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Leadership Theories

This is a document that will give you in depth knowledge about the leadership theories. It explains transformational and transactional leadership theories in detail and even shows the relationship between them.

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Leadership Theories

  3. 3. LEADERSHIP “Leadership is to translate vision into reality” – Warren Bennis Leadership has been described as, “a process for social influence where one person can enlist the aid and support to another person in the accomplishment of a common task.” by Chemers M. For some leader is simply some personality whom others follow, while for others leader is someone who organizes his entire team to achieve a common goal. Leadership is a part of management and one of te most important factors for directing the organization. Leadership shows the abstract qualities in a person. It involves a psychological process of influencing the followers, subordinates and providing them with a solution to all their queries and problems by guiding them. “Leadership is lifting of a man’s visions to a higher sight, the raising of ma’s performance to a higher standard, the building of man’s personality beyond its normal limitations.” – Peter Drucker Leading is not as same as managing. A leader may or may not be a manager but a manager must be a good leader. Leadership is one of the four primary activities of the influencing function and it is a subset of management. Managing focuses on the non behavioral as well as behavioral issues and aspects. Leading emphasizes mainly on the behavioral aspects and issues. Merely possessing managerial skills is longer sufficient for succeeding in the corporate world. A manger makes sure that a job gets done and a leader cares about and focuses the person who does that job. And so, to combine management and leadership a demonstrated, calculated and logical focus on organizational processes is required along with a genuine concern for the workers as people.
  4. 4. LEADERSHIP APPROACHES Different leaders employ different leadership styles. They use different strategies to boost the employee performances or accomplish internal changes. Many business analysts and psychologists have formulated various frameworks that describe various approaches that leaders employ to lead in effective ways. Understanding these frameworks help us understand the effective approaches to leadership. We can use these approaches to become an effective leader. There are a number of theories and approaches to leadership. Trait theory, Attribute Pattern Approach, Behavioral and style theories, Situational and contingency theories, Functional Theories, Integrated Psychological Theories, Transactional Theory, Transformational Theory, Leader-Member exchange Theory, Neo-Emergent Theory are few theories that have been developed. According to the organizational culture and situation different theories and approaches can be employed. Every theory has it pros, cons, assumption and limitations. Out of the lot Transformational Theory and Transactional Theory are the ones that are followed largely in the organizations. TRANSACTIONAL LEADERSHIP Transactional Leadership is also known as managerial leadership focuses on getting the work in hand done. It usually deals with the leader dealing with the followers in terms of rewards and punishments. It focuses on the role of supervision, organizing and group performance. This type of leadership doesn’t have much scope for the improvement of the organization in the future. This type of leadership is effective at the time of crisis or emergency situations. It’s also effective in the projects that need to be carried out in a very specific ways. Transactional Leadership can be explained in context to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Transactional leadership works at the very basic level of need satisfaction, where the leader focuses on the lowest level of the hierarchy. Transactional leaders are more focused on the processes rather that the innovative ideas. They focus on contingent rewards or contingent penalization. Contingent rewards are given when the set goals are accomplished in-time or before time or to keep the subordinates working at a good pace throughout the project. It basically works as a motivating factor. Contingent punishments are given when the contingent
  5. 5. fails to meet the set goals in time or the quality and quantity of the output falls down. When a set task is assigned to any subordinate by a transactional leader the subordinate is supposed to be fully responsible for the outcome without considering the resources and capabilities to carry it out. Transactional leaders often uses management by exception; which works on a principle that if something is operating and performed in a defined manner then it does not need attention; and exception to expectation require certain kind of rewards and praises for exceeding expectations, similarly some kind of corrective action is required of performance below expectations. Qualities of transactional leaders are very simple. They accept goals, structures and culture that is already existing in the organization. They are action oriented and directive. They are the ones that are willing to work in the existing systems and negotiate the outcome within them. They think inside the box at the times of problems. They are more or less result oriented without paying much attention to their subordinates. They believe in gaining compliance from their followers with rewards and punishments. They are extrinsic motivators and hence they hardly can about any change in their subordinates. Transactional leadership is very passive. PROS The pros and cons of the transactional leadership is that the roles and expectations from the leader and the subordinates are clearly defined. It also maintains the culture f the organization. The rules and behavioral norms are strictly followed. CONS When the subordinate fail to deliver the output the consequences include absence of incentive, other punishments; it can also lead to dismissal. The leadership style is very direct. The scope of improvement is very low. TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP Transformational Leadership is leadership that inspires organizational success by profoundly affecting followers’ beliefs in what an organization should be, as well as their values, such as justice and integrity. This style of leadership creates a sense of duty within an organization, encourages new ways of handling problems, and promotes learning for all members of the organization. Transformational Leaders inspire followers to transcend their self interests for the good of the organization and can have an extra ordinary effect on their followers. It enhances the morale, motivation and job satisfaction of the subordinates through variety of mechanisms.
  6. 6. It includes connecting the followers sense of identity and self to the project and collective identity of the organization; being a role model for the followers to get them interested and inspires them; challenging the followers to take greater ownership of their work; understanding the strengths and weakness of the subordinates so that the leader can align their tasks for better outcomes. Transformational leadership is the concept that was first introduced by James McGregor Burns. According to Burns Transformational Leadership can be seen when “leaders and followers make each other to advance to a higher level of morality and motivation.” With the help of their strength and vision transformational leaders are able to inspire their followers to change their expectations, visions and perceptions to achieve common goals. This type of leadership is more or less based on the leader and his personality, traits and ability to make change through example and articulation of a very energizing vision and challenging goals. They pay attention to the concerns and needs of individual followers; they change followers’ awareness of issues by helping them look at the problem with a new outlook; and they excite and inspire them to put out extra efforts to achieve the group goals. Kumar Mangalam Birla of the Aditya Birla Group, Shiv Nadar of HCL Technologies, Naoroji Pirojisha Godrej of the Godrej Group, Andrea Jung at Avon, and Richard Branson of Virgin Group can all be grouped together as the Transactional Leaders. Effective transformational leadership can bring about dramatic changes in organizations. PROS It’s very effective in the long run as it develops positive mindset among the followers. It comes useful during crises such as economic difficulties that hamper the growth of the organization. CONS When not properly implemented it can cause shortcomings like draining personnels. When a wrong leader is chosen who doesn’t have the qualities of a transformational leader things the entire team suffers.
  7. 7. The following Diagram explains the working of transformational and transactional leadership and their interdependency. RELATION BETWEEN TRANSACTIONAL AND TRANFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP Transactional and transformational leadership aren’t opposing approaches to getting things done. They complement each other, though they are not equally important. Transformational leadership builds on transactional leadership and produces levels of follower effort and performance beyond what transactional leadership alone can do. But the reverse is not true. So if one is a good transactional leader but do not have transformational qualities, he/she will likely only be a mediocre leader. The best leaders are transactional and transformational.
  8. 8. High Transformational Low Transactional High Transformational High Transactional Low transformation High Transactional Low Transformational High Transactional The relationship between change and complexity to the amount of transactional and transformational leadership required X AND Y THEORY Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y can be compared to the transactional and transformational leadership. Theory X can be compared to the transactional leadership where managers need to rule by the fear and consequences. In X theory and transformational leadership negative behavior is punished and the employees are motivated through incentives. Theory Y and Transformational Leadership are found to be similar because both support the idea of the leaders work to encourage to make their subordinates work. Leaders assume the best of their employees. The leaders help their employees by supplying them with the necessary tools they require to excel. Amount of change needed High Low Complexity of the organization High
  9. 9. CONCLUSION Initial studies portrayed Transactional and Transformational leadership to be mutually exclusive, but later after the research done by the psychologists and others, Transformational and Transactional leadership were found to be continuum rather than mutually exclusive. A leader’s ability to effect positive change and inspire others to higher levels of achievement is related to his or her leadership style in the practice setting and the leadership style that is present across the organization. Hence we can conclude that the Transactional leadership is more akin to the concept of management and the Transformational leadership adheres more closely to the leadership values.
  10. 10. REFERENCES Abraham Zaleznik, J. P. (1990). Harvard Business Review on Leadership. Bass, B. &. (1994). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Bass, B. (2008). Bass & Stogdill's Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research & Managerial Applications (Vol. 4). New York, NY: The Free Press. Bass, B. (1985). Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. NewYork: The Free Press. Bass, B. M. (2006). Transformational Leadership (Vol. 2). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Bass, B. M. (1998). Transformational leadership: Industrial, military, and educational impact. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Bose, D. C. (2010). Principles of Management and Administration. New Delhi: Asoke K. Gjosh, PHI Learning Private Limited. Burns, J. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row, Onursal Arkan. Green, m. (2010). Change Management Masterclas. New Dlehi: Kogan page India private Limited. Homrig, C. M. (21 dec, 2001). Transformational Leadership. Hughes, M. (2008). Change Mangaemnet in Organizations. Delhi: jaico publishing House. Kotlyar, I. &. (2007). Falling Over Ourselves to Follow the Leader. Journal of Leadership ad Organizational Studies . Kouzes, J. B. (1999). Encouraging the Heart. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc. Kouzes, J. B. (1999). Encouraging the Heart. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc. Nissinen, V. (2006). Deep Leadership. Talentum, Finland. Pielstick, C. (1998). The transforming leader: A meta-ethnographic analysis. Community College Review . Roesner, J. (1990, November- December). Ways women lead. Harvard Business Review .
  11. 11. Samuel C. Certo, S. T. (2009). Modern Management-Concepts and Skills (11 ed.). New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education, Inc. Schultz & Schultz, D. (2010). Psychology and work today. NewYork: Prentice Hall. Stephen Robbins, T. J. (2012). Organizational Behaviour (14 ed.). Pearson Education, Ins. Turner, N., Barling, J., Epitropaki, O., Butcher, V., & Milner, C. (2002). Transformational leadership and moral reasoning. Journal of Applied Psychology , 87.

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  • dhirajdeka5

    May. 16, 2018

This is a document that will give you in depth knowledge about the leadership theories. It explains transformational and transactional leadership theories in detail and even shows the relationship between them.


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