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1 CHAPTER 2 HISTORY OF LEADERSHIP RESEARCH 2.1. INTRODUCTION A large and growing volume of literature has been produced on leadership, and a distinct body of knowledge can be discerned on the subject. Even so, there are still confusions and misunderstandings of several concepts, and there is a need for adequate illustration and explanation. Leadership research appears to have been detained by the repetition of studies on a few topics, the application of a few methods and frameworks, and the discussion of a small number of ideas. In this chapter, the first part of the literature review is presented. The review focuses on an effort to cover the history of leadership research REDISCOVERING LEADERSHIP What is leadership? Many works on leadership start with this question. Many have lamented that the construction of leadership lacks a common and established definition by which it can be evaluated, no dominant paradigms for studying it, and little agreement about the best strategies for developing and exercising it (Hackman and Wageman, 2007; Barker, 1997; Higgs, 2003). Bennis (2007) laments that it has almost become a cliché, that there is no single definition of leadership. In view of others, there are as many definitions of leadership as the number of people who have attempted to define leadership (Bass, 1990). The bulk of literature available on leadership makes it difficult to present the concept of leadership in a single definition (Goethals et al., 2004). However, a few definitions in the literature are: Leadership may be defined as the behavior of an individual while he is involved in directing group activities (Hemphill, 1949, p. 4). Leadership behavior means particular acts in which a leader engages in the course of directing and coordinating the work to his group members (Fiedler, 1967, p. 36) 20

2 Leadership is the reciprocal process of mobilizing by persons with certain motives and values, various economic, political and other resources, in context of competition and conflict, in order to realize goals independently or mutually held by both leaders and followers (Burns, 1978, p. 425). The capacity to create a compelling vision and translate it into action and sustain it (Bennis, 1989, p. 65) Leadership involves influencing task objectives and strategies, influencing commitment and compliance in task behavior to achieve these objectives, influencing group maintenance and identification and influencing the culture of an organization (Yukl, 1989, p. 253). The principal dynamic force that motivates and coordinates the organization in the accomplishment of its objectives (Bass, 1990). Leadership is the process of persuasion or example by which an individual (or leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leader and his or her followers (Gardner, 1990, p. 1). Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes (Rost, 1991, p. 102). Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. The main points of this definition are that leadership is a group activity, is based on social influence, and revolves around a common task (Chemers, 1997, p. 1). Leadership is a process a dynamic process in which the leader(s) and followers interact in such a way as to generate change (Kellerman and Webster, 2001, p. 487). A process of motivating people to work together collaboratively to accomplish great things (Vroom and Jago, 2007, p. 18). However, these definitions over different points in time do show that the understanding of leadership has travelled from behaviors to actions to eventually a social process that involves the leader, followers, and situations. Despite the overabundance of leadership definitions, Burns (1978) argues that leadership is the most observed but least understood phenomenon. It is a field which has both fascinated and perplexed the researchers and practitioners, creating a significant amount of research 21

3 and theories to conceptualize and explain this phenomenon (see: Ayaman, 2000, cited in Goethals et al., 2004). Other researchers have also talked about the complexity and elusiveness of leadership (see: Chemers, 1997). The abundance of literature on leadership is reflected by the increase in the number of articles in its bible, Stogdill s Handbook of Leadership. Only 3,000 studies were listed in the earlier publication and the number increased to 5,000 within seven years. However, the authors of Stogdill s Handbook of Leadership concluded that the endless accumulation of empirical data has not produced an integrated understanding of leadership. Despite this assertion, DuBrin (1995) claims that about 30,000 research articles, magazine articles and books had been written till the mid nineties of 20 th century. Goffee and Jones (2000) observe that nearly 2,000 books were published on leadership in the year This depicts the pace of publications on subject leadership with lesser outcomes. Sometimes, it seems as if researchers are over researching a single topic and repeating each other in various journals and magazines. Occasionally the new reader or researcher of leadership gets confused with so many leadership theories. Nevertheless, new arenas and horizons keep arriving in the study of leadership and researchers are now more interested to break the confinement of social science laboratory experiments to observe real leaders in action. This is essentially because leadership has become much more relevant and even more complex in the global world of today. Various fields of knowledge such as political science, psychology, education, history, agriculture, public administration, management, anthropology, medicine, military sciences, philosophy, and sociology have all contributed to an understanding of leadership. These tell how leadership has attracted the attention of scholars and researchers in numerous research areas. With development in technology and better availability of research facilities, resources and infrastructure, leadership researchers of this age are more interested to integrate various concepts of leadership instead of studying them in isolation in the domain of a single subject. This trend is flourishing and imparting steady health to leadership understanding. 22

4 2.3. HISTORY OF LEADERSHIP RESEARCH Leadership is one of the topics in modern research which originated long back in history when people started understanding the importance of leaders role in various facets of life such as politics, governmental issues, foreign policy and war. Philosophers, historians, warriors and rulers in the past have paid much attention to this subject to bring improvement to leadership practices of their times. Based on the literature available, leadership research can be divided into seven categories: 1. Ancient Approaches to Leadership 2. Classical Approaches to Leadership 3. Transactional Approaches to Leadership 4. Transformational and Charismatic Theories 5. Integrative Theories 6. Miscellaneous Approaches to Leadership 7. Recent Developments 2.4. ANCIENT APPROACHES TO LEADERSHIP Social and political scholars have recognized the importance of leadership throughout human history (Chemers, 1997). Ancient leadership approach comprises the writings of early philosophers and thinkers who put together their thoughts on leaders, leadership and necessity of leadership development. Encyclopedia of Leadership (Goethals et al., 2004) lists Confucius and Sun Tzu, Aristotle, Plato, Niccolo Machiavelli, Pareto, Thomas Hobbes, Mary Parker, Bertrand Russel and several other philosophers and thinkers who have contributed their thoughts to development of leadership theoretical base. These efforts and other philosophical approaches constitute a rich and ongoing normative approach to understanding leadership and seek to provide ethical and constructive views of good leadership. Many of the modern theories of leadership also borrow some ideas from classical thoughts on leadership. Though these theories mostly discuss leadership in very general terms at government, regime and military levels, modern theories of leadership try to implement these ideas in modern business and organizational leadership. 23

5 The Republic by Plato appears to be the first attempt to shed light on the theory of politics and leadership and was written over 2,000 years back. Nichomachean Ethics and Politics are two of Aristotle s books which shed some light on politics and leadership among the early most writing on the subject. The other famous writings come from Sun Tzu (The Art of War), Niccolo Machiavelli (The Prince) Vilfredo Pareto (The Treatise on General Sociology) and so on. These are only some examples of ancient approaches to leadership. Many modern scholars of leadership have written about the wisdom these ancient approaches offer for a deeper understanding of leadership. Several ideas offered by these approaches still hold. However, increased complexity of business world due to industrialization of early 20 th century rejuvenated the interest in scholarship of leadership. The following sections are dedicated to the theories that were presented after the dawn of 20 th century CLASSICAL APPROACHES TO LEADERSHIP Early analyses of leadership, from the 1900s to the 1950s the classical management period, differentiated between leader and follower characteristics. Frederick Winslow Taylor who is considered to be the founder of scientific management published his book The Principles of Scientific Management in 1911 which opened up the horizons of modern management research and development. He explained that the best way to increase efficiency was to improve the techniques and methods used by workers. People were seen as instruments or machines to be manipulated by their managers. Also, the organization was seen as a bureaucratic, well planned and structured big machine. Taylor initiated time and motion studies to analyze work tasks to improve performance in every aspect of the organization. In the 1920 s Elton Mayo and his colleagues developed the human relations movement which emphasized that it was beneficial for management to look also into human affairs. In the famous Hawthorne studies they were able to demonstrate the effect of human factor to efficiency (Mayo, 1933). The scientific management movement emphasized a concern for task (output), and the human relations movement stressed a concern for relationships (people). The recognition of these two concerns has characterized the discussion about leadership ever since. 24

6 Robert Tannenbaum is famous for his continuum of leader behavior, the extremes of which are authoritarian and democratic leader behavior (Tannenbaum and Schmidt 1958). Kurt Lewin with his colleagues extended this continuum beyond the democratic leader behavior to include a laissez-faire style. Rensis Likert (1967) proposed four management styles on a continuum from system 1 through to system 4. System 1 is a task-oriented, highly structured authoritarian management style. System 4 is a relationships-oriented management style based on teamwork, mutual trust and confidence. Systems 2 and 3 are intermediate stages between the two extremes. Likert s theory is quite close to McGregor s (1960) classic theories (Theory X and Theory Y). These two theories represent pure archetypes of managerial beliefs about nature of people that, in turn influence their managerial and leadership behavior (Goethals et al., 2004). According to Theory X, most people are passive, dislike work, avoid responsibility and need to be closely supervised and told what to do. They prefer to be directed, want safety above all and are not interested in assuming responsibility. Theory X argues that people are self-centered, prone to resist change, and not very clever. Theory Z is yet another perspective from the classical approaches of leadership and management. As a matter of fact, several researchers designated their theories as Theory Z. These theorists include Abraham Maslow and William Ouchi. Abraham Maslow was the presenter of Hierarchy of Needs Theory (see: Maslow, 1954) which is considered as a classical work in management sciences. He later posited a transcendent Theory Y leader who epitomized what Maslow called B-values. These values include truth, beauty, wholeness, dichotomy-transcendence, aliveness-process, uniqueness, perfection, necessity, completion, justice, order, simplicity, richness, effortlessness, playfulness, and self efficiency (Maslow, 1971). Such leaders are very rare, almost exceptional. They can easily scan the full potential of people for transforming them into ideal, but they are frustrated by the mediocre, the shortsighted, the fearful, and the unimaginative. William Ouchi s Theory Z was presented in 1981 in his book, Theory Z: How American Companies Can Meet the Japanese Challenge. Theory Z essentially advocates a combination of all that is best about Theory Y and modern Japanese management, which places a large amount of freedom and trust 25

7 with workers, and assumes that workers have a strong loyalty and interest in team-working and the organization. Theory Z also places more reliance on the attitude and responsibilities of the workers, whereas McGregor s theories (X and Y) are mainly focused on management and motivation from the managerial and organizational perspective Motivation Theories Many classical motivation theories form a foundation of management approaches. Abraham Maslow s (1954) hierarchy of needs and Frederick Herzberg s (1966) motivation-hygiene theory are the most famous. David C. McClelland s achievement motive is also very important when describing the behavior of leaders (McClelland et al., 1953). These classical approaches were the start to study management and leadership scientifically. One of the main distinctions was the concern for task vs. people Trait Theories The underlying assumption of trait theory was that leaders have certain characteristics that are utilized across time to enhance organizational performance and leader prestige. The idea was that traits affected behaviors and behaviors affected effectiveness. Traits are the distinguishing personal characteristics of a leader, such as physical characteristics, aspects of personality and aptitudes. Early research on leadership in the beginning of 20 th century examined the leaders who had achieved a level of greatness, and later on, this approach became famous as Great Man Theory. The underlying idea behind this approach was that some individuals are born with certain characteristics and qualities which make them leaders eventually. Bass (1997) argued that leaders during the early twentieth century were considered to be superior individuals different from the others around them because of skills, capabilities, inherited money and social standing. The aim of trait theories was to prepare a master list of traits which would eventually result in an ideal leader. Stogdill (1948) studied 124 trait studies conducted in the first half of twentieth century and observed that the pattern of results was consistent with conception of a leader as an individual who acquires 26

8 leadership role through demonstration of ability to facilitate the efforts of the group in attaining it goals. In research of Stogdill (1948), relevant traits included intelligence, alertness to the needs of others, understanding of the task, initiative and persistence in dealing with problems, self confidence and desire to accept the responsibility and occupy a position of dominance and control (Yukl, 2002). However, he asserted two problems with this master-list approach to leadership. He further argued that no traits were universally required for leadership which varied extensively according to the characteristics, activities and goals of the followers. Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991) explored a number of traits which distinguished between leaders from non-leaders, including some of those found by Stogdill. Traits like emotional intelligence, social intelligence, self awareness, capacity to be optimistic and hopeful despite obstacles, the ability to empathize others and strong social and interpersonal skills have found a place in the list of some significant leadership attributes. Nevertheless, the criticism to this approach is that it does not tell when selected traits are critical or can be omitted without extensive situational analysis (Van Wart, 2005). This is because two leaders can use different sets of traits to attain a goal. Even a similar set of traits may be beneficial under one situation and disastrous under the other conditions. Till today trait theories have been unable to present that very much aspired master list for ideal leader and this quest still persists (Goethals et al., 2004). Trait approach to leadership has regained some attention in the most recent literature on leadership (Lim and Daft, 2004). Stephen Zaccaro has championed the field all over again by adding more depth and thoroughness to the understanding of traits. In his recent works with his colleagues (see: 2001, 2003, 2007), Zacccaro has brought in notable perspectives to understanding of traits. He argues that the prior rejection of trait-based approaches is not justified through empirical evidence in the literature. He asserts that traits are significant precursors of leadership effectiveness and combinations of traits and attributes, integrated in conceptually meaningful ways, are more likely to predict leadership than are independent contributions of multiple traits. Zaccaro (2007) also observes that individuals have different patterns of traits that reflect an individual s stable tendency to lead in 27

9 different ways across different organizational domains. He also argues that traits of some leaders have more distal influences on leadership processes and performance while some others have more immediate effects. This is essentially mediated by situational parameters, as Zaccaro (2007) explains. According to the modern understanding of traits, a combination of distal attributes (personality, cognitive abilities, motives, values) and proximal attributes (social appraisal skills, problem solving skills, and expertise or tacit knowledge) combine to engender leader emergence, effectiveness, advancement and promotion (see: Zaccaro et al., 2004). Luthans et al (2007) also furthers the discussion on traits and argue that there are two types of traits: trait-like-traits and state-like-traits. Trait-like-traits are more rigid and difficult to learn. Examples: intelligence, coping, interpersonal needs, and so on. State-like-traits are malleable and therefore can be developed and hence learnt through interventions. Examples: Hope, optimism, resiliency, self-efficacy, and so on. These developments show that traits are still important as far as leadership is concerned. However, there is need to focus on traits that can be learned through interventions TRANSACTIONAL APPROACHES TO LEADERSHIP After classical research in leadership which started during first half of 20 th century, a new era of explorations started in the remaining second half. Most popular theories of leadership literature were presented in this second half which deserves to be reminded as golden period or modern period of leadership research. During this period, which continues up till today, numerous concepts and theoretical frameworks of leadership were presented. Trait studies, behavioral studies, contingency studies came up during the golden period. Wart (2005) establishes that basic research at Ohio State University and University Michigan and other settings during 1950s started challenging some of the implicit leadership assumptions of the early management and trait theories. During 1960s, the development of leadership theories was later known as transactional approach. In the following sections, discussion will be made on well-known theories which fall under the category of transactional approach. The discussion has been divided into behavioral and situational approaches Behavioral Theories 28

10 According to this approach, anyone who adopts an appropriate behavior can become a good leader. Behaviors can be leaned more readily than traits emphasizing the importance of behavioral approaches in leadership studies. As the notion of inherited or inherent leadership was dispelled, behavioral scientists turned their attention to the measurable behaviors of leaders. The idea was to see what leaders actually do rather than what they actually have in form of traits and attributes. The criticism which behavioral approaches received was that they emphasized on behaviors and not situation. That is why some individuals are leaders under one situation but totally non-leaders in the other. The Ohio State Leadership Studies (see: Halpin and Winer, 1957) laid the foundation for understanding the difference between successful and unsuccessful leaders and led to modern conception of leadership styles. The research identified two leadership dimensions of leadership behavior: consideration and initiating structure. Consideration means that a leader acts in a friendly and supportive manner, shows concern and consideration for subordinates and looks after their welfare. The leader creates an environment of emotional support, warmth, friendliness and trust for the followers. On the other hand, initiating structure means that the leader defines and structures his/her own role and role of subordinates for attainment of formal tasks and goals. Leaders scoring high on this dimension define the relationship between themselves and the staff members. They are critical to poor performance of subordinates, strict to the deadlines, maintain certain standards of performance, offer new approaches to problem solving and coordinate the activities of subordinates. A group of researchers at University of Michigan (see: Katz and Kahn, 1952) also conducted a major program of leadership research almost at the same time as of the Ohio State leadership studies. Researchers at Michigan presented their classification of leaders which consisted of productioncentered leaders, employee-centered leaders and participative leaders. This classification is quite similar to that of Ohio State studies. Production-centered leaders are those who emphasize more on planning, scheduling, coordinating the activities of subordinates, provide necessary resources and support for achievement of goals. While on the other hand, employee-centered leaders are more 29

11 inclined to their relationship with subordinates. Participative leaders use group supervision instead of micromanaging every single subordinate. They encourage participation of employees in decision making, problem solving and other activities at work place. One of the first theories that tried to make sense of the new behavioral orientation to leadership, the managerial grid was proposed by Blake and Mouton (1964). It is called Grid theory as it places five leadership styles on a grid constructed of two behavioral axes. It is a framework for simultaneously specifying the concern for production and people dimensions of leadership. The five leadership styles which are located on the grid are: authority-compliance, impoverished management, country club management, team management, and middle of the road management. Grid theory was the first highly popular theory of leadership that utilized the task-people duality for effective leadership. Many researchers criticize the Leadership Grid for dictating one best style, yet the team style includes adapting to the situation Contingency Theories Contingency theories were primarily championed by those who started thinking about leadership in relation with situation. In empirical sense, contingency theories guided research into the kinds of persons and behaviors who are effective in different situations. Fred Fiedler was the first to introduce contingency in leadership in through his contingency model. Later, many others contributed to the field. Discussions on situational aspect of leadership are omnipresent in the leadership discourse. For example, Vroom and Jago (2007), in their recent discourse about role of situation in leadership note that viewing leadership in purely dispositional or purely situational terms is to miss a major portion of the phenomenon. The task confronting contingency theorists is to understand the key behaviors and contextual variables involved in this process. (p. 23). This shows that interest in the contingency or situational approach remains alive, although modern literature has embraced a broader term of context (Avolio, 2007). It is plausible to believe that contingency, situation, or context will always be a relevant consideration in any discussion, framework, or theory of leadership. The following 30

12 sections highlight some frameworks presented under the broader label of contingency or situation approach. Fielder (1963) was the first one to respond to Stogdill s (1948) call to formulate trait contingency models (Goethals et al., 2004). He developed the most widely researched and quoted contingency model which advocates that the best style of leadership is determined by the situation. His model was the first in leadership research to integrate leader, follower and situational characteristics. More specifically, Fiedler s model predicts that those leaders who are more relationship oriented are more effective in medium situational control and that those who are more task oriented are more effective in high- and low-control situations. Leader s orientation determines if he/she is in match with situation or out of match with situation. If leader s orientation matches with the situation, he/she is predicted to perform more effectively and vice versa. Some criticisms to this theory are on its conceptual weaknesses and methodological controversy (see: Yukl, 1970; Schriesheim and Kerr, 1977). However, despite the controversies and criticism hurled against this theory, Fiedler was undoubtedly a pioneer in taking leadership research beyond the purely trait or purely situational perspectives that preceded his contribution (Vroom and Jago, 2007). Heresy and Blanchard belong to the group of researchers who advocated a contingency approach in which different leadership styles hinged upon different factors, mostly situational. Heresy and Blanchard s (1982) model explains how to match the leadership style with readiness of group members. Readiness of situational leadership is defined as the extent to which a group member has the ability and willingness or confidence to accomplish a particular task or activity. Based on follower capacity, ability and motivation, situational leadership model prescribes four different leadership styles: directing, coaching, supporting and delegating. Some authors have used the words like: telling, selling, participating and delegating. Here the key point is that as group member readiness increases, a leader should rely more on relationship behavior and lesser on task behavior. For example, followers who are low in competence but high in commitment, such as new employees, are eager for instructions and structure but do not need much supportive behavior. A directive style would be more 31

13 useful in such situation. Moderate competence and low commitment calls for a directive and supportive style. On the other hand, competent subordinates need less specific direction than do less competent subordinates. These illustrations make this model much useful for training and development of leadership. The Path-Goal theory emerged and further developed in 1970s (see: House, 1971; House and Dessler, 1974; House and Mitchell, 1974). The Path-Goal theory illustrates how the behavior of a leader influences the satisfaction and performance of subordinates. It describes what a leader must do to achieve high productivity and morale in a given situation. In general, a leader attempts to clarify the path to a goal for a group member so that he of she receives personal payoffs. The theory went through a refining process by a number of researchers in the subsequent years. The major proposition of path-goal theory is that the manager should choose a leadership style that takes into account the characteristics of the team members and requirements of the task. The Path-Goal theory actually has been expanded to leadership substitute theory. Kerr and Jermier (1978) first introduced the concept of leadership substitutes and neutralizers. Their theory identifies the aspects of certain situations when there is almost no need or importance of leadership. Substitute of leadership is beneficial in terms that formal leaders have limited time; less leadership allows them to concentrate on more critical issues and thus to enhance the effectiveness in certain crucial areas. At the same time, reduction in leadership allows the subordinates to be self-reliant, more responsible and innovative in the tasks. According to this theory, neutralizers are the characteristics, which make it effectively impossible for leadership to make a difference. In their study, Kerr and Jermier (1978) proposed 13 different dimensions which they hypothesized to neutralize the effectiveness of leaders on followers. This theory has generated a considerable amount of interest (see Howell, 1997) because it offers an intuitively appealing explanation for why leader behavior impacts subordinates in some situations but not in others. However, some of its theoretical propositions have not been adequately tested. The theory continues to generate empirical research. 32

14 Another popular theory in leadership research, mostly known as LMX theory, leader-member exchange theory was first presented in early 1970s in reaction to the dominant behavioral and contingency models of leadership. It was originally called as Vertical Dyad Linkage (VDL) and suggested that leaders adopt different leadership styles with different subordinates. Leaders also develop different dyadic exchange relationships with different specific subordinates. Such relationships can be the ones that treat the subordinate as in close relationship with the leader or the ones that treat the subordinate as more distant and secluded individual. The LMX theory focuses on the ongoing relationship that leaders and members of their group experience as they negotiate and exchange mutual perceptions, influence, types and amount of work, loyalty and prerequisites, and so forth (Van Wart, 2005). An advanced version of LMX advocated the notion that good leaders create as many high-exchange relationships as possible. Good leaders need loyal, committed, hardworking, productive, flexible and competent subordinates to advance the group goals and achieve higher level of accomplishments and innovations. Though originally developed earlier (Vroom and Yetton, 1973), the theory of decision making went through some refining process at later stages (see: Vroom and Jago, 1988). This is why the model is known as Vroom-Yetton-Jago model in today s management studies. The theory is much narrower in its focus and it deals with the form in and degree to which the leader involves his or her subordinates in the decision-making process (Vroom and Jago, 2007). Leaders perform the task of decision making on regular basis and they have to set certain parameter for this in the organizational setup. Therefore, leaders must choose a style that elicits the correct degree of group participation while making decisions. Vroom-Yetton-Jago model perceives leadership as decision making process. The effect of decision procedures on decision quality and acceptance depends on various aspects of situation. This is natural that a procedure which is very effective and efficient in one set of conditions and circumstances may prove to be a complete failure in another set of conditions. This theory has a number of strong points. It delimits the aspects of leadership it endeavors to elaborate. It does not over simplify the conditions for phenomenon as complex as decision making. Vroom and Jago (2007) 33

15 gladly admit that their theory is not the one that encompasses all or even most of what a leader does. However, they believe that the sharpness of their focus in their framework allows a great degree of specificity in the predictions that are made. The Multiple Linkage Model was presented by Yukl in 1981 and then further refined by him in It is also called an ambitious integrative theory by Chemers (1997). The model includes four types of variables: managerial behaviors, intervening variables, criterion variables, and situational variables. The model suggests how different variables join together and affect each other to determine the organizational performance. The emphasis in the multiple linkage model is on the intervening variables and the leader behaviors that affect them. The weakness of this model is that these linkages are not very comprehensive. The strength of the model is that it considers the intervening process considerably as link between leader behaviors and group outcomes. This model successfully brings the leader, situation, process, and outcome together. Fielder s scientific curiosity was once again aroused when he came across some empirical findings that agreed with neither common sense nor with accepted scientific wisdom. Therefore, as an extension of his contingency model, Fiedler presented the Cognitive Resources Theory in 1986 and further refined in 1987 with his colleagues. This theory examines the conditions under which cognitive resources such as intelligence and experience are related to job performance. This theory argues that group performance is determined by a complex interaction among two leader s traits (intelligence and experience), one type of leadership behavior (directive leadership), and two aspects of leadership situation (interpersonal stress and the nature of the group s task). Briefly, Fiedler and Garcia presented a causal chain in which a leader s cognitive resources have a profound impact on group performance when the leader actively directs follower activity. This impact is positive for intelligence under low stress conditions and experience under high stress conditions. 34

16 2.7. TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP THEORIES One of the most influential leadership developments of the leadership research is the concept presented by James MacGregor Burns, first ever presented in 1978 under the title of transformational leadership. Writing from the political science tradition, Burns discusses various types of leadership, especially contrasting transactional leadership, which largely appeals to self interested motivations of followers, with transformational leadership, which attempts to raise followers consciousness to reform and improve the institutions (Van Wart, 2005). Burns (1978) makes a central distinction between what he calls transactional and transforming leadership. Transactional leadership takes place when one person takes the initiative in making contact with others for the purpose of an exchange of valued things. This type of leadership is best described as the politics of exchange, in which, for example, a public official bargains jobs for votes. Transformational leadership, in contrast, has a moral dimension. It may be said to occur when one or more persons engage with each other in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality. Burns defines transformational leadership as a dynamic, two-way relationship between leaders and followers. Leaders must connect with the needs and wants of the followers and establish motivation to accomplish collective goals that satisfy the needs of both the leader and the followers. Mutual need and empathy are key characteristics of transformational leadership. He also believes that every person is engaged in the leadership process in one way or another at different times and in different situations (Burns, 1978). In 2003, James MacGregor Burns published a follow up book, Transforming Leadership, to explore and expand his theory nearly thirty years later after his infamous book Leadership in He believes that all leaders have a social responsibility to empower people to pursue their own happiness by affecting social change. He states, leaders working as partners with the dispossessed people of the world to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - happiness empowered with transforming purpose - could become the greatest act of united leadership the world has ever known (Burns, 2003). Burns views that a transformational leader not only speaks to immediate wants but elevates people by vesting in them a sense of possibility, a belief that change can be made and that they can 35

17 make them. Motivation, according to Burns, is what powers leadership. Creativity is another key element of transformational leadership. Transforming leaders have the ability to see possibility and innovation and to share that vision with others. He believes that leaders seize opportunities, overcome obstacles and change how the rest of the world acts, thinks and lives. In some cases, Burns believes that crisis can often be a source of creativity. He cites examples of skillful leaders including military commanders, presidents and Chief Executive Officers who have applied creativity in times of crisis to affect great change. Burns (1978) believed that leaders were either transactional or transformational. However, seven years later Bernard Bass (1985) proposed that both types of leadership are necessary and that transformational leadership actually enhances transactional behaviors. Bass conceives the leadership as a single continuum. It progresses from non-leadership to transactional leadership to transformational leadership. Non-leadership provides haphazard outcomes; transactional leadership gives improves and better results which are mostly conventional; but transformational leadership provides the best outcomes. Bass (1985) is of the view that transformational leadership is a widespread phenomenon across levels of management, types of organizations, and around the globe. He characterizes the transformational leaders as having four significant attributes: charisma or idealized influence - they have conviction and values and they emphasize the importance of purpose, commitment, and ethical components of decisions; inspirational motivation - they articulate an appalling vision of future, challenge followers with high standards, talk optimistically with enthusiasm, and provide encouragement and meaning for what needs to be done; intellectual stimulation they push followers to consider new points of view, to question old assumptions, and to articulate their own views; and individualized consideration - they take into account the needs, capacities, aspirations of each individual follower in the effort to treat followers equitably. Among all transformational leadership theories, Bass s is the most highly researched and has a good deal of positive support. His approach is more appealing as well as relatively elegant, considering the large number of styles that it incorporates. Nevertheless, fuzziness 36

18 and overlap of the transformational concepts are problematic. To measure transformational leadership, Bass and Avolio s (1995) multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ) became the most popular tool for leadership assessment. Presented by Tichy and Devanna (1986), and refined later (Devanna and Tichy, 1990), this point of view about transformational leadership asserts that transformational leadership is about change, innovation and entrepreneurship. Proponents of this view advocate that managers can be found more commonly but transformational leaders are rare and they engage in a process which includes a sequence of phases: recognizing the need for change, creating a new vision, and then institutionalizing the change. Leaders that are transformational type leaders are individuals who create new approaches and imagine new areas to explore; they relate to people in more intuitive and empathetic ways, seek risk where opportunities and rewards are high, and project ideas into images to excite people. They must bring a change in organizations in three stages. First is the recognizing the need for revitalization followed by second stage where leader should create a new vision. In the third and final stage, institutionalizing the change is imperative as new vision is understood and accepted, new structures, mechanisms, and incentives must be in place. The levels of leader effectiveness in behaviors leading to transformational change are the intervening variables; the moderating variables are the triggers for change. Like most other transformational leadership styles, they seem less interested in specifying a particular leadership style. Rather they are more interested in articulating the general ser of behaviors that has universal utility. Kouzes and Posner (1987, 1988) adopted an interesting approach to formulate their ideas about transformational leadership. They asked the leaders what leads to excellent leadership based on their personal experiences? They collected responses from over thousand leaders using a critical incident methodology and focusing on personal best experiences of respondents. They found five major practices of transformational leaders. They found that transformational leaders: challenge the process, inspire a shared vision, enable others to act, modeling the way, and encourage the heart. Kouzes and 37

19 Posner also developed the instrument known as leadership practices inventory (LPI) to measure the practices of transformational leaders. Despite the recognition that the transformational leadership theories have gained, there have been criticisms as well. Yukl (1999) presents a strong case in this regard and makes several points to illustrate conceptual weaknesses in transformational and transactional leadership. He believes that the underlying influence processes for transformational and transactional leadership are still unclear. He further argues that each transformational behavior includes diverse components, which makes the definition more ambiguous. The partially overlapping content and the high inter-correlation found among the transformational behaviors raise doubts about their construct validity. Moreover, some important transformational behaviors (such as inspiring, developing and empowering) are missing in the Bass (1996) version of the theory and in the MLQ, which was designed to test the theory (Bass and Avolio, 1990). The transformational leadership also fails to identify any situation where it can prove to be detrimental. Extending his critique on transactional leadership, Yukl (1999) argues that transactional leadership includes a diverse collection of (mostly ineffective) leader behaviors that lack any clear common denominator CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP THEORIES The credit of introducing the word charisma goes to German sociologist Max Weber (see: Weber, 1968). Charisma is a Greek word meaning divinely inspired gift which imparts an extraordinary quality to charismatic individuals by which they can influence others hearts and souls, perform miracles or predict the future. According to Max Weber, charisma is a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. Max Weber believed that charismatic leaders were more likely to emerge during times of crisis and social upheaval. In organizations, crisis may be some major reform, financial problem or even poor performance causing damage to organizational reputation and prestige in market. The other definition of charismatic leadership is in terms of the degree to which the leader engages in the following 38

20 behaviors: articulating a captivating vision or mission in ideological terms; showing a high degree of confidence in themselves and their beliefs; setting a personal example of involvement in and commitment to the mission for followers to emulate; behaving in a manner that reinforces the vision or mission; and communicating high expectations to followers and confidence in their ability to meet such expectations (see: Conger and Kanungo, 1987; Shamir et al., 1993). So far, several premises of charismatic leadership have been presented. The first effort in this regard was made by Robert House in 1977 who was the first to present a fully developed theory of charismatic leadership. House believed that charismatic leaders were strongly influential on the followers. He posited that charismatic leaders have their major effects on the emotions and selfesteem of followers - the affective motivational variables rather than the cognitive variables (House et al., 1988). Once followers are convinced about the ideology of leader, they follow him/her willingly, become fully involved in the task, obey the commands of leader entirely, feel emotional attraction towards the leader, consider leader s goals as their own, and believe that they are a part of mission which must be accomplished under the guidance of their beloved leader. The limitation about House s initial theory was the ambiguity about influence process. In their next version, House et al. (1991) refined House s (1977) original theory of charismatic leadership and presented a more complete conceptualization of the theory. They defined charismatic leadership in terms of three constituents: (1) effects on followers, (2) leader personality and behavior, and (3) attributions of charisma to leaders by followers and observers. Charismatic leadership is described as an interactive process between followers and their leader in the first constituent. This interaction results in the attraction of followers to the leader and strong internalization of the leader s values and goals by followers. Over time, the followers develop unquestioning acceptance of and commitment to the leader. The followers trust fully in the correctness of the leader s beliefs and are willing to obey the leader. The next constituent involves specific leadership traits and behaviors that give rise to charismatic leadership. The traits that distinguish charismatic leaders from non- 39

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