Transformational Theory And Comparison With Other Theories Management Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Every individual has personal needs and requirements, and the individuals performance or efficiency in an organization is directly proportional or related to, how well that organization is responding to or providing the individual's needs and requirements. (The Theory of Human Needs, Abraham Maslow.)Burns, who continued to work on the theory, in 1978 while describing his research on politicians, defined the term "transforming leadership". However this term is being used in many areas like business, medical, profit or non-profit organizations, education, and religious. Burns explains the transformational leadership in terms of leaders, followers and the relationship between them. According to him "leaders and followers help each other to advance to a higher level or morale and motivation." He also said "the leader's act is to induce people to be aware of what they feel - to feel their true needs so strongly, to define their values so meaningfully that they can be moved to purposeful actions." (Leadership 1978, pp 43).

In organisation leaders not only play a role to achieve goals for the organization but also for the growth of the teams and individuals working for that organization! In this way the organization with its members and the leaders can achieve more and grow more, knowledge wise and personally.

Bass (1985), who continued his work on the same theory added additional information in psychological aspect which is the base of the transforming leadership. He also changed "transforming leadership" into "transformational leadership". Unlike Burns who explained transformational leadership in terms of great value. Bass took examples of Adolf Hitler and Jim Tones to explain transformational leadership styles or stills.

4 I-s and 5 Behavioural Aspects: Formulizing Charisma

According to Hass there are four components of transformation leadership or the 4 I-s "Charismatic influence, Inspirational motivation, Intellectual stimulation, Individual consideration".

Charismatic Influence: The relationship between leader and subordinates/followers not only at work level but goes up to emotional level. How strong the leader is admired by the followers? How strong the emotional attachment is? The trust and belief between leader and subordinates must be strong, as it increases the leader's influence of the subordinates.

Inspirational Motivation: How clear the leader is about the task and how clearly he/she is explaining the vision and future goals to subordinates is important to motivate and inspire the team to achieve the goals.

Intellectual Stimulation: Not only the task is important but the way to complete the task is also important and leader should be have enough knowledge to challenge, take risks to overcome any problem to complete the task. Spreading the knowledge and taking decisions collectively with the team to accomplish the task.

Individual Consideration: A group is made of individuals, even though they work together to complete the task. Different individual has different needs, understanding and providing which helps them to perform efficiently. A transformational leader not only concentrates on organisation growth but also individual's growth.

According to (Conger and Kanungo, 1998) following five behavioural aspects formulize charisma "vision and articulation, Sensitivity to the environment, Sensitivity to member's needs, Personal risk taking, and performing unconventional behaviour".

Vision and Articulation: It is not enough to have or develop a clear vision for the transformation leader but it is also important to explain the vision clearly to the subordinates to influence and motivate them.

Sensitivity to the Environment: Work-environment is not always constant, sometimes pressure and sometimes relaxed. Transformational leader should be ahead of the situation and maintain the situation properly for him/her and for the team.

Sensitivity to Member's Needs: Not only influencing and helping the organization to grow but also considering individuals and their needs.

Personal Risk Taking: It is necessary to take risks sometimes to achieve goals. So, ability to take risk and keep the team on focus and without losing confidence is important for leaders.

Performing Unconventional Behaviour:

Characters and Behaviours of Transformational Leaders in Contemporary Organizations:

According to McClelland and House.. Transformational leaders should have a strong understanding of their team.

According to Rotter, Rosenthal, Seligman, and Bandura. Self confidence and self awareness are the personal characteristics of a transformational leader and helps him/her to make plan and develop strategies to take challenging and risky decisions.

According to Jaques, Streufert. The leader should have the capacity to see the big picture and plan for long term, keeping all the resources and threats in mind.

Transformational leaders should also consider the society in which the organisation and the team are living and how the organization's goals can help the society. Forming a strong and integrated team, improving and motivate team members or individuals in the organization to a level where they can help others in the society.

Kelly (1995) indicated.. A leader can become follower and follower can become leaders in different times. Followers can be categorized based on "self-management, Commitment, Courage".

Self-Management: Ability to manage in different situations and different environments. Commitment: To achieve a goal, a lot of abstractions should be crossed and the only way is with strong commitment. Courage: To face the difficulties and support the leader in hard and risky situations.

Transformational leaders develop inspiring and challenging but achievable goals and visions for the organisation. Sharing the ideas and working closely with the team, motivating the team members and influencing the team to achieve the goals. Have genuine respect for one-self and for the others. Behaving according to situations and supporting individuals to get the best results out of individuals and team as whole.

Roles of Transformational Leader in the Contemporary Organizations

"At the heart of transformational leadership is consciousness of the self and the ability to raise consciousness in others." (Stephen Hacker, Tommy Roberts; Transformational Leadership: Creating organizations of Meaning. p: 169). Transformational leadership begins with self-awareness i.e. knowing their own thoughts and beliefs and how they are effecting their actions. As the awareness of an individual grows they can influence others and motivate others to follow.

According to Stephen Hacker, Tammy Roberts... Transformational leaders should be capable of focusing on the internal strengths and weaknesses of the organization as well as external threats and opportunities, converting weaknesses into strengths and threats into opportunities. Helping the team as well as individuals to face the tension and pressure to complete the task.

Transformational leadership in relevance to Missionaries of Charity

Considering Mother Teresa as a transformational leader and the organization she founded "Missionaries of Charity", her aim/goal was simple and clear "helping the helpless". Her message, vision and mission was so clear to the followers and the society that today the organization is working in more than 133 countries. She started the missionary in one country with few nuns but today it has more than 4500 sisters and 300 brotherhoods with more than one million people helping and funding the organization throughout the world. There are many missionaries, taking care of many helpless people like poor children, AIDS victims, homeless, and many more. All these missionaries are non profit organizations supported by funds from individuals and groups.

Missionaries of Charity, which started in one country, are now spread throughout the world with many branched specialized for children, homeless and many more. Mother Teresa transformed many lives, helped many individuals and groups to make a better life. Not only individuals but she transformed the society and it's behaviour towards some groups like, AIDS victims, ex-prostitutes, etc. She won many awards including Nobel Prize for piece; she also faced many risks and criticisms. Independent of nationality, religion, and colour she supporting people through her missionaries.

A simple catholic nun transformed her life as well as many others including the societies and helped them to increase their morale.

Considering Adolf Hitler as a transformational leader, a decorated veteran of world war one, who transformed himself into politician and became the leader of NSDAP. He like many transformational leader won the support of the people with his charismatic speeches and writings. His aim was to establish a new order of politics "single party dictatorship" over Europe. With his influence he motivated his people to invade/occupy many areas in Europe and killed many people which finally lead to world war two.


Transformational leaders not only affect the effectiveness and the efficiency of the organization but also leave their mark on the society in a good or a bad way. In case of Mother Teresa and Hitler the one common thing is the impact that society gets in the process of leader achieving the goals. Transformational leaders with their respective goals, aims, and visions, changes the way the followers and the society thinks. For good or bad transformational leaders remain in history and in our memory for ever.


James MacGregar Burns (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row

Barnard M. Bass, (1985). Leadership and Performance beyond expectation. New York: Free Press.

Bernard M. Bass, (1998). Transformational leadership: Industrial, military, and educational impact. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Greenleaf, Robert. The Servant-Leader Within: A Transformative Path. New York: Paulist Press, 2003.

Stephen Hacker and Tammy Roberts (2003). Transformational leadership: Creating organizations of meaning.

Marshall Sashkin and Molly G. Sashkin (2003). Leadership that matters: the critical factors for making a difference in People's Lives and Organizations' Success.

John Storey (2003). Leadership in organizations: current issues and key trends.

Peter Andras and George Erdos (2001). Behavioural Ecology Group Seminar.