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Transformational Leadership Essay

3012 words - 13 pages

What is Transformational Leadership? Is there a relationship between transformational leadership and emotional intelligence?

For more than three decades, the paradigm of transformational leadership has attracted a vast amount of academic interest. A large number of empirical studies lend credibility to this interest by linking aspects of transformational leadership to a range of positive organisational and individual outcomes (Bass, 1997; Bass & Avolio, 1994; Lowe, Kroeck & Sivasubramaniam, 1996). Due to these desirable effects, a significant amount of research has also been undertaken in trying to understand factors that predict or contribute to transformational leadership ...view middle of the document...

Unlike Burns who viewed transactional and transformational leadership as two distinct and mutually exclusive leadership styles, Bass and Avolio (1994) proposed that despite their distinguishing features, transformational leadership did not substitute for transactional leadership, but expanded it. They claimed that transformational leaders will do more than emphasize the transactions that take place amongst leaders, followers and colleagues and will motivate individuals to do more than they originally intended or thought possible.
It has since been recognised that the three leadership styles described by Bass (1985) reflect the full range of leadership styles (Leban & Zulauf 2004). Of the three leadership styles, transformational leadership is purported to lead to higher levels of organisational effectiveness and satisfaction than the alternate styles (Bass 1998 cited in Sivanathan & Fekken, 2002; Batool, 2013; Lam & O’Higgins, 2012).
On a broad level, transactional leaders can be said to work within the framework of the self-interest of his or her constituents, whereas transformational leaders work towards changing the framework (Bass & Bass, 2008). If we determine that transactional leadership can be placed at the beginning of a continuum and transformational leadership at the end of the same continuum (Bass & Avolio, 1994) then we see a significant move away from the notion of leadership that occurs between leaders and followers in getting the job done and achieving goals (Warwick, 2011) towards a more profound approach to leadership. According to Burns (1978), beyond recognising and exploiting an existing need or demand of a follower, the transforming leader seeks to satisfy their higher needs and engage the full person of the follower.
Bass and Avolio (1994) describe what have since become widely accepted as the four components of transformational Leadership; idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Bass and Riggio (2006) believe that the four factors are a good representation of the transformational leader and although the components are interrelated, they are conceptually distinct from one another and should be assessed separately (Bass, 1997).
Idealized influence describes leaders who are role models. They display conviction, emphasise trust and the importance of values, address difficult issues; demonstrate commitment, and highlight ethical consequences of decisions (Bass, 1997). Transformational leaders who behave in ways that motivate and inspire those around them, arouse team spirit and enthusiasm and create a willingness in followers to work towards a positive and clearly communicated future state are those who display inspirational motivation (Bass & Avolio, 1994). Together these two factors; idealised influence and inspirational motivation form the combined single factor “charismatic-inspirational leadership” (Bass & Riggio, 2006).
The third component of...

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