Transformational Leadership Theory Essay

‘Consideration’ style however showed positive relationships with the staff and low level of grievances but this meant performance levels were much lower. Fiedler put forward his situational theory in 1958. He proposed that leadership was dependent upon the situation and assumed that all leaders are affected by an inherent set of leadership behaviours, which he believed was difficult to change. He identified two basic leadership styles which were task or relationship orientated.

According to Tulsian and Pandey (2008) leaders who are task orientated will perform at the best level when they are in favourable or highly unfavourable situations, whereas leaders who are relationship orientated will perform best when they are in situations of medium levels of favour. The conclusion of this theory is that a leader who is high on task behaviour is not necessarily low or high on the relationship behaviour. They can occur in any combination. In later years according to Humphrey (2014) who cites Burns (1978) who observed two different types of leader had emerged.

These being transactional and transformational. Humphrey notes further observations by Avoili (2011) stating transactional leadership forms the basis of transformational leadership. However Judge and Piccolo (2004) concluded that good leaders use both styles of leadership. Looking at these two styles in more detail it can be noted that both focus on rewards, but in different ways. Transactional leadership focuses on what needs to be done and how this can be achieved. Leaders will make adjustments to goals and directions for purely practical reasons.

Members of the team are offered external types of rewards such as better salaries, bigger bonus payments, promotions and improved working conditions. They would also be reprimanded for any mistakes that may have been made if performance levels are not satisfactory. According to Gibson, Ivancevich and Donnelly (2011 p. 355), this type of “Leader identifies what followers want or prefer and helps them achieve a level of performance that results in rewards that satisfy them. By comparison, according to Bertocci (2009), transformational leadership sets out to motivate or inspire team members. They know that team members will work for them if they have vision and passion and can generate enthusiasm and energy within the team. They are firmly committed to the goal they want to reach. They are not afraid to make major changes within an organisation in order that the goals can be met. When they are achieved, the team members receive their rewards in the form of self satisfaction that comes from being successful members of successful teams.

There is however a negative side to this type of leadership and that is whilst transformational leaders are very good at seeing the ‘whole picture’, they are not always able to see in fine detail. If these leaders are to succeed they must ensure there are members of the team who do have this ability and can work in conjunction with them. In addition sometimes their drive for change through passion and enthusiasm is just not required at that particular time or instance.

The result is that they can become very frustrated. According to Burns (1978) as reported by Transformational leadership. net (2007), it was his view that transformational leadership was more effective than transactional. He believed that this style of leadership actually encouraged the employees to work together as a team rather than individually and compete with each other. His view was that the processes focussed on the social and spiritual intrinsic needs of each individual.

He believed that this style of leadership sits near the top of Maslow’s Theory of Human Needs. These leaders require high self esteem and self actualisation and in order to display these traits and qualities, the lower levels of needs will already have been met. According to Metzler, Bauer and Mooradian (2015),various studies analysed by Judge and Piccolo (2004), found the transformational leadership style was responsible for having a positive effect on job satisfaction, motivation and supervisory satisfaction.

Bass (2005) believes that transformational leaders are very effective at supporting and guiding their followers or team members to become improved participants within the team. Sam Walton who was the founder of Wal-Mart has been identified as a transformational leader and is quoted saying, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.

According to Wang et al (2011), discussed by Bass (2005), these leaders have the ability to motivate their team members and move them beyond the level of self interest in order that they all work for the collective good. These leaders are able to encourage their team to be more flexible in their actions, more creative and finally more resistant to stress. Bass (2009) also believes that there is an increased chance that these employees will follow examples given to them and will themselves, become transformational leaders in the future. Matzler, Bauer and Mooradian (2015)