All entries for Saturday 30 March 2013

March 30, 2013

Transformational theory: the perils of oversimplification

Some studies on transformational leadership have mentioned four components, while others have used three main parts of Bass' theory.

They all describe intellectual stimulation (encouraging followers to challenge the status quo) and Individualised consideration (being supportive, mentoring, etc). The difference, however, lies in the fact that some have further broken down charisma into Idealised influence and Inspirational motivation.

Idealised influence refers to the admiration and respect transformational leaders get. On the other hand, inspirational motivation is about inspiring and instilling enthusiasm.

Personally, I prefer keeping them together and branched under charisma, as they are both interlinked to a large extent. For example, if a leader is admired and respected, he/she can better inspire the team.

There are many cases, where further elaboration can lead to confusion and in some cases, the meaning can be lost. I have learnt to be critical and now I am always suspicious when I see a theory or a model that constitutes more facets than absolutely necessary.


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