumford, K.E. Bedell, G. Scott, Developmental Influences-What Kind of Leader Are You Destined to Be? M.D. Mumford, J.M. Strange, S.T. Hunter, Conclusions-Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders: Different Paths to Outstanding Performance. Appendix.

About the Series

Applied Psychology Series

The objective of the Applied Psychology Series is to offer publications that emphasize state-of-the-art research and its application to important issues of human behavior in a variety of societal settings.

The objective is to bridge both academic and applied interests. To date, more than 45 books in various fields of applied psychology have been published in this series.

If you are interested in joining this prestigious list of authors, please contact Jeanette Cleveland (, Kevin Murphy (, or Lauren Verity (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Industrial & Organizational Psychology