The Transformational Leadership Theories

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As society is consistently evolving, so is leadership theory and concepts. Transformational and transactional leadership theories have evolved over the decades to include the studies of James Burns in 1978 and a more modernized theory conceptualized by Bernard Bass in 1985. Traditional leadership theories are relevant and still appear in modern theories in the form of transactional aspects. Studying transformational leadership and its evolution demonstrates the importance and relevance of the theory and its modern day applications for success.
Burns’ Leadership Concept
Transforming leadership, conceptualized in 1978 by James MacGregor Burns, was the leading theory in the transformational leadership theory known today. Focusing on motivation
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Appealing to the social components of employees, results in an increase in encouragement towards collaboration and team work. Seeing transforming leadership as an ever-evolving dynamic, Burn believed this methodology to be more sustainable than a situationally specific transactional approach.
Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory
Looking at the evolution of the transformational leadership theory, it is interesting to explore the theory of Bernard Bass in 1985. Believing in transformational leader ship and its effectiveness, Bass also believed that a leader could be simultaneously transactional. Being that leaders are consistently requesting tasks and performance out of their subordinates, this constitutes transactional leadership qualities. Transformational leaders can exhibit qualities of a transactional leader in the fact they require things of their team members through the following tactics:
1.) Individual consideration: The leader approaches each team member as an individual as opposed to approaching every team member uniformly. This results in enhanced job performance and success and greater organizational
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2.) Rewards and discipline: A transactional leader will reward team members for performance beyond what is expected of them. This theory of management is guided by the belief that employees will perform based on a monetary system of reward and are driven by such an incentive.
3.) Strong management structure: Transactional leadership is heavily dependent on roles, responsibilities and heavily structured. Authority plays a strong role in such an environment and can be stifling. This type of set up leaves less opportunity for all team members to be heard consistently.
4.) Method of communication: Orders are given from the top down in such a structure and this traditional method of leadership inhibits a two-way flow of communication amongst leaders and team

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