Describe the following leadership theories: (a) Transformational leadership, (b) Situational Leadership Theory/Model.

Alan Keith of Genentech defined Leadership as creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.

John Maxwell defined leadership as "leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less." This moves beyond the position defining the leader, to looking at the ability of the leader to influence other.

Warren Bennis' definition of leadership is focused much more on the individual capability of the leader : "Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential."

Leadership is and has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”

Leadership is defined in so many different ways that it is hard to come up with a single working definition. Leadership is not just a person or group of people in a high position; understanding leadership is not complete without understanding


interactions between a leader and his or her followers. Neither is leadership merely the ability or static capacity of a leader.

In these unique social dynamics, all the parties involved attempt to influence each other in the pursuit of goals. Leadership is a process in which a leader attempts to influence his or her followers to establish and accomplish a goal or goals. Leadership is a process in which a leader attempts to influence his or her followers to establish and accomplish a goal or goals.

A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards a specific result. Leaders are recognized by their capacity for caring for others, clear communication, and a commitment to persist. An individual who is appointed to a managerial position has the right to command and enforce obedience by virtue of the authority of his position. However, he must possess adequate personal attributes to match his authority, because authority is only potentially available to him. In the absence of sufficient personal competence, a manager may be confronted by an emergent leader who can challenge his role in the organization and reduce it to that of a figurehead.

It follows that whoever wields personal influence and power can legitimize this only by gaining a formal position in the hierarchy, with commensurate authority. Leadership can be defined as one's ability to get others to willingly follow. Every organization needs leaders at every level.


Leadership theories are a relatively recent phenomena that have been advanced by the sudden interest in historical leaders and the desire to identify the characteristics and behaviors that these leaders exhibited. By understanding the characteristics of the leader, their successes and failures, as well as the political and work environment they faced, the modern day worker can hope to replicate this success.

Transformational Leadership starts with the development of a vision, a view of the future that will excite and convert potential followers. This vision may be developed by the leader, by the senior team or may emerge from a broad series of discussions. In order to create followers, the Transformational Leader has to be very careful in creating trust, and their personal integrity is a critical part of the package that they are selling. In effect, they are selling themselves as well as the vision.

When a decision is needed, an effective leader does not just fall into a single preferred style, such as using transactional or transformational methods. Factors that affect situational decisions include motivation and capability of followers. Leaders here work on such factors as external relationships, acquisition of resources, managing demands on the group and managing the structures and culture of the group.


The central concept here is change and the role of leadership in envisioning and implementing the transformation of organizational performance.

The transformational leadership style is said to occur when one or more persons engage with in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality. This is almost like a synergy that might exist whereby everyone gets raised to a higher level of performance. Mahatma Gandhi is a great example of a transformational leader, because he satisfied the needs of his followers. But instead of riding those needs to power, he remained sensitive to a higher purpose. His vision of leadership went beyond himself to the greater good of all that followed him. John Kotter (1988) distinguishes transformational leadership from management. Effective management carefully plans the goal of an organization, recruits the necessary staff, organizes them, and closely supervises them to make sure that the initial plan is executed properly. Successful leadership goes beyond management of plans and tasks. It envisions the future and sets a new direction for the organization. Successful leaders mobilize all possible means and human resources; they inspire all members of the organization to support the new mission and execute it with enthusiasm. When an organization faces an uncertain environment, it demands strong leadership. On the other hand, when


an organization faces internal operational complexity, it demands strong management. If an organization faces both an uncertain environment and internal operational complexity, it requires both strong leadership and strong management. In 1993, Kenneth Leithwood's theory of leadership added to this model of the transformational leader. His theory explained that the transformational

leadership style fostered the acceptance of group goals, communicated high performance expectations, and challenged people intellectually. The leader also set the example of what is expected from those being led in terms of the ideal behavior. The transformational leader (Burns, 2008) motivates its team to be effective and efficient. Communication is the base for goal achievement focusing the group on the final desired outcome or goal attainment. This leader is highly visible and uses chain of command to get the job done. Transformational leaders focus on the big picture, needing to be surrounded by people who take care of the details. The leader is always looking for ideas that move the organization to reach the company’s vision The final stage is to remain up-front and central during the action. Transformational Leaders are always visible and will stand up to be counted rather than hide behind their troops. They show by their attitudes and actions how everyone else should behave. They also make continued efforts to motivate


and rally their followers, constantly doing the rounds, listening, soothing and enthusing. Organizations utilizing a transformational strategy have the opportunity to motivate and inspire employees, especially when the company is facing a challenge or change in direction. The transformational strategy provides a sense of purpose and meaning that can unite employees to achieve a common set of goals. One of the methods the Transformational Leader uses to sustain motivation is in the use of ceremonies, rituals and other cultural symbolism. Small changes get big hurrahs, pumping up their significance as indicators of real progress. The major drawback of transformational strategies is that they depend on the highly developed intellectual skills of employees to be successful. This is because an exciting and satisfying place to work alone does not guarantee goals will be achieved. Transformational leadership is a process in which the leaders take actions to try to increase their associates' awareness of what is right and important, to raise their associates' motivational maturity and to move their associates to go beyond the associates' own self-interests for the good of the group, the organization, or society. Such leaders provide their associates with a sense of purpose that goes beyond a simple exchange of rewards for effort provided.


The transformational leaders are proactive in many different and unique ways. These leaders attempt to optimize development, not just performance. Development encompasses the maturation of ability, motivation, attitudes, and values. Such leaders want to elevate the maturity level of the needs of their associates (from security needs to needs for achievement and selfdevelopment). They convince their associates to strive for a higher level of achievement as well as higher levels of moral and ethical standards. Through the development of their associates, they optimize the development of their organization as well. High performing associates build high performing organizations Today, transformational leadership has evolved into a "transforming

organizational framework." This framework focuses on four components:
• • •

An active and disorderly environment. An organization as a background for capacity building. Transformational leadership that assembles facilitates and lifts up human

and organizational processes.








capabilities and their possible contributions to employees, the company, and society.


Whilst behavioural theories may help managers develop particular leadership behaviours they give little guidance as to what constitutes effective leadership in different situations. Indeed, most researchers today conclude that no one leadership style is right for every manager under all circumstances. Instead, contingency-situational theories were developed to indicate that the style to be used is contingent upon such factors as the situation, the people, the task, the organisation, and other environmental variables.

This approach sees leadership as specific to the situation in which it is being exercised. For example, whilst some situations may require an autocratic style, others may need a more participative approach. It also proposes that there may be differences in required leadership styles at different levels in the same organization.

Contingency leadership theory in organizational studies is a type of leadership theory, leadership style, and leadership model that presumes that different leadership styles are contingent to different situations. It is also referred as Situational Leadership theory although, as originally convened, the situational theory term is much more restrictive. The original situational theory argues that the best type of leadership is totally determined by the situational variables


Situational theory also appeared as a reaction to the trait theory of leadership. Social scientists argued that history was more than the result of intervention of great men as Carlyle suggested. Herbert Spencer (1884) said that the times produce the person and not the other way around.[11] This theory assumes that different situations call for different characteristics; according to this group of theories, no single optimal psychographic profile of a leader exists. According to the theory, "what an individual actually does when acting as a leader is in large part dependent upon characteristics of the situation in which he functions. There are many ways in which a situation effects the method of leadership a supervisor would employee. In their study The Role of the Situation in Leadership, Doctors Victor H Vroom, and Arthur G Jago have identified three distinct roles in which the situation affects leadership. The first role the situation plays in affecting leadership is that situations outside a leaders control may affect the effectiveness of the overall organization. Often when the organization is in trouble the blame is placed on leaders. Many times these leaders have little to no control over the state of the organization. However, when measuring a leader’s effectiveness in such situations one must look at how they respond to what they can control such as their subordinates. A second finding of Vroom and Jago is that Situations shape how leaders behave. According to Vroom and Jago, “Their research, showing that situation accounts for about three times as much variance as do individual differences.” A third and final finding of Vroom and Jago is that Situations influence the


consequences of a leaders behavior. According to Vroom and Jago "a leadership style that is effective in one situation may prove completely ineffective in a different situation”(Vroom and Jago). Thus, the choice of leadership style one uses may bring about both positive or negative consequences depending on the given situation. The Fiedler contingency model bases the leader’s effectiveness on what Fred Fiedler called situational contingency. This results from the interaction of leadership style and situational favorableness (later called "situational control"). The theory defined two types of leader: those who tend to accomplish the task by developing good-relationships with the group (relationship-oriented), and those who have as their prime concern carrying out the task itself (taskoriented). According to Fiedler, there is no ideal leader. Both task-oriented and relationship-oriented leaders can be effective if their leadership orientation fits the situation. When there is a good leader-member relation, a highly structured task, and high leader position power, the situation is considered a "favorable situation". Fiedler found that task-oriented leaders are more effective in extremely favourable or unfavourable situations, whereas relationship-oriented leaders perform best in situations with intermediate favourability.

In contrast to the Fiedler contingency model, the path-goal model states that the four leadership behaviors are fluid, and that leaders can adopt any of the four depending on what the situation demands. The path-goal model can be


classified both as a contingency theory, as it depends on the circumstances, but also as a transactional leadership theory, as the theory emphasizes the reciprocity behavior between the leader and the followers.

The path-goal theory of leadership was developed by Robert House (1971) and was based on the expectancy theory of Victor Vroom.[19] According to House, the essence of the theory is "the meta proposition that leaders, to be effective, engage in behaviors that complement subordinates' environments and abilities in a manner that compensates for deficiencies and is instrumental to subordinate satisfaction and individual and work unit performance.[20] The theory identifies four leader behaviors, achievement-oriented, directive, participative, and supportive, that are contingent to the environment factors and follower characteristics. The Situational Leadership theory allows leaders to make a choice which ultimately predicts their effectiveness. Although this style of leadership is new, it is views as highly successful, and thus, leaders whom follow the situational model are considered successful leaders. Job satisfaction, willingness to work and performance were all rated highest with Situational Leadership. The situational leadership model proposed by Hersey and Blanchard suggests four leadership-styles and four levels of follower-development. For effectiveness, the model posits that the leadership-style must match the appropriate level of followership-development. In this model, leadership


behavior becomes a function not only of the characteristics of the leader, but of the characteristics of followers as well.

To determine the appropriate leadership style to use in a given situation, the leader must first determine the maturity level of the followers in relation to the specific task that the leader is attempting to accomplish through the effort of the followers. As the level of followers' maturity increases, the leader should begin to reduce his or her task behaviour and increase relationship behaviour until the followers reach a moderate level of maturity. As the followers begin to move into an above average level of maturity, the leader should decrease not only task behaviour but also relationship behaviour. Once the maturity level is identified, the appropriate leadership style can be determined.

A situational leadership style is not dictated by the leadership skills of the manager. The idea of situational leadership is more closely tied to using the style needed to be successful given the existing work environment being managed or the specific needs of the business.

The effective manager is able to utilize multiple leadership styles as conditions change. This is the theory behind the concept of situational leadership. Implementing situational leadership in an organization then becomes a matter of training managers to recognize the current work setting or employee situation and using the most effective leadership style given that specific challenge.



From the review of leadership theory, current models and competency frameworks in use throughout the public and private sectors it would appear that a somewhat limited version of “transformational” leadership is being promoted. Most frameworks go beyond simple definitions of behaviours, to also consider some of the cognitive, affective and inter-personal qualities of leaders, however, although the role of followers may be recognised it is usually in a rather simplistic, unidirectional manner. Leadership, therefore, is conceived as a set of values, qualities and behaviours exhibited by the leader that encourage the participation, development, and commitment of followers. Although leadership is difficult to define, it is essential in all types of organization, but even more important in public administration. There are more levels of leadership involved in public administration, with at least different levels specific, both inside and outside the organization (Gorton, Mahler, and Nicholson 291). Each of these theories takes a rather individualistic perspective of the leader, although a school of thought gaining increasing recognition is that of “dispersed” leadership. This approach, with its foundations in sociology, psychology and politics rather than management science, views leadership as a process that is diffuse throughout an organization rather than lying solely with the formally designated ‘leader’. The emphasis thus shifts from developing ‘leaders’ to developing ‘leaderful’ organizations with a collective responsibility for leadership.


The basis of good leadership is honorable character and selfless service to your organization. In your employees' eyes, your leadership is everything you do that effects the organization's objectives and their well-being. Respected leaders concentrate on what they a r e [ b e ] (such as beliefs and character), what they k n o w (such as job, tasks, and human nature), and what they d o (such as implementing, motivating, and providing direction). For example Immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush’s approval rating skyrocketed from about 50 percent to almost 90 percent. In one historic, terrible day, he was transformed, in the eyes of his fellow Americans, into a strong and decisive leader. At the end of his second term, his approval rating had fallen to about 27 percent. President Bush’s status as a leader was situational, depending on the events of that fateful day in September of 2001. At the helm when the attacks took place, he was transformed into a strong leader. In addition to the “soft” skills, the leader is also expected to display excellent information processing, project management, customer service and delivery skills, along with proven business and political acumen. They build partnerships, walk the talk, show incredible drive and enthusiasm, and get things done. Furthermore, the leader demonstrates innovation, creativity and thinks “outside the box”. They are entrepreneurs who identify opportunities - they like to be challenged and they’re prepared to take risks.


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