Imagery of Regent people and campus

Dissertation Abstract

Why Charisma Works: A Case Study Exploring the Effects of Charismatic Leadership on the Kenyan East African Pentecostal Churches' Denomination

Aaron Kiura Matti
October 2008

This research study sought to explore why charisma works. The important questions arising from the seminal question were: Why is there spiritual growth within the East Africa Pentecostal Churches' (EAPC) denomination in the Muslim-dominated regions of Kenya, and why is this growth greater than that occurring in other Kenyan denominations? This leads to further enquiries concerning how embedded charismatic leadership practices within the EAPC denomination might be. Specific questions include: What forces may have led to the establishment and practice of charisma among EAPC leaders? What are the effects of charismatic leadership on EAPC leadership practices? What characteristics of charismatic leadership are most or least attractive to EAPC followers? A review of precedent literature on contextual Kenyan leadership styles was explored based on charismatic leadership, transactional leadership, transformational leadership, and servant leadership styles. A historical literature review of EAPC was conducted that spanned the period of EAPC establishment from 1953 to present. Thirteen research propositions were developed which sought to relate the characteristics of charismatic leadership to the existing EAPC leadership style. The 13 research propositions were supported by the data collected from the respondents who included EAPC leaders and followers. An important recommendation arising from this study is that future studies of Kenyan leadership styles, including studies of transformational, transactional, and servant leadership, should be especially cognizant of leadership practices within Kenyan indigenous churches. Kenyan indigenous churches account for almost 70% of protestant church membership. The leadership styles of these denominations are a good start for research into Kenyan and East African leadership styles.