Transformational Leadership Theory


Transformational leadership is associated in the literature with Charismatic leadership. Both depend on the ability of the leader to convey a vision of an improved future that is a result of followers transcending their own interests. While Transformational Leadership is generally positive, it can allow leaders free rein over their followers’ lives with disastrous consequences. This style of leadership is dependent on the leaders’ ability to exert a forceful influence on followers.

The literature, however, shows that the effects on both followers and organizations are positive. Den Hartog, House, Hanges, and Ruiz-Quintanilla’s (1999) identified 9 attributes of a Transformational leader that were common to sixty-two cultures. “Motive arouser, foresight, encouraging, communicative, trustworthy, dynamic, positive, confidence builder, and motivational” were constant regardless of culture. The ramifications of this finding are greater for distance education than face to face education if only because face to face educational organizations tend to deal with more homogeneous cultural groups. This being said, the effects of immigration of face to face schooling is a growing issue world wide. There are lessons for all styles of leadership in this finding.



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