Astro Airlines

1087 words 5 pages
Deregulation of the airlines in 1978 forced the industry to rethink their business strategy in order to be successful during a period of widespread operating losses due to an economic recession, striking air traffic controllers and brutal price wars. The poster child for innovation during this period was Astro Airlines founded in 1980 by its charismatic leader, Arthur Burton. Enthusiasm, excitement and optimism were watch words used to describe the atmosphere at Astro Airlines in the initial years. This case analysis will discuss;
Burton’s leadership behavior;
Burton as a charismatic leader, and;
Dysfunctional aspects of Burton’s charismatic leadership style.
Central to this this case analysis is Astro’s inability to sustain itself
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If you define Burton’s leadership style by the Attribution Theory of Charismatic Leadership (Conger & Kanugo 1987)and its associated behaviors of Novel and Appealing Vision, Emotional Appeals to Values, Unconventional Behavior, Self-Sacrifices and Confidence and Optimism it’s clear that to some extent each of these can be applied to Burton. The Self Concept Theory of Charismatic Leadership developed by House in 1977 “proposed a theory to explain charismatic leadership as a set of testable propositions involving observable processes rather than folklore and mystique.”. In order to incorporate more aspects of human motivation and a more detailed description of the underlying influences processes, Shamir et al. revised and extended the theory in 1993. Central to the SCT is the notion that leader’s beliefs are correct, followers willingly obey the leader, followers feel affection toward the leader, they’re emotionally involved in the mission of the group or organization, they have high performance goals and they believe they can contribute to the success of the mission. Shamir et al’s theory differs from Kanugo in that while it recognizes attribution, SCT does not consider attribution as a necessary condition for charismatic leadership.
Finally, in Part II we see where Burton’s