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The issue of what determines effective leadership and the generalized need for more effective leaders has arguably never been more crucial. The financial services sector in the United States has come under increasing scrutiny as a result of the financial meltdown in 2008. In the wake of the upheaval in the financial services industry over the past few years, the issue of what characterizes both effective transformational and/or charismatic leadership in that industry becomes paramount. The research study incorporated a causal-comparative design to examine how leaders in financial services use hope and fear to lead their organizations. The study included a quantitative survey designed to measure leadership behaviors as perceived by their followers for charismatic and transformational leadership as well as followers’ self-reported assessments of their own hopefulness and fearfulness. The researcher theorized that employees who work for transformational leaders will display heightened hope and lowered fear, and that employees who work for charismatic leaders exhibit heightened levels of both fear and hope. Charismatic and transformational leadership proved to be very strongly correlated with higher levels of hopefulness, albeit transformational leadership slightly more so. Correlation analysis, however, revealed little relationship between levels of workplace fear and the level of transformational or charismatic leadership observed. Regression analyses confirmed these findings. An indication of negative correlation between hope and fear could serve as a starting point for further empirical research into the relationship between these two and how it may affect leadership.


Submitted to the Faculty of Argosy University, Online College of Business In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education

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