Essay on Supporting Transformational Leadership Theory
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questionFor every theory there is a counter argument. What are the criticisms and argumentsagainstTransformational Leadership? Identify the sources and clearly articulate the reasoningbehind the criticisms. Adopt a position for or against Transformational Leadership and defend yourposition with argument.Essay inSupporting Transformational Leadership TheoryIntroduction;Transformational leadership theory is the most current leadership theory that attracts manydiscussions and researches at different levels to prove its effectiveness in current world leadership’spattern, but some are against it. Transformational leadership is all about empowering followers todevelop themselves and improving their performance beyond expectation (Bass & Avolio, 1990 ascited by Taly el al., 2002). It has also been argued by (William, L. K., et al. 1995. p. 331) that“transformational leaders have charismatic leadership behavior whereby they attempt to inspiretheir followers in return to faith and respect. They also have a clear sense of mission that theyattempt to convey to their followers. It further evidenced that such leaders also tend to havesuperior debating skills, technical expertise and persuasive skills.”The transformational leadership theory’s platform is build of four main concepts(IntellectualSimulation, Individualized consideration, IdealizedInfluence and Inspiration Motivation) which areunderheavy criticism from the opposingside of the ideathat they are highly correlated tocharismatic behaviors (Northouse, 2007 as cited byMarturano,2004).Meanwhiletransactionalleadershiptheoryusesthe existing organizationalstructures to build energy of the followers in return for rewards.(Davidhizer & Shearer, 1997 as citedby Bruce & Robert, 2004)Four I’sof transformational leadership theory: Intellectual Simulation- the leader encouragesfollowers to explore new ways of doing things andnew opportunities tolearn. Individualizedconsideration-Transformational leader encourage and give support to individualfollower to achievetheirtargets. Inspiration Motivation-transformational leaders have clear vision which want to passto his orher followers in order to helpachieve target. Idealized Influence-transformation leader actas a role model or mentor to the followers In an organization (Bass & Riggio, 2006. p. 5-7)From these perspectives, some scholars have criticized the transformational leadership theory onthe ground that is based on few concepts which are not enough to support the idea during itsinnovation i.e 4I’s . They added further that is difficult to train others to be transformational leaders.Nevertheless other support the theory by saying it’s based on on-to-one individuals and recognizedthe value and needs of followers.(Northouse, 2001 as cited by John, el at., 2002)The author of this essayis hereby supporting the transformational leadership theory, on which thisdiscussion will shed somelight into common criticism ofthe transformational leadership theory. Inparticular argument will be based on Contradiction existing between transformational leadershipand charismatic, the danger of transformational leaders to abuse power, Inefficiency of Multifactorleadership questionnaire (MLQ) and the concept of Power and Morality effects of transformationalleadership.
Discussion;Contradiction between Transformational leadership and Charismatic leadershipTransformationalleader is an “icon” to organization especially in an organization where this leader did what wasthought to be impossible (Bass & Avolio, 1994 as cited by Mandell & Pherwani, 2003).Hitler is best example of Charismatic leader while Gandhi ishighly inspirational transformationalleader.(Doyle & Smith 2009)It has also been argued by (Burns, 1978 as cited by Tucker & Russell, 2004) that a transformationalleader will elevate his/her followers to a higher level of achievement by his/her inspirationmotivation; moreover followers will striveto organization needs in expense of their ownneeds.Transformationalleadership is leadership style whichis based on four behaviors commonlyknown as the 4Is. They are Idealized Influence, Inspiration Motivation, Intellectual Simulation,Individualized consideration (Bass & Riggio. 2006). Typically the first two behaviors are charismaticbehaviors (Mandell &Pherwani, 2003) whereby a leader inspire his/herfollowers to the extent thatthey reach a high level of believe that without him or her an organization can’t move any stepforward. From this end, a red line can be drawn between the transformational leader to thecharismatic one, the former is working on behalf of his/her followers and organization while thelatter keeps his/her own agenda to the expense of the followers and organization.Some examples of individuals who are consideredtransformational leaders include, BillGates ofMicrosoft, Steve Jobs of Apple, Michael Dell of Dell ComputerCorporation, Jeff Bezos ofAmazon.com, Lou Gerstner ofIBM, and Jack Welch of GE.(Kreindy, 2000)Critics of transformational and charismatic leadership lie on its ambiguity in differentiating betweenthe two. (Bass, 1995 as sited by Yukl, 1999) stressed that, ‘charisma’ is a necessary component ofthe transformational leadership; he noted further, that a leader can be charismatic without beingtransformational. It is not clear where charismatic leader cannot be transformational and theopposite is also true. There is confusion even in their definition both theories insist on follower’sempowerment and trust but differ on the inner value and intention of the leader something thatcannot be seen easily (Bryan, 1993 as cited byYukl, 1999).In their study of charismatic leadership (Conger, et al. 1988.p.6) , “they concluded that, thedevelopment of charismatic leadership is assumed to be a transformational leadership process andtransformational leaders are assumed to be charismatic as well as intellectual stimulating,inspirational and so forth... pure charismatic has attracted followers’ attention, convinced them ofthe merits of hisor her vision, and established a strong following”. From this end, it is even furtherclouded to get clear distinction between the two as they are both playing on the same platform ofleadership behaviours such as inspiration motivation.It was also argued by (Avolio & Bass. 1987 and House.1977 as cited by Conger, et al.1988) that at theapex level of charismatic leadership, a leader is seen as demonstrating or addressing the individualneeds of followers (treating followers on a one-to-one basis) and they encourage followers to look atold problems in new ways through intellectual stimulation. It is ratherconfusing as at the apexcharismatic leaders become transformational leader as they are using built-in behaviors oftransformational(Graham, 1987 as cited by Conger, et al. 1988).From this juncture, the author of this essay is convinced that, charismatic is a very important part ofthe transformational leadership theory and the two are over lapping but not contradicting (Propper,1994 as cited by Conger & Kanungo, 1994). The charismatic leadership includes among other things,