This essay will analyze the topic of transformational leadership. The development of the transformational leadership theory will be illustrated in the beginning. Then, it will put emphasis on what kinds of behaviors good transformational leaders should have, and how they motivate their followers. At last, it is worth talking about the issue that why might someone resist following a transformational leader. This essay will demonstrate and clarify the discussion of transformational leadership by using relevant academic literature which containing reliable theories and convincing data, presenting empirical research and examples. The definition of transformational leadership in this essay is provided by Tracey and Hinkin (1998, pp 220-236). They have defined that the transformational leadership is a process that motivates people by appealing to higher ideas and moral values, defining and articulating a vision of the future, and forming a base of credibility.
First, the attention will be paid on the development of the transformational leadership theory. Since so many researchers and writers have made effort on researching it, TFL (transformational leadership) theory has been the most influential leadership theory of the last two decades (Beng-Chong & Ployhart, 2004). Burns (1978) has concluded the definition of transformational leadership by drawing a distinction between transformational and transactional leadership styles. After analyzing, he hold the opinion that the former style can be presented as a leader of innovation, conversely, the later can be understood as a manager of planning and policy. Wang and Howell (2010) have also come to a concept of transformational leadership by summarizing two different points of view. The original viewpoint shows that the transformational leadership is only influenced on individual-level behaviors, nevertheless, the later opinion presents that it also affected on group-level behaviors. Frank and Jane believed that transformational leadership has dual-level effects on followers. In addition, some hypothesis of the research in TFL also let many researchers spend much time to prove, like ‘transformational leadership positively influences team performance through the mediating effect of team potency’, or ‘The positive direct effect of transformational leadership on team potency is moderated by team power distance.’ (Schaubroeck, S. K. Lam & E. Cha, 2007). These hypotheses means that the team performance, team potency and transformational leadership have close relationship. After discussing the development of the concept in transformational leadership styles, the most important characteristics in transformational leadership styles and how the leaders use them to motivate their followers will be described in next section.
What kinds of behavior a good transformational leader must have? The answer can be understood in the internal, external, and relational contexts of leaders’ behaviors. Firstly, the internal context of the leader’s behavior is the foundation for the whole transformational leadership (Trucker & Russell, 2004). Before the leaders want to motivate their followers, they must improve their own characteristics, like self-confidence, inner integrity, honesty and personal values. These internal behaviors can let them obtain effective performance in work. It is critical for the transformational leader to connect their life experiences with transformational behaviors, because it can improve them working effectively. Moreover, the external context of leaders’ behavior is also vital. It means that a transformational leader have experienced more things and realized more truth in his or her personal life, he or she is more likely to use the right decisions to transform the whole organization. Last but not least, the relational behaviors of leaders cannot be ignored. The behaviors of a leader can motivate and change their followers, due to the reason that leaders always have...
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