During the course of study and recent experience two issues have emerged as central to the debate surrounding leadership and especially that type of leadership which results in groups that exceed expectations due to a shared and collaborative style. Bass (1995) refers to high-level transformational executives being able to accomplish this in his 1985 book on the topic that formed the original theory of transformational and transactional leadership. He describes this as a work that propelled him down three parallel paths that included Burn’s original work on the topic in 1978 (as cited in B. M. Bass, 1995), a look at extensive readings from biography and history, and a quantitative approach to data gathering and analysis.
Included in this approach is a look at charisma and aspects of transformational leadership that allowed followers to transcend self-interest for the good of the team or the organization. (B. M. Bass, 1995) Underlying this is the aspects of leader-member exchange which looks closely at the relationship between leader and subordinate (B. M. Bass, 1999). Two instruments that are commonly used in this regard, have conceptual distinctions, and yet are empirically correlated (B. M. Bass, 1999). The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) and the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ) are two tools that have been used to show relationships between specific factors of individualized consideration and discrete leadership behaviors.
In order to address the relative aspects of these components of leadership and with a philosophical disposition to accept the premise of the ability to teach and train in the domain of leadership, this author hypothesizes that there is a link between behaviors that are prone to elicit transformational leadership and the resulting positive impact on an organization despite two intervening factors. First, that transformational leadership practices can cross over perceived boundaries in multi-cultural global organizations, and second, that transformational techniques are equally potent in organizations where primary leaders exist in a layer that is positioned under management by elected or perpetual boards of directors.
Thus, the proposed topic of this dissertation is initially cited as “Transformational Leadership in a Global Setting: The Affects of Cultural Diversity on Stakeholder Dynamics and Implications for Principle Leaders.” This title explicitly denotes a focus on transformational leadership and a discourse on the current trends in the literature. Further, it speaks to stakeholder dynamics that would include the various identified groups in the organizations of scrutiny. In this aspect, a cross-cultural perspective would be addressed to show how cultural predispositions could influence results. Finally, the implications for leadership in organizations that are multi-leveled are important to this study. Is it possible for transformational leadership to exist in an organizational environment where upper management is not necessarily open to these practices? In other words, can transformational leadership exist in an organizational unit of a larger organizational structure?
The import of the results of this work can be seen immediately. By crossing these boundaries, between acceptance, diversity, and a conceptual framework, there is potential for guiding both decision making and training programs for current and future leaders.
Bass, B. M. (1995). Theory of transformational leadership redux. Leadership Quarterly, 6(4), 463-478.
Bass, B. M. (1999). Two decades of research and development in transformational leadership. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8(1), 9-32.