The purpose of this paper is to critically analyse the concept of transformational leadership, and to examine why many consider it as being overshadowed by inspirational leadership. In order to do that, the assignment starts with a general idea of Leadership, and differentiating it from Management, as many confuse them as the same thing. An explanation of how authors like Burns and Bass wrote about Transformational Leadership, and pointing out its differences from transactional leadership.
Continuing by defining transformational leadership and analysing its components, as well as a demonstration of how authors like Bass and Yukl contributed to the idea, followed by a critical analysis to the topic. In the second part of the paper, there is a brief explanation of Inspirational Leadership, comparing it with transformational leadership, trying to identify the reasons that many consider inspirational leadership is overshadowing the transformational leadership. The third part follows, outlining conclusions towards future leadership approaches, followed by the Summary. . Defining Leadership Many researchers and writers have explored the area of Leadership throughout the years, but yet there is no one single definition that describes it precisely. Leadership is continuously evolving, and one of the restraints of explaining, as Georgiades states (1998), is that our images of leadership are entirely personal. Therefore, everyone has a different perception of leadership. Crainer points out that there are about 400 definitions related with leadership (Mullins, 2007).
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However, Mullins (2007) defines merely leadership as: the relationship through which one person influences the behavior or actions of other people. Another definition of leadership given by Robbins (sited in Capon) is “the ability to influence a group towards the achievement of goals”, completing that many times leadership is associated with the role of manager. There are loads of definitions, depending of the point of view that it is examined. However, as time changes, definitions of leadership will continuously change, in order to adopt the new trends of the society, and fit itself to it. . 1. Leadership vs Management A large number of people ignores the difference between leadership and management, and assume that either they have the same meaning, or that a manager must necessary be a leader as well. If someone is characterized as a leader, does not necessarily mean that (s)he is a manager, and the other way around. A manager is not necessarily a leader. Although it seems like common sense now, only in 1977 by Zaleznik and one year later (1978) by Burns later it was first argued academically that these concepts were not the one and the same.
Zaleznik pointed out that management and leadership differ in their attitudes toward goals: Managers tend to adopt impersonal, if not passive, attitudes toward goals. Managerial goals arise out of necessities rather than desires and, therefore, are deeply embedded in their organization’s history and culture. Leaders think about goals. They are active instead of reactive, shaping ideas instead of responding to them. Leaders adopt a personal and active attitude toward goals.
The influence a leader exerts in altering moods, in evoking images and expectations, and in establishing specific desires and objectives determines the direction a business takes. The net result of this influence changes the way people think about what is desirable, possible, and necessary (Zaleznik, 1977). While Burns pointed out the difference between managers and leaders as well, but, unlike Zaleznik, he argued that both (managers and leaders) were necessary. He addressed them as transformational leaders, and transactional managers.
Transformational leaders do things that change the organization, while Transactional managers keep the organization going the same direction (Burns,1978) Nonetheless, Burns states that transactional managers and transformational leaders need each other; they complement and supplement each other. 3. Transformational Leadership During the 70’s the continuous development in the business world, increased business competitiveness and therefore the need for the most effective use of human resources (Mullins, 2007). It was Burns in 1978 that first distinguished the two fundamental forms of leadership. Transactional and transformational leadership.
He identified that transactional leadership occurs when one person takes the initiative in making contact with others for the purpose of an exchange of valued things, and transformational leadership occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality. In a more detailed form, Transactional leadership is based on legitimate authority within the bureaucratic structure of the organization. The emphasis is on clarification of goals and objectives, work task and outcomes and organizational rewards and punishments.
Transactional leadership appeals to the self-interest of followers. It is based on a relationship of mutual dependence and an exchange process of: ‘I will give you this, if you do that’. and Transformational leadership is a process of endangering higher levels of motivation and commitment among the followers. The emphasis is on generating a vision for the organization and the leader’s ability to appeal to higher ideas and values of followers, and creating a feeling of justice, loyalty and trust. In the organisational sense, transformational leadership is about transforming the performance or fortunes of the business. Mullins,2007) Although Burns was the one that first spoke about them, it was Bass who has taken the theory to another level. Bass (1985) applied the ideas of Burns in the organizational context, and pointed out a theory of transformational leadership, that argues that the leader transforms and motivate the subordinates by: 1. Generating greater awareness of the importance of the purpose of the organization and task outcomes; 2. Inducing them to transcend their own self interests for the sake of the organization or team; and 3. Activating their higher level-needs. 3. 1.
Components of transformational leadership According to Bass and Avolio (1994) there are four main components (4 I’s) of transformational leadership: ?Idealized influence (or Charisma) ?Inspirational motivation ?Intellectual stimulation ?Individualized consideration Charisma or idealized influence- the leader behaves in admirable ways that cause followers to identify with the leader Inspirational motivation- the leader articulates a vision that is appealing and inspiring to followers Intellectual stimulation- the leader challenges assumptions, takes risks and solicits followers’ ideas
Individualized consideration- the leader attends to each follower’s needs, acts as a mentor or coach to the follower and listens to the follower’s concerns and needs. While Yukl (sited in Mullins,2002) provided a set of guidelines for transformational leadership: ?articulate a clear and appealing vision ?explain how the vision can be attained ?act confident and optimistic ?express confidence in followers ?provide opportunity for early success ?use dramatic symbolic actions to emphasise key values ?lead by example ?empower people to achieve vision.
Mullins implies that authors like Burns and Bass, identified leaders by their actions and the impact those actions have on other people. He also states that successful transformational leaders are usually identified in terms of providing a strong vision and sense of mission, arousing strong emotions in followers, and a sense of identification with the leader. (Mullins,2007) 3. 2. Measurement and development of the transformational leadership within the organization. Bass and Avolio (1990) created a mean in order to measure the effectiveness of the transformational leadership within the organization.
The multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ), which is completed by the subordinates-followers, in order to rate how frequently their leader use each type of behavior. Avolio(1999) identified the full range leadership model (FRL) as a tool for an organization to develop transformational leadership, and pointed out seven leadership styles. (Tables 1. 1 and 1. 2) Table 1. 1 Image taken from Kirkbride P. (2006) Table 1. 2 Image taken from Kirkbride P. (2006) Lowe et al (1996) conducted a study which examined the correlation between transformational and transactional leadership, using the MLQ as a determinant.
The conclusion of the study was that “all hypotheses tested show higher associations between transformational scales and effectiveness than between transactional scales and effectiveness. Credibility intervals generally excluded zero for transformational scales and included zero for transactional scales, suggesting the existence of a positive relationship between transformational leadership and effectiveness across different contexts. Relationships between transactional scales and effectiveness were more ambiguous”.
Yukl (1999) criticized the previous writers as having an “Overemphasis on Dyadic Processes” , and he continues by saying that the major interest is to explain a leader’s direct influence over individual followers, not leader influence on group or organizational processes. After that he sets examples of relevant group-level processes including: (1) how well the work is organized to utilize personnel and resources; (2) how well inter-related group activities are coordinated; (3) the amount of member agreement about objectives and priorities; (4) mutual trust and cooperation among members; 5) the extent of member identification with the group; (6) member confidence in the capacity of the group to attain its objectives; (7) the procurement and efficient use of resources; and (8) external coordination with other parts of the organization and outsiders And he states that it is not explained in detail by the transformational leadership theories, how leaders affect these group processes. 3. 3. Criticism on transformational leadership
There are though a few writers (Yukl, 1999), arguing that transformational leadership can have negative outcomes for the subordinates or the organizations. Stevens (1995) argues that transformational leadership emphasizes its role in increasing task motivation, and performance is biased in favor of stakeholders, at the expense of the follower-employee. Harrison (1987) states that followers can be transformed to such a high degree of involvement in the work that over time they become “burned out” bu the prolonged stress.
Seltzer, Numerof, & Bass (1987) examining the relationship between transformational leadership and subordinate stress, they found that stress was actually reduced, but the possibility of adverse longitudinal effects could not be evaluated with their cross-sectional design. Finally Porter and Bigley (1997) suggested that transformational leadership might have harmful effects for the organization, explaining, that if members of an organization are influenced by different leaders with competing visions, the result will be increased role ambiguity and role conflict.
Leaders who build strong identification with their subunit and its objectives can improve member motivation, but excessive competition may arise among different subunits of the organization. When interunit cooperation is necessary to achieve organizational objectives, the result can be a decline in organizational effectiveness. 4. Transformational vs Inspirational Leadership One of the most important conceptual issues for transformational and charismatic leadership is the extent to which they are similar and compatible.
Some theorists minimize the differences between transformational and charismatic leadership (e. g. , House & Shamir, 1993). It is now common practice in many books and articles to treat the two approaches as equivalent Yukl(1999) While it is difficult to academically distinguish the difference between transformational and inspirational leader, Ader (2002) points out that there are a number of exceptional inspirational leaders throughout the history, referring to Winston Churchill, Alexander, Nelson, Napoleon and Montgomery.
He points out that in order to be a good leader, someone not only has to have good communication skills with his followers, but also must communicate with their inner souls as h characteristically says. It is implied that an effective communicator needs to be a good listener, and raises the need for leaders that do have the ability to hear new ideas. As taken from the lecture notes, a new leader is an inspirational visionary, connected with building a shared sense of purpose and mission, creating a culture in which everyone is aligned with the organisation’s goals and is skilled and empowered to achieve them.
Mullins (2007) states that inspirational leadership is not concerned so much with the theory of leadership, but more with the skills of motivating and inspiring people. Burns (1978) considered charisma as one of the four characteristics, not considering it as a leadership theory by itself. Bass(1985) thought introduced that charisma is a necessary component of transformational leadership, but he noted that a leader can be charismatic without being transformational. In contrast with that, many scholars, including Yukl, consider the possibility that the two types of leadership may be incompatible Yukl (1999).
While transformational leadership is about transforming the subordinates, inspirational is actually about inspiring the followers, and getting the best out of them. It is said that transformational leadership is overshadowed by inspirational leadership, and someone would agree, not only because inspirational leadership is something newer than transformational in the business world (resulting it to be more adopted to the current trends of the society). Adair refers in his text in what a wise leader should do, even in large organizations such as armies or industrial corporations.
He says that the wise leader makes the ‘little wheels’ (i. e. the subordinates-followers) feel important, not just the next level down. That’s what Olivier (2001) advises: motivate smarter not harder. 5. Conclusions As Mullins points out, there is no one best form of leadership for any organization, and Rajan (2002) completes that different leadership styles are needed to cope with different situations, (i. e. there might be a need from the company to adopt an autocratic style when the company is in “trouble”, and a and needs to achieve rapid turnaround etc).
Up until recently, the most popular leadership style, was the transformational, and due to the business world that is experiencing enormous changes that call for visionary and charismatic leadership rose. Theories change, in order to meet the trends of the society. The time that inspirational leadership is the most complete and appropriate theory of leading an organization, has come, and Transformational leadership, although worked well, has some limitations, that are not met with practicing the inspirational leadership. The next step after the new-leader (inspirational-visionary) might as well be the super-leader.
A leader who will be able to develop leadership capacity in others, empowering them, reducing their dependence on formal leaders and stimulating their motivation, commitment and creativity (Lecture Notes). 6. Summary In this paper, the topic of transformational leadership was discussed, starting with a general definition of leadership, then comparing leadership with management and discussing their differences. Moving to the main part of the paper, a critical analysis of transformational leadership, explaining where it came from, and defining its main components (Bass) along some guidelines, appointed by Yukl.
After that, tools like MLQ and FRL are being presented, and closing this part with criticism of transformational leadership. In the second part of the paper, a brief comparison of transformational and inspirational leadership is being conducted, as well as views of why transformational leadership is being overshadowed. Last part of the paper is the conclusion of the assignment, along with suggestions for leadership. 7. References Ader J. (2002) Inspiring Leadership: learning from great leaders, London : Thorogood Avolio, B. J. (1999) Full Leadership Development, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Bass, B. M. and Avolio, B. J. , (1990) Multifactor leadership questionnaire, Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA. Bass, B. M. and Avolio, B. J. ,(1994) Improving Organizational Performance Trough Transformational Leadership, Sage Bass, B. M. (1985) Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations, Free Press Burns, J. M. (1978) Leadership, Harper and Row Capon C. (2004) Understanding Organisational Context inside and outside organizations, Financial Times, Prentice Hall Mullins, Laurie J. , 2007, Management and organisational behavior 8th edition, Financial Times, Prentice Hall
Kirkbride P. (2006), Developing transformational leaders: the full range leadership model in action. Leadership Quarterly yr 2006, vol. 3, iss. 1 pg. 23-32 Rahan, A'(2002) Meaning of Leadership in 2002, Professional Manager Yukl G. (1999) An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories. Leadership Quarterly yr. 1999, vol. 10 iss. 2, pg 285-305 Yukl G. (2006), Leadership in Organisations 6th edition, Prentice Hall Zaleznik A. (1977) Managers and Leaders: Are They Different? , Harvard Business Review (Reprint on) Jan 2004, vol. 82, iss. 1, pg74-81