Leadership Essays

2034 Words Mar 24th, 2012 9 Pages
For every theory there is a counter argument. What are the criticisms and arguments against Transformational Leadership? Identify the sources and clearly articulate the reasoning behind the criticisms. Adopt a position for or against Transformational Leadership and defend your position with argument


This essay is based on the Transformational leadership theory and will be referred to as TL throughout this essay. This essay will look into criticisms and arguments against the theory and analyse the reasoning of these criticisms and arguments. Effective leaders are well aware that in best practice it is never viable to implement one style of leadership and flexibility is vital for a smooth operation. This essay will
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Inspirational Motivation – Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are able to articulate to followers. These leaders are also able to help followers experience the same passion and motivation to fulfil these goals.
Idealized Influence – The transformational leaders serves as a role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the leader, they emulate the leader and internalize his or her ideals.
The four components deal with a close relationship between leaders and follower. The criticisms of the 4 components were that they were personalised, and demanded the capabilities of experienced senior managers. TL seemed to be out of reach for new or inexperienced leaders and thus was criticised as an elitist theory, relevant only to the selected few that may possibly be able to implement its strategy. Bass and Riggio (2006) “Critics perceive transformational leadership as elitist and anti democratic” (Pg11). This also brings into question on the limits of the application of TL as these so called elite will not be in the majority.
The biggest criticisms of all regarding TL comes from the “dark side” or the pseudotransformational aspect that is concerned with this theory. Bass and Riggio (2006) “pseudotransformational leaders believe in distorted utilitarian and warped moral principles” (pg14). TL does not discriminate and is applicable by both authentic and inauthentic leaders. This means an authentic leader such as Steve Jobs of Apple can

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