Leadership, Power and Policy Burns (1978) argues that transformational leadership raises both leaders’ and subordinates’ level of motivation and morale. Critically appraise the impact that transformational leadership can have on organizations and society…
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Transactional leaders work within and with the rules and norms that already exist in the organization, while transformational leaders in comparison are those who ‘transform’ their organizational culture and align it with values and norms that are essential to be more effective. Transformational leaders have been characterized as having four components; idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration. Transformational leaders use these four tools to transform their organizational culture into one that is most conducive to growth and advancement. Transformational leaders who work thus, and exhibit a sense of vision and purpose are more likely to be found in organizations that cherish innovation and progress. They align their subordinates with the goals of the organization and its culture and are most likely to foster creativity than support a culture with a status quo (Bass 1991; Gardiner 2006). Organizational culture and leadership will forever remain interconnected. Leaders are the ones who develop the organization’s culture and strengthen its norms and beliefs. The culture thus takes shape according to what the leader concentrates on, and this is what the subordinates are taught to follow by their leaders. But it is not only the leader who affects culture, organization cultures are often as impacting of their leaders as well. For example, it can influence how decision making is done by top management regarding concerns like hiring new employees and placing them within the organization etcetera. In accordance with the evolutionary process of an organization, the leader must change the culture to suit the organization’s needs. In order to maintain change while incurring the least resistance, the leader must not completely let go of the initial culture. The past should be referred back to for inspiration and the understanding of core strategies that must be maintained in the future. Changes should however, reinforce innovation so that the organizational culture is aligned for present and future need (Gardner, J. 1990; Avolio et al 1991). Organizational culture styles can also be categorized into two separate categories, according to the leadership style of the leader at the helm of the organization. Theoretically, if the leader is transactional, then the culture is also transactional and if the leader is transformational, then the culture is also transformational (Gardner, J. 1990). However, in reality organizational cultures posses some aspects of both types of cultures and the trick really, is to make a conscious movie towards a transformational culture by incorporating more and more transformational aspects while still maintaining the much needed structural transactional aspects (Simola et al 2010). A transformational culture can be characterized by a sense of purpose and unity. In such cultures, commitments are made for the longer run. The top management and the consequent subordinate levels have a certain level of interdependence and mutual goals. In such cultures, management goes beyond what is required to further their self interest to do what is good for the collective wellbeing of the organization. Top management acts as mentors for subordinate management levels, the norms are flexible and adapt to the changes in the organization’s external environment and due importance is given to the organization’
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