Leadership individual written assignment Essay Example

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Leadership Questions

Table of Contents

2Different types of leadership 1.

2Charismatic leadership: a.

2Transformational leadership: b.

3Transactional leadership: c.

3Key differences between each

3Yukl’s three behaviours 2.

4Yukl’s criticism of current theory on transactional leadership 3.

5Personal theory of leadership 4.

63-4 people interview 5.

6Reflection on interviews 6.


  1. Different types of leadership

Karl Emil Maximilian «Max» Weber, the German sociologist, who lived between 1864 to 1920, classified leaders into three categories — traditional leaders, bureaucratic leaders and charismatic leaders. Nearly six decades after his death, Burns (1978) came up with another classification: transformational and transactional leaders. In essence, Burns transformational leadership was the same as Weber’s charismatic leadership. Since then, a lot of research has gone into all three types: charismatic, transformational and transactional (Weber, 1994, pp. 1–28).

  1. Charismatic leadership:

Weber’s definition of charismatic leadership is this: “resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him». According to Weber Jesus was a charismatic leader. Even Hitler, the dictator, had some traits that were charismatic. Charismatic leaders possess exceptional qualities and are normally followed with god-like devotion.

  1. Transformational leadership:

Burns’ definition for transformational leadership is as this: «Transformational leadership recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a potential follower and looks for potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower”. Transformational leadership exhibits some unique characteristics. Leaders belonging to this group use emotions to motivate their followers which let them act beyond ‘exchange relations’, a predefined framework of action. They are proactive and raise the expectation levels in their followers. They are highly inspirational in nature and provide intellectual stimulation, individualised consideration and exert on their followers idealised influence of high order. These leaders have greater visions, possess management and rhetorical skills and use emotions to develop bonds with their followers. Considered as highly motivational, they imbibe in their followers the powers of setting goals, reaching to them and in the process giving up self interest.

Transformational leadership has been studied extensively and Bass and Avolio (1990, pp. 231–272) and others have stated that they have certain unique qualities in order to be able to be transformational and the same include: clarity of purpose, clarity of values, persistence, love for work, desire for learning perpetually, enthusiasm, effective communication, courage, risk-taking capabilities, and love for work.

  1. Transactional leadership:

Transactional leadership, on the other hand, does possess leadership qualities but lacks being transformational. This leadership is adept at honouring mutual agreements but only that does not befit the qualities of being a mover and a shaker. These leaders are effort driven and reward driven. They are the people who are more comfortable with dealing with issue in hand rather than visioning of a different future. These leaders are sort of manual-driven i.e., they follow a specific path of inducement, then reward, then sanction or even punishment so that they can control followers. They do not have inherent powers to motivate; instead they use the magic wand of reward system to encourage their followers to set and accomplish goals. They bargain reinforcements with rewards (Bycio, Hackett, Allen, 1995, pp. 468–478).

Key differences between each

Charismatic leadership is aura-driven in nature; it is an embedded, probably in-born feature in the leader. Transformational leadership recognises potential and exploits that in the desired direction. And transactional leadership is unlike both above as such leadership is controlling in nature; it uses a bait to control followers. The first two don’t use any such thing.

  1. Yukl’s three behaviours

Yukl’s three behaviours stem from his criticism of transformational leadership theory (Yukl, 1981, 1998, 1997). He says it contains some ambiguous constructs, a narrow dyadic process focus, insufficient descriptions of explanatory processes, lack of limiting conditions’ specifications, omission of some behaviours that are relevant to it, and a strange bias towards conceptions of leadership that are supposedly heroic. He further adds that it does not consider the importance of situational variables. Transformational leadership involves different behaviours, which are measured by Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). But vagueness surrounds the influence processes for transformational leadership and there is a lack of systemic review on the same. Kelman (1959, pp. 51–56; 1974) has stated that a series of dyadic interactions are involved in the influence processes and over time these include personal identification, compliance and internalisation.

Yukl says that mostly it is the inductive process or factor analysis that helps identify specific transformational behaviour types, but there is no clear explanation as to what is the theoretical rationale that differentiates between different types of behaviours. There is further diversity ion the components of each transformational behaviour and that makes the ambiguity all the more difficult to handle. Apart from there their construct validity tends to become doubtful as content among transformational behaviours partially overlaps and extent of inter-correlation between them is high.

  1. Yukl’s criticism of current theory on transactional leadership

The leader-subordinate exchange is what sums up transactional leadership but Yukl says that it fails to establish this link particularly between each of the transactional behaviours and this process. What makes the poorness of the link more pronounced is that diverse but mostly ineffective collection of behaviours link up with transactional leadership without having any profound common denominator. In an impersonal exchange process contingent reward behaviours are included like offering incentives and rewarding good performance. However, according to Yukl, one of the components of reward behaviour also includes subordinate recognition. This, in itself, is a distinct behaviour. Providing recognition is more of a personal behaviour.

Yukl further states that no sound rationale has been provided to include this behaviour as part of the transactional theory. It is a reactive process and one more pitfall encountered in this is that how it helps leaders deal with subordinate’s performance problems. Furthermore, contingent punishment as a response is not specifying on how it can be measured.

Yukl has further expressed concerns about scale items which he says are intrusive and monitor outcomes in a controlled behaviour. There is no mention of what actions does or must a leader take to correct problems that arise at the subordinate level. It further does not state how the same in going to transform the transactional leadership. That brings the transactional leadership to inclusion of active management by exception. Yukl argues that no rationale has been given as to why active management by exception should be included anywhere in transactional leadership.

  1. Personal theory of leadership

Leadership is an attribute by virtue of which one provides direction, conceptualises and implements plans and motivates people to set goals and accomplish them. So in a leadership scenario there is a leader and the leader has followers. Leadership can be authoritarian, paternalistic, democratic, laissez-faire, and transactional. Leadership does not necessarily apply to political affairs, but it also applies to other segments like business and group affairs. If I have to follow any one leadership style, I would prefer democratic. In this style group members are as much part of the decision-making process as the leader is. Foster (2002, pp. 4-6) has stated that it is like practicing social equality. It encompasses debate, diffusion and idea-sharing. In this style people who participate in the decision-making process feel good doing so and attain a sense of belongingness with the cause or action being debated. I would prefer this style because it gives participating people unlimited scope to showcase their attitudes and skills. While most of the decisions in this style are taken in due consideration with the group members, leader still retains his command for he is the one who shows direction and exerts the final control. Woods (2010, pp. 3-36) has remarked that this style of leadership gives the lead powers to decide who among the group should be the participating agents and who must be delegated to achieve what.

Democratic leadership is my personal choice because no other form of leadership encompasses as many attributes as this. To be democratic one needs to be honest, competent, forward-looking, inspiring, intelligent, far-sighted, courageous, imaginative, broad-minded and fair-minded. This leadership style gives one enough of freedom to practice integrity, sincerity and candour in all his actions. It lets a leader to become unblemished and clear-hearted. It inspires trust. The competence component of this style encourages the leader to erect the edifice of his actions on moral principles and reasons. There is no scope for personal feelings and desire in this style. This style is a visionary style and goal-oriented too. A democratic leader in an organisation transmits his vision to the last employee in the hierarchy and lets him share his own vision with the organisation in turn.

This style of leadership is value-based and challenging. This is so inspiring that one exudes confidence in whatever one does. There is a great deal of physical, mental and spiritual endurance involved in this type of leadership style. This is so inspiring that others get encouraged to reach new heights and this is so far-minded that the others’ problems become leader’s own. This is a leadership style of interests, values, well-being and feelings. This style seeks out diversity and is courageous too. However insurmountable obstacles might come in the way of this leader, his sheer grit and determination help him wade through it.
Above all, this leadership style keeps the leader always on look-out for new ideas, new challenges and new goals.

  1. 3-4 people interview

  2. Reflection on interviews


Bycio P., Hackett, R.D., & Allen, J.S. (1995). Further assessment of Bass’s (1985) conceptualization of transactional and transformational leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80, 468–478.

Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row

Bass, B.M., & Avolio B.J. (1990). The implications of transactional and transformational leadership for individual, team, and organizational development. Research in Organizational Change and Development, 4, 231–272.

Foster, D.E. (2002). «A Method of Comparing Follower Satisfaction with the Authoritarian, Democratic, and Laissez-faire Styles of Leadership.». Communication Teacher 16 (2): 4–6.

Kelman, H. C. (1958). Compliance, identification, and internalization: Three processes of attitude change. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2, 51–56.

Kelman, H. C. (1974). Further thoughts on the processes of compliance, identification, and internalization. In J. T. Tedeschi (Ed.),Perspectives on social power. Chicago, IL: Aldine.

Weber, M. (1994). Political Writings. University of Cambridge Press, 1994. pp. 1–28

Woods, A.P. (2010). «Democratic leadership: drawing distinctions with distributed leadership». International Journal of Leadership in Education 7 (1): 3–36.

Yukl, G. (1981). Leadership in organizations (1st ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Yukl, G. (1998). Leadership in organizations (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Yukl, G. (1997). Effective leadership behavior: A new taxonomy and model. Paper presented at the Eastern Academy of Management International Conference, Dublin, Ireland