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Title Visionary Leadership Sub-Title A practical and conceptual analysis of the contributions of charismatic and transformational approaches to leadership research in relation to their ability to inform practice within complex organisational settings. Abstract This essay summarises the main focuses of leadership research in the 1980s and 1990s, which given increasingly competitive, deregulated, technology led, globalised business environments required theories of leadership which emphasises the need for quantum change and cultural reinvention as a basis for economic success. Thus, the main focus of leadership research during this period led to the development of charismatic and transformational theories of leadership, which emphasised change, flexibility, creativity and reinvention at an individual, team and organisational level as key outcomes of the leadership process. However, these theories of leadership are not without criticism both in terms of their practical application and the soundness of the underlying research paradigms. The work of Bass (1985, 1990, 1998), Bass & Avolio (1985, 1990, 1994, 1995), House (1977), Conger & Kunungo (1987, 1999), Shamir et al, (1993), Hunt (1996), Yukl (1998, 1999) amongst others is critically appraised in order to identify the main tenets of transformational and charismatic leadership theory and to critically evaluate their contributions to leadership research and practice.
Key Words Leadership, Followership, Transformational Leadership, Transactional Leadership, Charismatic Leadership, Full Range Leadership Model, Charisma, Idealised Influence, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Stimulation, Individual Consideration, Contingent Reward, Management by Exception, Laissez-Faire, Empowerment, Multi-Functional Leadership Questionnaire, MFLQ, Criticisms of Transformational Leadership Theory, Follower Satisfaction, Behavioural Ambiguity, Behavioural Omissions, Dyadic Relationship, Situational Variables, Negative Effects, Heroic Bias, Leader Dependence, Attribution Theory of Charismatic Leadership, NonCharismatic Leaders, Charismatic Leaders, Self-Concept Theory of Charismatic Leadership, Personal Identification, Social Identification, Internalisation, Self-Efficacy, Criticisms of Charismatic Leadership Theory, Nature of Charisma, Charismatic Influence Process, Essential Behaviours, Facilitating Conditions, Organisational Effectiveness.
Transformational LeadershipThe concept of transformational leadership is described in a seminal work by the political sociologist James MacGregor Burns entitled Leadership (1978). In his work, Burns attempts to link the roles of leadership and followership. He describes leaders as those people who tap the motives of followers. Transactional leadership occurs when leaders set up relationships with followers that are based on an exchange for some resource valued by the followers. Interactions between the transactional leader and the followers appear to be episodic, short-lived and limited to that one particular transaction. A transactional leader balances the demands of the organisation and the requirements of the people within the organisation. Transformational leadership is much more complex and happens when people are engaged together in such a way that leaders and followers encourage one another to increase levels of motivation and morality. In such situations the aspirations of leaders and followers merge to become one, (Bass, 1998). Similarly, (Northhouse, 2001; McKenna, 2000) distinguishes between two types of leadership styles: Transactional leadership refers to the bulk of leadership models, which focus on the exchange that occurs between leaders and their followers. Managers who offer promotion to employees who surpass their goals are exhibiting transactional leadership. The exchange dimension of transactional leadership is very common and can be observed at many levels in the organisation." (Northhouse P, 2001, p. 132) "In transformational leadership the emphasis is on people of vision who are creative, innovative, and capable of getting others to share their dreams whileTransformational & Charismatic Leadership Page 1
playing down self-interest; and who are able to cooperate with others in reshaping the strategies and tactics of the organisationin response to a fast-changing world (Tichy & Devanna, 1986) to these qualities could be added the pursuit of high standards, taking calculated risks, challenging and changing the existing company structure, with even the potential for the display (when considered appropriate) of directive tendencies. (Bass, 1990) (McKenna, 2000, p.383) Bass (1985, 1998) provides a more expanded and refined theory of transformational leadership which develops the work of Burns (1978) and House (1977), by giving far more attention to the behaviour and needs of followers than had previously been given. Bass (1985, 1998) argued that the principles of transformational leadership could be equally applied to situations where the outcomes were not positive than those where the opposite was true and describing transactional and transformational leadership as a singe continuum rather than mutually independent continua. Bass (1985, 1998) identifies the main characteristics of transformational leadership as; charisma idealised influence, intellectual stimulation and consideration of the emotional needs of each follower, (Hunt, 1996). Fig 1 Transformational Leadership ContinuumTransformational Leadership - Idealised Influence (charisma) - Inspirational Motivation - Individual Consideration - Intellectual Stimulation Transactional Leadership - Contingent Reward - Management By Exception Active - Management By Exception Passive Laissez-faire leadership - Non-transaction/Non Leadership
[Source: Adapted from Northouse P, 2001, p.136; Bass B, 1998, p.7-9] In developing his model of transformational leadership Bass (1985) built upon earlier charismatic literature and it is not surprising that Houses (1977) model of charismatic leadership is often mistakenly identified as an archetype of transformational leadership. Weber (1947) describes charisma as a special personality characteristic that gives a person superhuman or exceptional powers and is reserved for a few, is of divine origin, and results in the person being treated as a leader. In addition to displaying certain personality characteristics, charismatic leaders also demonstrate specific types of behaviours: they are strong role models for the beliefs and values they want their followers to adopt,
Transformational & Charismatic Leadership
they appear competent to their followers, they articulate ideological goals which have moral overtones, they communicate high expectations for followers, and they exhibit confidence in followers abilities to meet these expectations. performance, they arouse task-relevant motives in followers that may include affiliation, power or esteem. Fig 2 Charismatic Leadership Characteristics Personality Characteristics Behaviours Effects on Followers Dominant Sets strong role model Trust in leaders ideology Desire to influence Shows competence Belief similarity between leader and follower Confident Strong Values Articulates goals Communicates high expectations Expresses confidence Arouses motives Unquestioning acceptance Affection towards leader Obedience Identification with leader Emotional involvement Heightened goals Increased confidence The impact of this behaviour is to increase followers sense of competence and self-efficacy, which in turn increases their
[Source: Adapted from Northouse, 2001, p.133; Hunt 1996, p.189-190] Hunt (1996) provides a clear synopsis of the differences between Basss (1985) theory of transformational leadership and the earlier work of (Burns, 1978; House, 1977): Bass (1985) emphasised an expansion of the followers portfolio of needs and wants with a firm focus on the need for growth, development and self-actualisation, Bass (1985) allowed for positive and negative transformations, that is transformations that lead to organisational failure or ethically undesirable outcomes, Bass (1985) unlike Burns (1978) does not view transformational and transactional leadership as opposite ends of the same continuum, but views transformational leadership as higher order (extraordinary) leadership which goes beyond the transactions found in everyday management,
Transformational & Charismatic Leadership
Bass (1985) considers that transformational leadership consists of four factors; idealised influence (or charisma), individual consideration, inspirational motivation and intellectual stimulation. Thus charisma is an important element of transformational leadership but unlike Houses (1977) theory is not considered to be sufficient in itslef, Bass (1985) considers that transactional leadership behaviours are based on two dimensions namely, contingent reward and management-by-exception. Explanation of Transformational Leadership Behaviours Basss (1985, 1990, 1998) theory of transformational leadership identifies four dimensions of transformational leadership behaviour, namely; idealised influence (or charisma), individual consideration, inspirational motivation and intellectual stimulation. Charismatic leadership (CL) or Idealised Influence (II) describes leaders who act as strong role models for followers. Followers identify with these leaders and want very much to emulate them. These leaders usually have very high standards of moral and ethical conduct can be counted on to do the right thing. They are deeply respected by followers, who usually place a great deal of trust in them. They provide followers with a vision and a sense of mission. "Transformational leaders behave in ways that result in them being role models for their followers. The leaders are admired, respected and trusted. Followers identif