Charismatic Leadership, Citizenship Behaviors, and Power Distance Orientation: Comparing Brazilian and U.S. Workers

  • Cavazotte F
  • Hartman N
  • Bahiense E
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This article examines the connection between leadership and citizenship behaviors in a comparative study of Brazilian and U.S. employees. The influence of country and power distance orientation on the relationship between perceived charismatic leadership and follower organizational citizenship behaviors is analyzed statistically, while controlling for demographic factors. Given the ambivalent frameworks and findings in the literature, we also proposed and tested a quadratic effect of power distance orientation on citizenship behaviors, and analyzed the adequacy of the model to explain two dimensions of citizenship: altruism and generalized compliance. We found that charismatic leadership was positively associated with citizenship behaviors in the U.S. group, but not in the Brazilian group. Although the groups differed regarding power distance orientations, that cultural factor did not significantly moderate the relationship between charismatic leadership and citizenship behaviors, only country of origin did. However, we confirmed that both very high and low power distance orientation were associated with citizenship behaviors across the samples. While the tested hypotheses were confirmed when altruism was the criteria, the same was not observed regarding generalized compliance. We discuss the implications of these findings for theory, research, and practice.

Author-supplied keywords

  • charismatic leadership
  • organizational citizenship behaviors
  • power distance orientation

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  • Flávia Cavazotte

  • Nathan S. Hartman

  • Erica Bahiense

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