This paper aims to critically analyze the transformational leadership theories and their practices in the current business world. The finding of this paper comes from several journals, books, and websites. The finding shows that leadership styles used in modern businesses are mainly classified into democratic leadership, autocratic leadership, liaises-fair leadership, charismatic leadership, and transformational leadership. Among these leaderships transformational leadership is widely used in businesses, mainly in term of brining major changes in business. That is why several theories and models on transformational leadership have been developed over times by business experts. The term ‘transformational leadership’ is defined as the approach for managers and leaders in businesses to inspire their followers by focusing on the follower values and expectations to bring major changes in business functions and activities.
The concept of transformational leadership was, first, developed by James McGregor Burns in 1978 in this research on political leaders. However, this term is now widely used in businesses across the world as organizational psychology. There are four key elements of transformational leadership that are: a) individualized consideration; b) intellectual stimulation; c) inspirational motivation; and d) idealized influences. When a manager/leader can use these four components of leadership, he/she can be strong role model, coach, innovator and encourager, and gain better performance of business. Managers/leaders who can exhibit transformational leadership are more effective leaders with better performance and productivity. Therefore, managers/leaders should practice all of the components (idealized influence, individualized consideration, and inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation) to bring performance beyond expectation.
Table of Contents
2.0 Concept of transformational leadership.
2.1 Definition of transformational leadership.
2.2 Background of transformational leadership.
2.3 Key elements of transformational leadership.
2.4 How transformational leadership gains business performance.
3.0 Researches on transformational leadership.
4.0 How transformational leadership works in businesses.
4.0 Supports for and arguments against the leadership theory.
4.1 Support for the transformational leadership theories.
4.2 Arguments against the transformational theories.
The term ‘leadership in the current business world is one of the significant topics. Many organizations (including private, public, and even charitable organizations) face challenges to run their operations efficiently due to lack of effective leadership practices. According to Mullins (2014), the rapid changes in the dynamic business world, mainly in technologies, severe competitiveness, market demand, and changing needs of stakeholders, are giving challenges for businesses in the practice of leaderships. Torrington et al. (2015) stated that these challenges are continuously influencing the confidence, optimism and hopes, business activities, initiatives taken by the business management people, and purpose, values and integrity of stakeholders. These challenges also affect the self-awareness and long-term value for stakeholders, short and long term goals of businesses, and employee motivation and performance. Therefore, it is now an important issue for the managers in businesses to concentrate on their leadership practices and development (Briton and Gold, 2013). This paper critically evaluates the transformational leadership and theories developed over time-related to this leadership. The first section of this paper describes the term ‘transformational leadership’, background of transformational leadership, and development concept of transformational leadership. The second part of this paper focused on the researches done on transformational leadership overtimes. The third section explains how transformational leadership works. The last section outlines the supports for and arguments against transformational leadership.
2.0 Concept of transformational leadership
2.1 Definition of transformational leadership
The term ‘leadership’ is defined is the process of influencing and dominating people and their activities in businesses towards the organizational goals and objectives (Bratton and Gold, 2013). A manager with good leadership skills influences the followers to motivate them and direct them towards the goals and objectives of businesses (Torrington et al., 2015). According to Mullins (2014), this means good leadership increases the enthusiasm of followers towards their activities and roles that ultimately support businesses to meet their organizational goals. Mullins (2014) classified the leaderships as democratic leadership, autocratic leadership, liaises-fair leadership, and transformational leadership. Torrington et al. (2015) added transactional leadership, charismatic leadership, and situational leadership with the leadership classified by Mullins (2014). Among these leadership styles, transformational leadership style is now widely used in the modern business world in bringing major changes in business activities, functions, and operations (Yukl, 2013).
The term ‘transformational leadership’ is defined by experts in different ways. Yukl (2013) defined transformational leadership as the leadership way which brings changes in the activities and functions of businesses. Torrington et al. (2015) said transformational leadership creates positive changes and values among the followers to achieve the organizational goals. In other word, transformational leadership is the process and mechanism that increase staff motivation, morale and performance. Bratton and Gold (2013) said transformational leadership focuses on the sense of follower identity and role model of followers that support them to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and overcome the challenges faced in the workplace and way of gaining the business vision and mission. Mullins (2014) stated that every manager in workplaces should have satisfactory leadership skills and have to works as both manager and leader to influence and motive the followers. Northouse (2013) defined the transformational leadership as process of influencing followers to bring major changes in business and to meet the goals and objectives of businesses. A good transformational leader influences his/her followers in positive way to reach organizational goals that ultimately make him/her exceptional leader.
According to Hall et al. (2017), before using the transformational leadership styles by managers in workplace they must understand the concept of transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is the process of changing and transforming individuals in the workplace. In other word, it can be explained as the way of influencing the followers towards changes, improvements, and leading them towards the business goals and objectives. Mullins (2014) stated that transformational leadership assess followers’ motives, satisfy their needs and value their needs and expectations. Thus, a successful leader can bring major success to a business. For example, one of the successful leaders in current business world is the founder of Wal-Mart, the biggest retailer in US. The founder of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton often visited several stores to the expectations of staffs that appreciated the employees and motivate them to meet the business goals (Hall et al., 2017). The other example of successful transformational leadership is Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs could successfully bring changes in the activities and functions of Apple that gave huge success in the competitive marketplace and beat the competitors including Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, and others (Zenger, 2013). Steve Jobs always focused on the changes in technologies, simplified the product designing and functions, took responsibility end to end, and put product before profits that gave real success in his business (Isaacson, 2012)……………..