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Transforming Leadership: A Process of Collective Actio


This paper is an in-depth analysis of transforming leadership - its definition and its basic features. In a study of a suburban school district, six elements were found to be important in the transformative process: a crisis, the school district's mission and vision, an ad hoc structure, a participative process, and a skillful change agent in the role of superintendent.
Transformational leadership 1
Transformational leadership
Transformational leadership is defined as a leadership approach that causes change in individuals and social
systems. In its ideal form, it creates valuable and positive change in the followers with the end goal of developing
followers into leaders. Enacted in its authentic form, transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale
and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include connecting the follower's sense of
identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers that
inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and
weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimize their performance....
James MacGregor Burns (1978)[1] first introduced the concept of transforming leadership in his descriptive research
on political leaders, but this term is now used in organizational psychology as well. According to Burns,
transforming leadership is a process in which "leaders and followers help each other to advance to a higher level of
morale and motivation". Burns related to the difficulty in differentiation between management and leadership and
claimed that the differences are in characteristics and behaviors. He established two concepts: "transforming
leadership" and "transactional leadership". According to Burns, the transforming approach creates significant change
in the life of people and organizations. It redesigns perceptions and values, and changes expectations and aspirations
of employees. Unlike in the transactional approach, it is not based on a "give and take" relationship, but on the
leader's personality, traits and ability to make a change through example, articulation of an energizing vision and
challenging goals. Transforming leaders are idealized in the sense that they are a moral exemplar of working towards
the benefit of the team, organization and/or community. Burns theorized that transforming and transactional
leadership were mutually exclusive styles. Transactional leaders usually do not strive for cultural change in the
organization but they work in the existing culture while transformational leaders can try to change organizational
Development of concept
Another researcher, Bernard M. Bass (1985), extended the work of Burns (1978) by explaining the psychological
mechanisms that underlie transforming and transactional leadership; Bass also used the term "transformational"
instead of "transforming." Bass added to the initial concepts of Burns (1978) to help explain how transformational
leadership could be measured, as well as how it impacts follower motivation and performance.[2] The extent to which
a leader is transformational, is measured first, in terms of his influence on the followers. The followers of such a
leader feel trust, admiration, loyalty and respect for the leader and because of the qualities of the transformational
leader are willing to work harder than originally expected. These outcomes occur because the transformational leader
offers followers something more than just working for self gain; they provide followers with an inspiring mission
and vision and give them an identity. The leader transforms and motivates followers through his or her idealized
influence (earlier referred to as charisma), intellectual stimulation and individual consideration. In addition, this
leader encourages followers to come up with new and unique ways to challenge the status quo and to alter the
environment to support being successful. Finally, in contrast to Burns, Bass suggested that leadership can
simultaneously display both transformational and transactional leadership.
Now 30 years of research and a number of meta-analyses have shown that transformational and transactional
leadership positively predicts a wide variety of performance outcomes including individual, group and organizational
level variables (see Bass & Bass 2008, The Bass Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial
Applications" 4th edition Free Press).
The full range of leadership introduces four elements of transformational leadership:
Transformational leadership 2
1. Individualized Consideration the degree to which the leader attends to each follower's needs, acts as a mentor
or coach to the follower and listens to the follower's concerns and needs. The leader gives empathy and support,
keeps communication open and places challenges before the followers. This also encompasses the need for
respect and celebrates the individual contribution that each follower can make to the team. The followers have a
will and aspirations for self development and have intrinsic motivation for their tasks.
2. Intellectual Stimulation the degree to which the leader challenges assumptions, takes risks and solicits
followers' ideas. Leaders with this style stimulate and encourage creativity in their followers. They nurture and
develop people who think independently. For such a leader, learning is a value and unexpected situations are seen
as opportunities to learn. The followers ask questions, think deeply about things and figure out better ways to
execute their tasks.
3. Inspirational Motivation the degree to which the leader articulates a vision that is appealing and inspiring to
followers. Leaders with inspirational motivation challenge followers with high standards, communicate optimism
about future goals, and provide meaning for the task at hand. Followers need to have a strong sense of purpose if
they are to be motivated to act. Purpose and meaning provide the energy that drives a group forward. The
visionary aspects of leadership are supported by communication skills that make the vision understandable,
precise, powerful and engaging. The followers are willing to invest more effort in their tasks, they are encouraged
and optimistic about the future and believe in their abilities.
4. Idealized Influence Provides a role model for high ethical behavior, instills pride, gains respect and trust.
As a development tool, transformational leadership has spread already in all sectors of western societies, including
governmental organizations. As an example, the Finnish Defence Forces is using widely Deep Lead© Model as basic
solution of its leadership training and development. The Deep Lead© Model is based on the theory of
transformational leadership.
Research in the area
When researching transformational and transactional leadership the most frequently used survey is called "the
Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire" (MLQ Form 5X). This is a questionnaire that measures each of the
components of the full range of leadership, initially starting with Bass' (1985) factors and analysis. The original
scales in the questionnaire are based on a initial factor analysis and earlier versions.
Earlier research on transformational leadership was limited, because the knowledge in this area was too primitive for
finding good examples for the items in the questionnaire. Another weakness in the first version of the MLQ related
to the wording of items. Most items in the scale of charismatic leadership described the result of leadership, instead
of specific actions of the leader that can be observed and that, in turn, lead to the results. In response to the critics,
Bass and Avolio (1990) included in the revised and now subsequent versions many more items that describe
leadership actions that are observed directly. They also split out attributions of leadership associated with Idealized
Influence and behaviors and actions into two separate scales.
The current version of the MLQ Form 5X includes 36 items that are broken down into 9 scales with 4 items
measuring each scale. Subsequent validation work by John Antonakis and his colleagues provided strong evidence
supporting the validity and reliability of the MLQ5X.[3] Indeed, Antonakis et al. (2003) confirmed the viability of the
proposed nine-factor model MLQ model, using two very large samples (Study 1: N=3368; Study 2: N=6525).
Although other researchers have still been critical of the MLQ model, since 2003 none has been able to provide
dis-confirming evidence of the theorized nine-factor model with such large sample sizes at those published by
Antonakis et al. (2003).
Transformational leadership 3
Implications for managers
Yukl (1994) draws some tips for transformational leadership[4] :
1. Develop a challenging and attractive vision, together with the employees.
2. Tie the vision to a strategy for its achievement.
3. Develop the vision, specify and translate it to actions.
4. Express confidence, decisiveness and optimism about the vision and its implementation.
5. Realize the vision through small planned steps and small successes in the path for its full implementation.
[1] Burns, J.M, (1978), Leadership, N.Y, Harper and Row.
[2] Bass, B. M,(1985), Leadership and Performance, N.Y. Free Press.
[3] Antonakis, J., Avolio, B. J., & Sivasubramaniam, N. (2003). Context and leadership: An examination of the nine-factor Full-Range
Leadership Theory using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. The Leadership Quarterly, 14(3), 261-295.http:/ / dx. doi. org/ 10. 1016/
[4] Yukl, G.(1999). An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories. Leadership Quarterly, 10,
285-305; http:/ / dx. doi. org/ 10. 1016/ S1048-9843(99)00013-2
Roesner, J. (1990). Ways women lead. Harvard Business Review. November - December.
Kotlyar, I. & Karakowsky, L. (2006). Leading Conflict? Linkages Between Leader Behaviors and Group Conflict.
Small Group Research, Vol. 37, No. 4, 377-403
Kotlyar, I., & Karakowsky, L. (2007). Falling Over Ourselves to Follow the Leader. Journal of Leadership &
Organizational Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, 38-49
Nissinen, Vesa (2006). Deep Leadership. Talentum, Finland.
Albritton, R. L. (1998). A new paradigm of leader effectiveness for academic libraries: An empirical study of the
Bass (1985) model of transformational leadership. In T.F. Mech & G.B. McCabe (Eds.), Leadership and
academic librarians (pp.‚6682) . Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998.
Bass, B. M. (1998). Transformational leadership: Industrial, military, and educational impact. Mahwah, NJ:
Bass, B.M. & Avolio, B.J. (Eds.). (1994). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational
leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Burns, J.M. (1978) Leadership. New York. Harper & Row.
Pielstick, C.D. (1998). The transforming leader: A meta-ethnographic analysis. Community College Review,
26(3), 15-34.
Alimo-Metcalfe, B. & Alban-Metcalfe, J. (2001). The development of a new Transformational Leadership
Questionnaire. The Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 74, 1-27
Kouzes, J.,Posner, B. (1999). "Encouraging the Heart." San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers
Muhammad Faisal Aziz (2009) Casual Management Concept,
Transformational leadership 4
External links
• (http:/ / www. mindgarden. com/ translead. htm) White paper on transformational leadership, and the Multifactor
Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ)
• (http:/ / www. entrepreneur. com/ tradejournals/ article/ print/ 167430593. html) Kotlyar, I., & Karakowsky, L.
(2007). Falling Over Ourselves to Follow the Leader. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, Vol. 14,
No. 1, 38-49
• (http:/ / cbae. nmsu. edu/ ~dboje/ teaching/ 338/ transformational_leadership. htm) Tips for transformational
• (http:/ / www. leadershipskills-saintmarys. com/ leadership_info. html) BA and MA Degree Programs in
BA and MA Degrees in Leadership (http:/ / www. leadershipskills-saintmarys. com/ leadership_info. html)
Transformational Leadership Blog (http:/ / www. transformationalleadershiphq. com)
Article Sources and Contributors 5
Article Sources and Contributors
Transformational leadershipSource: ‚Contributors: A. B., Aaron Kauppi, Academic Challenger, Accounting4Taste, AdRock, Akinsope,
Alan Liefting, Alexdeangelis86, Antonia Burns, Apor, Asouf, Bavolio, Blue387, Bobblehead, Btphelps, Carmaz, Ccujec, Chira, Cirt, Courcelles, DARTH SIDIOUS 2, DVdm, Dannyguillory,
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Gscshoyru, Infininme, Infininmy, J04n, JHunterJ, JaymieReighn, Jeff G., Jeremykemp, Jncraton, Jossi, Krashlandon, L Kensington, LarryQ, LeaderCoach, Lova Falk, Lradrama, Materialscientist,
Mctag, Mikael Häggström, Mikeclayton, Nashypoo, Nryan30, Peachydad, Penstalker, Pixy pom, Qworty, Raymondaaron, Reedy, Rjwilmsi, Rl, Rusty8491, Sagewiz, Satori Son, Skagedal, Skinny
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Wjervis, Yifatmodan, Yodtao, ZacharyD, 147 anonymous edits
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... In line with their earlier theory, Shamir et al. (1994) analyzed a speech of a charismatic leader, Jesse Louis Jackson, and found that Jackson created many references to historical events and historical figures in linking his ideas. He also found that totally different metaphors were utilized by Jackson in his speech to stress a shared collective identity whereas Roberts (1985) found that the leader helped followers feel as part of the discourse. Burns (1978), Bass (1985), Bennis and Nanus (1985) stressed that charismatic leaders demonstrate determination, optimism, authority, and confidence in themselves and also the ability to accomplish the mission and understand the vision. ...
Challenging the status quo of polity is the basic and foremost characteristic of radical reforms and if this is done in a charismatic way, there are obviously elements of rhetoric in it. The Indian State in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken several decisions which depict some kind of charisma; the first major example was demonetization, the second was surgical strike on Pakistan and third the bill for stopping Teen Talaaq. These decisions provided force for a radical reform. These idealized forces of change attributed the leadership as visionary and charismatic. The elements of rhetoric in these decisions were emphasizing collective identity of citizens through demonetization, emphasizing sense of security and pride through surgical strike on Pakistan and emphasizing on self esteem of the followers by introducing bill to criminalize Triple Talaq. The aim of this study is to identify the consensus creating elements of rhetoric in the messages of radical reforms of the Narendra Modi led government in India. The findings of this study will further extend the dimensions of theory of Charismatic leadership by incorporating rhetoric of economic, social and political messages. This study was designed to empirically test the rhetorical nature of the speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on radical reforms like demonetization, surgical strike and Triple Talaq issue. The variables to measure the rhetoric were frame alignment, trust building and agenda-setting. Findings of this study suggest that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the ability to capture big audience through his charismatic speeches. The surprise speech of November 8, 2016 on demonetization had a cultivating impact on audience. The respondents perceive this move not only anti-corrupt but also as pro-poor initiative. Obviously the rhetoric in the message was to create preliminary consensus on series of economic reforms. Similarly, the way the message on surgical strike was revealed to the public by the Indian Army was unprecedented. This unprecedented and idealized move led to 'sense of bravado' which overtook the 'sense of sobriety' when leaders started commenting on it. But the respondents again appreciated the political will of the Narendra Modi government. In the recent political move, the Modi government introduced the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 in Loksabha to criminalize the instant Triple Talaq. This was also part of radical reform agenda of the government intended to change the status quo. But the question is whether these issues will get addressed by political rhetoric or media trial? Is that much of rhetoric in name of radical reform is healthy for the democracy? Is this apparent will of the new leadership intended towards real social, economic and political development of the country?
... mean corrected correlation between such leadership and independent ratings of leader effectiveness. Fiol and associates (1999) also note that such findings have been demonstrated at different levels of analysis and in a wide variety of samples, including dyads (e.g., Howell & Frost, 1989), small informal groups (Howell & Higgins, 1990), as well as formal work units (e.g., Hater & Bass, 1988); military units (e.g., Shamir, Zakay, Breinin, & Popper, 1998), major units of complex organizations (e.g., Howell & Avolio, 1993), organizations (e.g., Roberts, 1985), and U.S. presidential administrations (e.g., House, Spangler, & Woycke, 1991;Simonton, 1987). Studies have been carried out in many different countries (see Bass, 1997;Fiol et al., 1999 for overviews). ...
This study focuses on culturally endorsed implicit theories of leadership (CLTs). Although cross-cultural research emphasizes that different cultural groups likely have different conceptions of what leadership should entail, a controversial position is argued here: namely that attributes associated with charismatic/transformational leadership will be universally endorsed as contributing to outstanding leadership. This hypothesis was tested in 62 cultures as part of the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) Research Program. Universally endorsed leader attributes, as well as attributes that are universally seen as impediments to outstanding leadership and culturally contingent attributes are presented here. The results support the hypothesis that specific aspects of charismatic/transformational leadership are strongly and universally endorsed across cultures.
... Transformational leadership refers to 'the leader moving follower beyond immediate self-interests through idealized influence (charisma), inspiration, intellectual stimulation, or individualized consideration' (Bass, 1999, p. 11). Transformational leaders help to redefine organizational members' mission and vision; renew their organizational commitment; and restructure the organizational system to accomplish goals (Roberts, 1985). Moreover, transformational leaders can use their skills of emotional and social intelligence to change members' behavior (Bass and Avolio, 1994). ...
"This study examines the relationship between transformational leadership and employee performance based on a survey conducted on 150 employees in low and middle level management positions in the Ministry of Public Works in Kabul, Afghanistan. The survey questionnaire consisted of questions about employee performance, transformational leadership (6 dimensions), pay satisfaction, job security, and demographic control variables. The result of OLS regression analysis concludes that two dimensions of transformational leadership – identifying and articulating a vision, and intellectual stimulation – are statistically significant and positively related to employee performance. In addition, job security is highly significant and related to employee performance."
... Two periods are recognized in this era, namely the charisma period and the self-prophecy period. Building on the culture era, leadership during the charisma period is seen as a collective action rather than a one-person show (Roberts, 1985) towards transforming vision and giving a new and stronger sense of meaning and purpose to all who share in the mission and vision. ...
Leadership training needs a holistic, contemporary approach to meet the global workforce challenges of the 21st century. Metaphorically, a kaleidoscope can provide the lens through which we view the diversity of positions on leadership training. Change evolves with each individual viewing through the lenses. An appreciation of the uniqueness of students in problem solving of necessity, moves leadership training from a static to a fluid event and involves all constituent groups, namely, students, faculty, business leaders and community members. This paper examines the changes in leadership training from the 20th century to the pedagogical dilemma of leadership training in the 21st century. Research was conducted using the curriculum of seven leadership-training groups with the results having implications for future studies and modifications to academic curricula.
Sustainability mindset requires a very specific type of responsible leadership; one that is able to create the adequate atmosphere for fostering a culture of sustainability within the organization. The different Business Schools, perspectives, and approaches regarding strategic leadership and culture have followed different approaches and methodologies to address the studies carried out to date. The authors have thought it opportune to review them in order to visualize the authors’ approaches; at the same time, set out the importance of considering the new trend that incorporates culture and strategic vision into the perspectives and studies to be carried out in the future.
Full-text available
In analyzing the challenge of industrial development in Nigeria, scholars have argued that colonialism and neocolonialism are responsible for Nigeria's lack of industrial development. However, the inimical role national leadership has played in the industrial development of Nigeria has not been sufficiently analyzed. Using descriptive method in our analysis, we argued that since 1960, Nigerian leadership has offered contradictory policies that have led to unsustainable industrial development using Ajaokuta Steel Company as a case study. We suggest that there should be a stable industrial policy that is driven by national interest to develop the Ajaokuta steel company and other similar industries to reposition the industrial base for national development.
Full-text available
Recently, there has been growing interest in more fully examining the situational conditions under which the positive effects of charismatic or transformational leadership are actually achieved. The positive impact of transformational leadership on follower performance has received wide support in the literature. However, much less is known about the impact of transformational leadership on team performance. Although a number of authors have attempted to connect transformational leadership with higher levels of team performance, there has been little effort to delineate the relationship between transformational leadership and teamwork processes or skill sets. This article offers a conceptual examination of the potential link between transformational leadership behavior and the generation of dysfunctional team conflict. Although traditionally praised as a powerful and superior form of leadership style, we suggest that transformational leaders have the potential to unwittingly ignite disproportionately high levels of affective team conflict.
Theories of transformational and charismatic leadership provide important insights about the nature of effective leadership. However, most of the theories have conceptual weaknesses that reduce their capacity to explain effective leadership. The conceptual weaknesses are identified here and refinements are suggested. The issue of compatibility between transformational and charismatic leadership is also discussed. Finally, some methodological problems involving construct validation and theory testing are identified, and suggestions for future research are provided.
The problem of organizational retrenchment is analyzed in terms of prominent developments in organizational theory and tendencies in administrative response to decline in education. The implications of the contrasting closed-rational and open-political administrative orientations are explored in terms of traditional and emerging conceptualizations of organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Using the pressure of scarcity to spur innovation is viewed as the key to capitalizing on and benefiting from necessary retrenchment in educational organizations.
Detailed microsociological studies of everyday life activity raise the challenge of making macrosociological concepts fully empirical by traslating them into aggregates of micro-events. Micro-evidence and theoretical critiques indicate that human cognitive capacity is limited. Hence actor facing complex contingencies rely largely upon tacit assumptions and routine. The routines of physical property and organizational authority are upheld by actors' tacit monitoring of social coalitions. Individuals continuously negotiate such coalitions in chains of interaction rituals in which conversations create symbols of group membership. Every encounter is a marketpace in which individuals tacitly match conversational and emotional resources acquire from previous encounters. Individuals are motivated to move toward those ritual encounters in which their microresources pay the greatest emotional returns until they reach personal equilibrium points at which their emotional returns stabilize or decline. Large-scale cha...
In contrast to the prevailing image that elements in organizations are coupled through dense, tight linkages, it is proposed that elements are often tied together frequently and loosely. Using educational organizations as a case in point, it is argued that the concept of loose coupling incorporates a surprising number of disparate observations about organizations, suggests novel functions, creates stubborn problems for methodologists, and generates intriguing questions for scholars. Sample studies of loose coupling are suggested and research priorities are posed to foster cumulative work with this concept.
Contrasts transactional (TS) and transformational (TF) leadership styles and the results that are obtained when managers select each approach. TS leadership involves changes in degree or marginal improvement that can be seen as the result of leadership that is an exchange process—a transaction in which subordinates' needs are met if their performance measures up to explicit or implicit contracts with the leader. It is argued that leadership is more effective if TF leadership is added to the manager–employee relationship. The TF leader induces additional effort by directly increasing the follower's confidence as well as by elevating the value of outcomes through expanding his/her transcendental interests and level or breadth of needs in A. Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Evidence of TF leadership and its effects at various levels in industrial and military organizations is presented; data were from 70 senior executives, 176 senior US Army officers, 256 business managers, 23 educational administrators, and 45 professionals. Charisma is the most important component in the larger concept of TF leadership; it is also one of the elements separating the ordinary manager from the true leader in organizational settings. Charismatic leaders have great referent power and influence. TF leaders may arouse their followers emotionally and inspire them to extra effort and greater accomplishment. As subordinates become competent with the TF leader's encouragement and support, contingent reinforcement may be abandoned in favor of self-reinforcement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In this study, we examined the validity of the measurement model and factor structure of Bass and Avolio's Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) (Form 5X). We hypothesized that evaluations of leadership—and hence the psychometric properties of leadership instruments—may be affected by the context in which leadership is observed and evaluated. Using largely homogenous business samples consisting of 2279 pooled male and 1089 pooled female raters who evaluated same-gender leaders, we found support for the nine-factor leadership model proposed by Bass and Avolio. The model was configurally and partially metrically invariant—suggesting that the same constructs were validly measured in the male and female groups. Mean differences were found between the male and female samples on four leadership factors (Study 1). Next, using factor-level data of 18 independently gathered samples (N=6525 raters) clustered into prototypically homogenous contexts, we tested the nine-factor model and found it was stable (i.e., fully invariant) within homogenous contexts (Study 2). The contextual factors comprised environmental risk, leader–follower gender, and leader hierarchical level. Implications for use of the MLQ and nine-factor model are discussed.
Leadership influence in large complex organizations, though commonly assumed to be greatly significant, is normally not studied in terms of the variance accounted for in organizational performance. The leadership effect is viewed here as a product of an organization's environmental constraints and its leadership variance. Based on sales, earnings, and profit margin data for 167 large corporations over twenty years, we compare the impact of leadership changes with yearly, industry, and company influences. Industry and company account for far more of the variance in two performance variables than does leadership, but not for profit margins after lag effects are considered. It appears that the importance of external restrictions, and hence the maximum possible leadership influence, may range widely between specific performance criteria. The second phase of the study considers industry characteristics that appear to be associated with high and low leadership influences. These results suggest a perspective on organization performance that may be applied to the leadership influence in other large organizations and political bodies, like cities, states and nations.
draws some tips for transformational leadership
  • For
for managers Yukl (1994) draws some tips for transformational leadership [4] :
Leadership and Performance
  • B Bass
Bass, B. M,(1985), Leadership and Performance, N.Y. Free Press.