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Charismatic Entrainment: How Brand Leaders and Consumers Co-Create Charismatic Authority in the Marketplace

Wieser, V., Luedicke, M. K. ORCID: 0000-0003-3032-157X and Hemetsberger, A. (2021). Charismatic Entrainment: How Brand Leaders and Consumers Co-Create Charismatic Authority in the Marketplace. Journal of Consumer Research, doi: 10.1093/jcr/ucab035

Abstract

How do CEOs, entrepreneurs, managers, celebrity bloggers, and other brand leaders acquire charismatic authority in the marketplace? Grounded in a multi-perspective, in-depth case study of the charismatic CEO of an Austrian shoe manufacturer, this article introduces a sociocultural mechanism called charismatic entrainment. Charismatic entrainment involves brand leaders staging charismatic authority by promoting polarized worldviews and taking personal risks to demonstrate their ability to lead social change. It further involves consumer-followers publicly validating and consumer-critics challenging brand leaders’ claims to charismatic authority, encouraging further entrainment via their support, but also their criticism. Brand leaders, consumer-followers, and consumer-critics draw on social media, marketplace sentiments, and brand manifestations as entrainment resources to more effectively endow brand leaders with charismatic authority in the marketplace. The article contributes a market-based, multi-stakeholder—vs. an organizational, leader-centric—theory of charisma co-creation to the literature on charismatic authority. It also adds to theories of iconic branding, risk consumption, and societal morality plays, sensitizing readers to the constructive but also destructive potential of market-based charisma co-creation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Consumer Research (JCR) following peer review. The version of record Wieser, V., Luedicke, M. K. and Hemetsberger, A. (2021). Charismatic Entrainment: How Brand Leaders and Consumers Co-Create Charismatic Authority in the Marketplace. Journal of Consumer Research is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucab035
Publisher Keywords: charismatic authority, brand leadership, human brands, market-level analysis, iconic branding, market moralism, risk consumption
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Departments: Business School > Management
Date available in CRO: 10 Jun 2021 14:17
Date deposited: 10 June 2021
Date of acceptance: 9 May 2021
Date of first online publication: 27 May 2021
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/26281
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 27 May 2022 due to copyright restrictions.

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