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Transformational Leadership

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The theme, itself, has had mystical and quasi-religious overtones that did not fit well with the sort of down-to-earth empiricism of scientific psychology. Further, the constructs that defined heroic leadership were difficult to define and operationalize. Perhaps most importantly, heroic leaders were not easily available for study. Such figures, after all, appear infrequently and are usually too busy conquering the world to fill out the necessary questionnaires. In the late 1970s and the 1980s, interest in so-called "transformational" leadership was given a boost by two coalescing factors. On the scientific front, researchers were becoming frustrated with the limitations of contemporary leadership models in explaining and predicting the powerful impact that leaders seemed to have on organizations.

At the same time, increased levels of business competition stimulated interest among practicing managers in ways to improve personal and organizational functioning. Popular interest made it easier for researchers to gain access to top level leaders, and the demand for the findings of the research fueled the work of both empirical researchers and armchair theoreticians. Although we have seen a resurgence of interest recently, the roots of transformational leadership theory (so called because such leadership transforms the goals of followers from self-interest to collective achievement) were found in the writings of the turn of the century German sociologist, Max Weber.

Transformational Leadership, Self-Efficacy and Work-Related Attitudes Transformational leadership can be conceptualized as consisting of charisma (idealized influence), inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Over nearly 20 years, those leaders rated higher on these transformational leadership components by their followers have been associated with generating higher levels of effort, commitment, satisfaction, and work performance both at individual and collective levels.

The consistency in the pattern of positive results associated with transformational leadership is similar to the results produced over the last three decades examining collective and self-efficacy. Bass (1985) espoused a theory of transformational leadership that. The degree to which leaders are transformational was measured in terms of the leaders effect on followers. Followers of transformational leaders feel trust, admiration, loyalty, and respect toward leaders and are motivated to perform extra-role behaviors.

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preview essay on Transformational Leadership
  • Pages: 9 (2250 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Management
  • Level: Undergraduate
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