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Transformational Leadership - Article Example

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There are several facades of leadership. Northouse construes leadership to be a process through which an individual influences a group of people to achieve a given goal (Northouse, 2010, p3). This indicates that leadership is a system through which people attain certain objectives and goals through a collective action. …
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Transformational Leadership
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, the leader plays the crucial role of ensuring that people take action that is in sync with the objectives and goals of the group.
Leadership is a social phenomenon. As such, there are elements of leader-follower relationships that are mainly subjective in nature and are influenced by individual personality and the philosophical outline of the group (Nozick, 2010 p27). Due to this, the definition of leadership in itself is not quite clear.
Gallos defines leadership as “a complex social process, rooted in the values, skills, knowledge and ways of thinking of both leaders and followers” (p18, 2008). This definition therefore means that leadership is influenced by some variables that influence the relationship between leaders and followers.
However, there has been debates in academia and practice about how leadership can and must be construed (Stevenson, 2004 p2). Leadership can be seen as a transaction through which the leader gets to instruct and force his followers to attain the objectives of the group. In this sense, leadership is seen as a transactional event. A transactional event is “an activity or event whereby a group of people need some form of direction to attain a clearly identified goal” (Paulsen, 2010 p17).
In the concept of transactional leadership, followers are required to attain stated ends and the leader is there to ensure that. This means that a formal relationship exists between a transactional leader and his followers. This relationship does not extend beyond the confines of attaining the objectives at hand. On the other hand, several contemporary writers like Bass and Burns have put forward the concept of transformational leadership. Transformational leadership seems to encompass some social aspects which enhances the relationship between leaders and followers outside the normal scope of work or organizational goals. This paper examines the concept of transformational leadership. It begins by identifying the default position of leadership in organizations, which is transactional leadership. From that point, the paper goes on to evaluate the role of transformational leadership as an improvement and replacement of transactional leadership. The paper also focuses on elements of transformational leadership and examines some important aspects of this type of leadership. Transactional-Event, Leadership and Authority Max Weber stated that there are three sources of authority and these sources of authority puts a person in a leadership position in a transactional event (Walonick, 1993). Weber's three sources of authority are patriarchal/traditional, rational/legal and/or charismatic/informal. Patriarchal leadership results from historical activities which gives individuals and families certain social status. Thus, people who acquire leadership through patriarchal authorities are mainly people whose births and families have some inherent power or rights of leadership which are transferred to them through inherently. On the other hand, rational/legal authority comes about because a person is legally accepted to have acquired the necessary education, qualifications/certification and relevant experience to fill a given position (Kalinowski, 2005). Such a position of authority is legally recognized by the laws of the land. Charismatic authority comes about as a result of certain informal qualities that renders an individual more powerful in a group. This power, when exercised gives the individual some kind of authority. In exercising authority, a leader could see the followers as a means to an end or an end in itself (Grint, 2002). The approach used, makes the leader either ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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