Transformational Leadership

Topics: Leadership, Management, Servant leadership Pages: 10 (2802 words) Published: December 15, 2010
Organizational Structure: Transformational Leader’s Effectiveness


Many studies have been conducted on various leadership types and their effectiveness. James MacGregor Burns first introduced the transformation leadership concept in 1970. Other scholars have also published similar studies. Bernard Bass’s theory examines how leaders affect their followers and literally transform them.

Three research studies were examined on transformational leadership, and its effectiveness. The first study proved employees pay close attention to whether leaders practice procedural justice (Leventhal, 1980; Thibaut & Walker, 1975). The second study proved effective transformational leadership has a direct effect on the successful implementation of quality management in administrative service. The third study proved effectiveness of leadership is situational determined. Introduction

Leaders today encourage followers to step out of their comfort zones, and take risks. Today’s innovation and global competition makes the status quo way of operation an endangered species. Leaders must possess the ability to persuade their followers to step out of their comfort zones, and take a leap of faith. They must be willing to follow their leaders into the unknown. This is accomplished by building trust, and making oneself vulnerable without knowing the outcome or how it will affect ones job. Leaders must have the skills, and ability to change, learn, adapt quickly, and positively as innovation dictates.

There are four dimensions of authentic transformational leadership. They are charisma influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (Bass, 1985; Bass & Avolio, 1993). Transformational leader’s personal values are an unshakable force from within that drives them. Their charisma is thought to be the most important aspect of transformational leadership qualities. These perceived values strengthen their ability to unite followers, and transform their beliefs to line up with their own (Bass, 1990; Burns, 1978; Deluga, 1988).

Followers identify and aspire to be like these leaders. This luxury gives leaders the influence needed to set high standards for all to achieve. Transformational leaders provide vision and mission to others which instill organizational pride. Their expertise of the organizations tasks, earns them respect among their followers. It is their inspirational motivation that challenged followers to achieve the organizations goals.

The leader’s intellectual stimulation complements their charisma. It is hear that high expectations and purpose are communicated in simplicity in an effort to generate creative solutions to problems. This platform allows their followers to question assumptions. They use, rationality, and logic to identify old problems. These problems are then examined from a different perspective to generate innovative ideas for improvement.

A transformational leader’s individualized consideration is where employees are viewed as individuals. It is here they increase their employee’s awareness of the importance of their job. They coach them on achieving a better performance. Leaders also motivate their employees to work for the good of the organization instead of exclusively for their own personal gain. They then make employees aware of their individual needs for personal growth. They identify areas to target for development needed to obtain their own personal goals within the organization (Bass, 1985).

In the wake of many business scandals there has been an out cry for the need of good leadership, with high morals. Authentic transformational leadership is characterized by its high morals and ethical standards in each of the four dimensions previously detailed. Followers engage in collectively pursuit of these leaders in ethical moral actions. Transformational leader literature has been linked to the long-standing literature on virtue, the moral character...

References: Janet V Denhardt, Kelly B Campbell. (2006). The Role of Democratic Values in Transformational Leadership. Administration & Society, 38(5), 556-572.  Retrieved November 2, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1146424371).
Bernard M. Bass, Paul Steidlmeier (1998). Ethics and Authentic Transformational Leadership Retrieved November 2, 2008
Edward Aronson, (2001) Integrating leadership styles and ethical perspectives. Retrieved November 7, 2008,
Jerry C. Wofford, Lee J. Whittington, and Vicki L. Goodwin (2001). Follower Motive Patterns as Situational Moderators for Transformational Leadership Effectiveness Journal of Managerial Issue. Retrieved November 9, 2008 from
De Cremer, D. Tilburg University, and Tilburg the Netherlands (retrieved Nov. 16, 2008) when authorities influence followers’ affect: The Interactive effect of procedural justice and Transformational leadership
Hirtz, P, D. University of Missouri-Rolla, Murray, S. L. University of Missouri-Rolla, Riordan, C. A. Central Michigan University, (Retrieved Nov. 16, 2008) The Effects of Leadership on Quality
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