Suppressing the minority
In Ethics, The Heart of Leadership, Michael Keeley argues against transformational leadership. He believes that the only to prevent harm done to the minorities by the majorities is “to keep majorities from uniting around a common interest – the reverse of what transformational leaders are supposed to do” (Ethics, 124). In general, I agree with Keeley. He attributes this idea to James Madison, although other scholars have disagreed about Madison’s true options. I will not enter the dispute about Madison’s ideas and opinions; that would be an exercise in history. Rather, I will discuss the content of the argument: whether transformational leadership harms minorities. Other issues, such as the effectiveness of transformational leadership and other ethical implications of the leadership types are beyond the scope of this paper and will not be discussed.
To clearly present the issue, I will first define the two types of leadership. The definition of transactional leadership is quite intuitive. This type describes the interaction between leader and follower as a transaction. This is akin to the factor market studied in economics; a follower agrees to serve the leader in return for some sort of incentive. This could be a wage if it is in business, or perhaps just a feeling of accomplishment in a volunteer situation. Transformational leadership, which has been researched for the last 25 years, runs much deeper than the previous type. With transformational leadership, “the object is to turn individuals’ attention toward larger causes … thereby converting self-interest into collective concerns. The distinguishing feature of transforming leadership is a common goal” (Ethics, 113). For the concerns of this discussion, we will consider transformational and transforming leadership to be identical.
There is disagreement among scholars about what should be considered transformational leadership....
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