An Analysis of the Leadership in “Gladiator”

An Analysis of the Leadership in “Gladiator”

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UPPSALA UNIVERSITY Leadership Konstantin Lampou Final Group Assignment 2012- 12-16

An Analysis of the Leadership in “Gladiator”
From a Charismatic Leadership Perspective

Group B2 Emma Engqvist Jakob Jorstedt Silvia Khan Johann Bjarni Kolbeinsson Maria Hüneke Johan Ottosson

Summary The main character of the movie ”Gladiator”, Maximus, shows clear charismatic leadership behaviours, both in his role as Roman general and later as that of a gladiator. This essay analyses Maximus leadership style using House et al´s (1993) theory of charismatic leadership. The latter suggests that the effects of charismatic leadership behaviour can be described as a process where leadership behaviour affects the self-concept of the follower, which leads to an outcome that represents the behaviour of followers. Our analysis is divided into two parts corresponding to two distinct phases in the film in which Maximus displays different leadership behaviour, first as Roman general and second as a gladiator. Maximus charismatic leadership corresponds well to House et al´s theory. He possesses typical charismatic leader behaviour and acts as a role model for his followers. By this he manages to change the self-concept of both his soldiers and the other gladiators to become more brave and self-confident. The outcome of his charismatic leadership behaviour is that the needs, values, and aspirations of followers change from self-interest to collective interest. Nonetheless several problems can be identified in Maximus charismatic leadership: he is too dominating, he holds a strong power position that can result in abuse, and he becomes less communicative as a gladiator than he was as a general. By being less dominant and interacting more with his followers Maximus could become a better charismatic leader, ultimately reaching both his own as well as collective goals more efficiently. Storyline of “Gladiator” In the movie “Gladiator” we follow Maximus Meridius, a general in the Roman...

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