Case Study

Topics: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis, Governor of California Pages: 1 (302 words) Published: December 10, 2010
Arnold Schwarzenegger

This case focuses on the rise of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the governor’s seat of California and integrates a variety of topics such as goal setting, leadership, power and influence, and personality. After presenting a brief background on Schwarzenegger, the case proceeds to describe the actions that Schwarzenegger took to become governor. The case offers students an opportunity to observe how setting difficult goals for oneself and being committed to those goals results in success and performance. A clear example of Schwarzenegger’s commitment to his goals can be found in the quote, “there is no one, and when I say no one, I mean no one, who will back me off my vision. I will go over burning coals for that.” Additionally, there are instances throughout the case where Schwarzenegger’s high self-efficacy is apparent. For example, Schwarzenegger states that “I know it from my bodybuilding – that I can see my goals very clearly…It takes the confidence to ignore critics and naysayers.”

Leadership, particularly charismatic leadership, is illustrated throughout the case. Schwarzenegger’s prime-time speech at the Republican convention, coupled with descriptions of his “comedic style” and his fame as an actor, all exemplify how charismatic leadership can be effective. Charismatic leadership (and more broadly, transformational leadership) is especially relevant in this case, as the recall election of Gray Davis can be described as a “crisis” – and charismatic leadership is especially effective in such times. A discussion of charismatic leadership can also lead into trait and implicit theories of leadership, with emphasis placed on Schwarzenegger’s physical size and attractiveness, his extraverted personality, and intelligence. Finally, the case illustrates how Schwarzenegger uses various types of power (e.g. legitimate power, referent power) and influence tactics (e.g., coalitions), and political behavior to influence decision-makers....
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