A Review Of Transformational Leadership Models


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A Review Of Transformational Leadership Models

  1. 1. A Review of Transformational 1 Running head: A REVIEW OF TRANSFORMATIONAL A Review of Transformational Leadership Models and its linkage to the Scholarship/Practice/Leadership Model Grace S. Thomson University of Phoenix
  2. 2. A Review of Transformational 2 Leadership Theories and the Scholarly/Practice/Leadership Model The success of organizations is the result of a combination of factors: financial, material and technological resources, logistics, and human capital. These factors are put together to achieve the desired goals consistent with the corporate mission. In this context, firms are in constant seeking of the best individuals who will lead and carry out this journey to success. These individuals are expected to have special characteristics that ensure that their actions will turn out into positive results for the organization. These extraordinary individuals are the leaders. This document will present a discussion of four leadership theories, their similarities and differences and their relationship with the Scholarship/Practice/Leadership (SPL) model. The first section of this paper will present the components of the SPL model and the way they interrelate. The second section will explain the characteristics of four selected leadership theories using as focal point the behaviors of leaders and their impact on organizational outcomes. The third section of the document will address how each theory fit within the SPL model. Finally, in the fourth section this work presents a discussion about contemporary leadership issues and challenges that might be addressed using the cited leadership theories. The Scholarship/Practice/Leadership model The Scholarship/Practice/Leadership (SPL) model is a pertinent framework for the discussion of leadership styles and outcomes, as it offers a three-fold perspective that leaders may incorporate in order to be more effective in their organizational performance. At one hand leaders need to have a scholarly view of the issues that organizations face. Having a scholarly view means applying critical thinking when making decisions. Critical thinking is defined as “skillful, responsible thinking that facilitates good judgment” (Lipman, 2002). By using critical thinking, leaders are able to critically analyze theories and methods that
  3. 3. Leadership Theories 3 could be useful to address a problem in their organizations, and beyond that they will have the ability to think about their own thinking process and self-correct it, in order to develop effective criteria for their decisions (Lipman, 2002) On the other hand leaders have to show ability to incorporate these views in a practical way. They then become practitioners who connect the results of their research to their practice, challenging their assumptions and triggering new ideas to change their strategies and actions (Winter, Griffiths & Green, 2000). Scholarly work offers innovative insights and facilitates a clear articulation between research and practice, adding value to the performance of practitioners and leaders (Winter et al., 2000, p.32). The SPL model offers a relevant framework to analyze the impact of leadership theories and their fit to the model. Leadership theories The leadership literature is extensively rich of theories, models and research approaches. Some authors have classified these theories using different criteria. Clawson (2006) for example, identified 26 models and theories within six research approaches: (1) trait approach (2) behavior approach (3) power and influence (4) situational approach (5) charismatic approach, and (6) transformational approach. An expansion of this list is included in Appendix A. This document will address four of these theories and models, comparing them based on characteristics of leadership behavior and leadership outcomes. The theories and models chosen are: House’s Theory of Charismatic Leadership, Bass’s Theory of Transformational Leadership, Bass’s Transactional Leadership Theory, a short reference to the integrative Full-Range Leadership Theory model (FRLT) and Schein’s model of organizational culture and leadership. House’s Theory of Charismatic Leadership
  4. 4. Leadership Theories 4 House’s theory of charismatic leadership had its origin in Weber’s work (1947). House’s view contrasted the former Weberian view characterized by high power, low affiliation and demanding responsibilities that followers had to fulfill (Antonakis & House, 2002). House (1976) presented an alternate view of charisma which he called organizational charisma where the core element was “an extraordinary relationship between an individual (leader) and others (followers) based on shared deeply-held ideological values” (House, 1999). In 1997, House introduced the Neo-Charismatic Leadership Paradigm (NLP) to explain how leaders lead organizations to accomplish extraordinary results in critical situations, and how they obtain overwhelming followership (House, 1999). House identified five behaviors of a charismatic leader: (1) goal articulation, (2) role modeling, (3) image modeling, (4) high expectations and (5) confidence in the followers. House’s theory has been criticized for the apparent limited scope of action restricted to the leader/follower interaction, however, House showed that charismatic leaders possessed consistent communication skills that influenced their followers’ beliefs in different contexts, whether it was a nation or a corporation’s agenda (Fiol, Harris and House, 1999). In a contemporary approach Kim, Danserau & Kim (2002) used the five behaviors stated by House and correlated them with three dimensions of behavior of charismatic leaders: (a) vision-related behavior, (b) personal behavior and (c) empowering behavior. The concept of charisma and the five behaviors of charismatic leaders were later used by transformational leadership theorists to explain the concept of idealized influence as one predictor of leadership effectiveness (Antonakis & House, 2002). Charisma and vision become common elements in both transformational and charismatic leadership theories, however, the different factor is the inclusion of organizational climate missing in the transformational theory and included in the Charismatic model. Other of the limitations of House’s theory is the absence
  5. 5. Leadership Theories 5 of discussion about how charismatic leaders achieve specific goals in their organizations, which is an element present in the transactional theory of leadership. An indirect reunion of transactional and charismatic leadership styles occurs when Bass proposes the Full-Range Leadership Theory addressed in the following sections. Bass’s Theory of Transformational Leadership The transformational leadership theory originated with the work of Burns (1978) and was later supported by the research of Bass (1985), Tichy & Devanna (1990), Shamir (1993), Kark & Shamir (2002), Conger and Kanungo (1998) and others (Antonakis & House, 2002). Bass (1985) made the original concept of Burns’s about transformational leadership more operational. Bass and Avolio (1998) created a set of five categories based on Bass (1985) to characterize a transformational leader: (a) idealized influence or attributed charisma, (b) idealized influence or behavioral charisma, (c) inspirational motivation, (d) intellectual stimulation and (e) individualized consideration (Antonakis & House, 2002). Idealized influence or attributed charisma is the emotional component of leaders’ behavior that moves followers from their self-interest to a major purpose. Idealized influence or behavioral charisma is the leader’s sense of mission that drives the ethics and moral of the followers. Inspirational motivation is an intangible behavior that impresses confidence to reach the unreachable. Intellectual stimulation is what makes leaders challenge the status quo and influences the intellect of the followers. Lastly, individualized consideration ensures that leaders become coaches and counselors to their followers (Bryant, 2003). The transformation is triggered by these five behaviors that “raise followers’ awareness of the significance of designated outcomes and gets them to transcend their self-interests for the good of the organization” (Wittington, 2004) provoking a dual effect on behavior and performance.
  6. 6. Leadership Theories 6 The similarities of transformational leadership and charismatic leadership are expressed by the inclusion of the concept of charisma, inspiration, and stimulation as behaviors of transformational leaders. However, they differ because charismatic leadership has a sociological component derived from the original Weberian proposal. Criticisms to the model relate to the apparent absence of organizational context as a relevant factor in leadership effectiveness, however, Bass (1998) has proved the validity of the model in different settings, especially in organizations in crisis where transformational leaders are needed to challenge the status quo (Antonakis & House, 2002). Another important criticism related to the incapability of transformational leaders to make their followers meet certain outcomes, an attribute of transactional leaders. Bass and Avolio (1994, 1997) would create the Full-Range Leadership Theory (FRLT) to respond to these observations. Bass’s Transactional Leadership Theory The study of transactional leadership was introduced by James MacGregor Burns in 1978. The basis of this theory is the relationship between leaders and followers, which is supported by exchanges or contingent rewards defined by the leader to praise accomplishments (Whittington, 2004). Bass (1985) and Bass & Avolio (1997) expanded Burns’s theory and defined characteristics of this transactional relationship, proposing three styles of leadership: (a) contingent reward leadership, (b) management by exception (active) and (c) management by exception (passive). Contingent reward leadership is based on a constructive transaction between followers and leaders where leaders clarify the roles and desired outcomes of the process motivating them to meet these outcomes contingent to a reward. Management by exception (active) is a relationship where leaders monitor any deviations from the norm and focus on errors and mistakes acting appropriately to solve the problems. Lastly, management by exception
  7. 7. Leadership Theories 7 (passive) operates by acting on errors or mistakes only when they occur (Antonakis & House, 2002). Bass (1998) argued that management by exception (active) appeared necessary in risky situations where the correction of errors was necessary to meet the outcomes. However, an overuse of this style might create dissatisfaction and stress in the followers. Management by exception (passive) has been found effective in cases when leaders had to supervise large number of followers. Transactional leadership may be prevalent in organizations where activities are performed as a routine or in poorly structured organizations where leaders are needed to create policies and procedures (Antonakis & House, 2002). The most severe criticisms to this leadership style relate to the limited motivation it has in creative followers. Even though pre-determined goal helps followers to stay focused on its achievement, it might discourage extra efforts as these would not be rewarded (Bryant, 2003). In such cases a transformational leadership style that praises creativity and outstanding performance is more suitable to reinforce the performance of these creative individuals (Spinelli, 2005). In 1988 Bass proposed that transactional and transformational leadership competencies could be integrated in a different model. This expansion opposed Burns’s position who viewed transformational and transactional leadership as substitutes (Spinelli, 2005). The full-range leadership theory (FRLT) model. Bass and Avolio (1994, 1997) developed the Full Range Leadership Theory (FRLT) integrating nine leadership factors taken from the transformational and transactional style, to enhance the effectiveness of leaders. Table 1 shows five factors (scales) related to transformational leadership, three factors related to transactional leadership and one related to non-leadership (Laissez-Faire) that make this model operational.
  8. 8. Leadership Theories 8 Table 1 Full-Range Leadership Theory. Components of the Bass & Avolio (1997) Model Leadership Leadership scales of FRLT Theory Transformational 1. Idealized influence or attributed charisma Leadership 2. Idealized influence or behavioral charisma 3. Inspirational motivation 4. Intellectual stimulation 5. Individualized consideration Transactional 6. Contingent Reward Leadership 7. Management by exception (passive) 8. Management by exception (active) Laissez-Faire 9. Laissez-Faire Studies conducted by Bass and Avolio (1997) show strong positive correlations between transformational and contingent reward scales and effectiveness, and negative or zero correlations for the controlling styles of transactional leadership and laissez faire and effectiveness (Spinelli, 2005). Bass proposes that effective leaders use both transformational and transactional competencies with the following hierarchy of frequency: Transformational, contingent reward, management by exception active, management by exception (passive) and in rare cases, laissez-faire (Antonakis & House, 2002) Yukl (1999) has strongly criticized the transformational model because of the overlap between individualized consideration and inspirational behavior. Beyer and Yukl (1999) have also argued the confusion created by the model when concepts such as charismatic, visionary and transformational are used indistinctly (Khatri, 2005). Schein’s Model of organizational culture and leadership This model of leadership is based on the premise that a leader is a culture manager whose leadership style is a two-fold function of the stages of organizational development and strategic issues (Schein, 2003). Schein makes a distinction of leadership styles in different stages of the
  9. 9. Leadership Theories 9 organization. In growing organizations the leader is a culture creator, whereas in the midlife stage leaders are culture enhancers and supporters; in maturity, leaders are who renew the cultural paradigms and search for new values (Schein, 2003). Schein argues that new leaders coming in organizations have to learn to notice changes in the organization and find ways to address them before attempting to change the culture. In this sense Schein views leaders as perpetual learners who are required to meet the following expectations: (1) New perception and insights; (2) Motivation, (3) emotional strength, (4) skills in analyzing and changing assumptions, (5) involve others and (6) learn the insights of the organization (Schein, 2003) The model proposed by Schein appears flexible and dynamic enough to address the influence of information age in the development of effective leaders. Using an extensive research in American corporations during the 70s and 80s, Schein concluded that the main role of a leader -a learning leader for that matter- is to be aware of changes and be able to guide the organization at the same speed of information and changes in technology (Schein, 2003). Schein bases most of his assertions in the theory of transformational leadership and in the charismatic leadership style (Schein, 2003). The expectations about learning leaders include elements of motivation and emotional strength that are similar to the elements of inspirational motivation included in Bass’s theory and charisma and inspiration included in House’s charismatic theory (Antonakis & House, 2002). An element that is not clear in Schein’s theory is how a cultural manager (leader) plans and designs strategies to achieve specific outcomes. What is visible in Schein’s Theory is the inclusion of the organizational context, the global context and the inclusion of contemporary issues that other theories do not have (Schein, 2003). The Scholarship/Practice/Leadership (SPL) Model and Leadership Theories
  10. 10. Leadership Theories 10 Each of the leadership theories addressed in this document has important implications in the SPL model in a dual manner. First, the adaptability of the SPL model provides leaders with a three-fold perspective to assess the impact of leadership theories in their own performance. Second, the leadership theories receive potential effect from the SPL model, when leaders/scholars/practitioners reflect, challenge and propose new theories. Appendix B presents a proposal of attributes of scholars, practitioners and leaders critically derived from the articles used in this document. This section presents an analysis of the leadership theories from the three-fold perspective of SPL. Charismatic Leadership Theory and the SPL model The inspiring vision of the charismatic theory allows leaders to exercise profound changes in their followers to accomplish success in their organizations (House, 1999). A leader with scholarly view possesses critical thinking skills that assist in determining the limitations of the charismatic approach for cases where inspiration has to be complemented by measurable outcomes (Fiol, Harris, House, 1999). Transformational leadership theory and the SPL model Transformational leadership is a style of leadership that fosters freedom of creativity. Creativity, innovation and self-motivation are characteristics of knowledge workers that make them very difficult to deal with. Transformational leaders are the perfect fit for these cases (Bryant, 2003). When leaders are also scholars and active practitioners of their fields of expertise, they are able to recognize these individual needs. Transactional leadership theory and the SPL model
  11. 11. Leadership Theories 11 Transactional leadership is a style that stresses the importance of rewards and detailed goals to ensure that followers meet predetermined outcomes. This was reflected in a study conducted in 2004 in a hospital in Pennsylvania that tested the perceptions of 150 subordinate managers about their CEOs leadership style using FRLT. The results replicated the findings of Bass & Avolio (1997). The author used his role as a leader and a practitioner in Healthcare to identify leaders that had both transactional and transformational characteristics (Spinelli, 2005). Schein’s model of organization culture and leadership Schein affirms that leaders are culture managers, able to adapt to the changing environment and the leaps in cultural settings. In his work, Schein cites Atari and the failed attempt of their new president – marketing executive from the food industry- a transactional leader who used incentives to elicit profitable inventive ideas from the engineers. What he did not know is that in computing fields, team work is the common culture and not individual protagonists (Schein, 2003). He could have been more successful by using a scholarly approach to learn about the new organization, and adapt his practitioner expertise to the new setting. Leaders who are scholars are able to identify opportunities of research and enhance the results of models, or propose new theoretical models that respond to the development of the societies. Leadership Theories and Contemporary Leadership Issues and Challenges The four theories cited in this document have the potential to face the following contemporary leadership issues and challenges successfully: Globalization Organizations have to be ready to face aggressive competitiveness and globalization of their markets. Leaders and managers will be not only responsible for comparing their end-of-year
  12. 12. Leadership Theories 12 results to their own record, but to their competitors' (Schein, 1990). This requires both transactional and transformational styles to manage internal changes, and a combination of culture management to open the organization to new markets, as proposed by Schein. Information age The relevance of the Internet and virtual work teams as a new culture of the organizations will create an impact in leaders (Bryant, 2003). Studies conducted in knowledge-based organizations, especially in the information technology and computer-related fields, show that transformational leadership is an appropriate style to stimulate creativity and innovation (Bryant, 2003). A clear example of this is Michael Dell and his inspiring vision that drives his company in a dynamic industry generating $5 billion per year for Dell (Tichy & DeVanna, 1990). Corporate Governance and pressures in accountability Changes in corporate governance and levels of accountability arisen after Enron and Worldcom’s scandals for the past seven years have provoked changes in the profile of managers. Now, CEOs need to have a combination of transformational style to reduce the tensions created at all levels of management, and a transactional style to work with followers in meeting the organizational goals of profit (Tichy & Devanna, 1990). Conclusions The goals of the organizations expressed in profits, growth in the market, or innovation are met through a combination of resources that are organized and mobilized by leaders. Leadership theorists have proposed a myriad of characteristics, behaviors and styles to profile effective leaders. Leadership is a dynamic concept, is about transformation, inspiration, vision, goals, cultural adaptation, and knowledge. Leadership styles change with the type of
  13. 13. Leadership Theories 13 organization, the characteristics of followership, the relationship between followers and leaders, the resources used to generate actions from the followers and environmental factors. This document presented a discussion of four leadership theories: Charismatic, transformational, transactional and organizational culture and leadership and provided an explanation of how they fit into the Scholarship/Practice/Leadership (SPL) model. The SPL model offers leaders a tri-fold perspective of their role in the successful achievement of organizational goals, by providing them with critical thinking skills to objectively analyze leadership theories, reflect on their adaptability and choose from the different styles the one or ones that pertain to their reality or practice. Leaders who have assumed their role as scholars have the possibility to augment current theories and propose new ways to impact their followers, their behavior and their performance. Leaders who have additionally incorporated their practitioner side to their leadership style are more adaptive to change by using the findings of existing research to improve their performance. Due to the changes that contemporary organizations face, such as globalization and strong competition, technology advances and corporate governance, leaders have to use their different leadership styles to adapt to these changes and guide their followers to an enhanced state of well being.
  14. 14. Leadership Theories 14 References Antonakis, J. & House, R. (2002). The Full-Range Leadership Theory: The way forward. Transformational and charismatic leadership: The road ahead. New York: Elsevier. Bryant, S. (2003). The role of transformational and transactional leadership in creating, sharing and exploiting organizational knowledge. The Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 9 (4). Retrieved April 15, 2007, from EBSCOhost database. Clawson, J.G. (2006). Level Three leadership. Getting below the surface (3rd. edition). Upper Saddle River: Pearson. Fiol, M., Harris, D., & House, R.(1999). Charismatic leadership: Strategies for effecting social change. Leadership quarterly, 10(3), 449-482. Retrieved April 13, 2007, from EBSCOhost database. House, R. (1999). Weber and the neo-charismatic leadership paradigm: A response to Beyer. Leadership quarterly,10 (4), 563-574. Retrieved April 13, 2007 from EBSCOhost database. Kark, R. & Shamir, B.(2002). The dual effect of transformational leadership: priming relational and collective selves and further effects on followers. Transformational and charismatic leadership: The road ahead. New York: Elsevier. Khatri, N. (2005). An alternative model of transformational leadership. The Journal of Business Perspective, 9(2). Retrieved April 13 2007 from EBSCOhost database. Kim, K., Dansereau, F. & Kim, I.(2002). Extending the concept of charismatic leadership: An illustration using Bass's (1990) categories. Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The road ahead. F.J. New York. Elsevier. Kinkead, C. (2006). Transformational leadership: A practice needed for first-year success. Online Submission, 14. Retrieved April 5, 2007 from EBSCOhost database.
  15. 15. Leadership Theories 15 Lipman, M. (1995). Critical thinking: What can it be? In A. L. Ornstein, & L. S. Behar (Eds.), Contemporary issues in curriculum. Retrieved April 12, 2007 from EBSCOhost. McFadden, Ch., Eakin, R., et al.(2005). Major approaches to the study of leadership. Academic Exchange Quarterly, Summer, p. 71. Retrieved April 5, 2007 from Thomson Gale PowerSearch database. Schein, E. (2003). The learning leader as culture manager. Business Leadership: A Jossey-Bass reader. San Francisco. Jossey-Bass. Spinelli, R. (2005). The Applicability of Bass’s Model of Transformational, Transactional, and Laissez-Fair Leadership in the Hospital Administrative Environment. Hospital Topics. Retrieved April 13, 2007 from EBSCOhost database. Tichy, N.M. & Devanna, M.A.(1990). The transformational leader. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Winter, R., & Griffiths, M. (2000). The academic qualities of practice: What are the criteria for a practice-based PhD? Studies in Higher Education 25, 1-13. Wittington, J.L. (2004). Corporate executives as beleaguered rulers: The leader’s motive matters. Problems and Perspectives in Management, (3). Retrieved February 15, 2007 from EBSCOhost.
  16. 16. Leadership Theories 16 Appendix A Clawson’s classification of leadership theories based on research approach 1. Trait approach (2): The Great Man Theory of Leadership, Stogdill's Leadership Traits, 2. Behavior approach (5): Mintzberg's Ten Managerial Roles, Kotter's Leadership factor, Stewart's Three-part Theory of Management, Kouzes and Posner's Leadership Challenge, Results-Focused Leadership. 3. Power and Influence approach (5): Two faces of power, Winter's Theory of Leadership, The West Point Way of Leadership, Social Exchange Theory, Strategic Contingencies Theory. 4. Situational approach 6): Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Theory of Leadership, House's Path-Goal Theory of Leadership, Fiedler's Contingency Model of Leadership, Leadership Substitutes Theory, The Multiple-Linkage Model, Cognitive Resources Theory. 5. Charismatic approach (3): House's Theory of Charismatic Leadership, Attribution Theory of Charisma, Self-Concept Theory of Charismatic Leadership. 6. Transformational approach (5): Warren Bennis's Theory of Leadership, James McGregor Burns's Theory of Leadership, Bass's Theory of Transformational Leadership, Tichy and Devanna's Transformational Leadership process, Schein's Model of Organizational Culture and Leadership.
  17. 17. Leadership Theories 17 Appendix B Table 2 Proposed attributes of scholars, practitioners and leaders in the Business fields Based on leadership theories Attributes of a scholar Attributes of a practitioner Attributes of a leader (Faculty and manager) Analytical Constant developer of skills for Agent of change the job Collaboration Constant learner Challenging Commitment Globally-oriented Charismatic Constant learner Goal achiever Coach Critical thinker High standards of performance Constant learner Effective communicator Organizer Driven Globally-oriented Outgoing Empowering Highly-Cognitive skills Planner Globally-oriented Inquisitional spirit Problem –solver Honest Objective Profit-seeker Inspiring Open to new knowledge Responsible for learning process Intellectual Persistence Results-oriented Risk-taker Team worker Skilled Role model Team worker Self-determined Stimulators Transactional Visionary