Transformational Leadership in Kenya

Leadership, Transformational leadership, Organizational culture


This paper expounds on Transformational Leadership based on the concepts developed in class ML 510 (August – September 2009). Other than the class concepts, the works of Northouse, 2003; Yukl, 1989; Collins, 2001; Tichy & Ulrich, 1984; Bass & Steidlmeir, 1998, informed the theoretical frameworks for the paper. Theories and concepts informed the basis of whether such leadership factors do or not exist in the Kenyan situation. Not withstanding, it is notable that leadership of NIST is undergoing a similar process as identified in the literature under review.

In their article “The Leadership Challenge – A Call for the Transformational Leader,” Noel M. Tichy and David O. Ulrich seek to define a new brand of leadership consistent with the changing nature of the US Economy and world market. They seek to define the qualities of a transformational leader and delineate the organizational dynamics of change a leader must manage, in terms of structure, culture and the individuals that make up an organization. 20 years after this article, there exists a typical situation at NIST and perhaps many other organizations in Kenya, only that owing to cultural orientations and value prioritization, it is likely that the opposite of the views expressed by the authors are practiced.

Transformational leadership is a process that changes and transforms individuals. It is concerned with emotions, values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals and includes assessing follower’s motives, satisfying their needs, and treating them as full human beings (Northouse, 2003). A transformational leader is defined in terms of how the leader affects followers, who are intended to trust, admire, and respect him/her. Bass, (1990) identified three ways in which leaders transform followers: by increasing their awareness of task importance and value; by getting them to focus first on team or organizational goals rather than their own interests; and by activating their...
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