Sample Paper on TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP THEORY

TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP THEORY

Introduction: The Manager’s Role

The focus of the managerial assignment would be done through data collected from observation of a manager that was the head of a local private hospital. The role of the manager is multifaceted since he has to strike a balance between maintaining the promotion of quality health care for patients, while simultaneously addressing the unique needs of the employees and staff at the hospital. Additionally, the hospital has highly educated and trained professionals like doctors and the manager has the difficult task of managing these individuals that could consider themselves as being more educated that the manager (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2007). Therefore, in addressing all this issues, the manager has successfully achieved the mission, vision, goals, and objectives of the hospital.

Assessment Criteria

In assessing the manager’s leadership style, it is important to ensure that focus is not limited to merely the style, but should also make considerations to understand why a certain leadership style is effective or ineffective (Crain 2003). This analogy maintains the quality of the report, improves the critical thinking skills, and adheres to the quality standards set forth for the education system. Contrastingly, in spite of these intricate assessment criteria, data gathered would not have the prerequisite quality since it would be impossible to consider every facet of the manager’s style of leadership, control, and association with the employees.

Undertaking the Activity

Organizational and individual behavior is in most cases influenced by the management styles, type of organization, and the type of employees. For instance, individual behavior in the hospital setting is infinitely different from behavior in Technology Company. This difference offers an interesting avenue to assess the manager’s unique ability to understand the type of the organization, its uniqueness, the level of education of employees, among many other attributes. In the case of the hospital setting, one of the notable individual behaviors is compassion that is driven by the need for the health workers to provide care emotionally, physically, mentally, and medically to patients and their kin. Therefore, the manager has to ensure that his management style is tuned in a manner that would ensure that this culture is maintained within the hospital.

Additionally, another trend that has promoted the success of the hospital’s existence is its unique cultural diversity. The staff constitutes African American, Hispanic, whites, and other racially diverse individual. Therefore, to maintain an environment where the needs of all the employees are met with due consideration for their cultural diversity, the manager has developed a unique system (Northouse 2001). This system promotes equitability of all employees regardless of cultural diversity, age, rank, or education level. Additionally, to avoid unfair treatment of either the employees or patients, the manager has set up a strict policy that advocates for the support of the needs of the employees. For instance, in support of the Muslim workforce and their religious inclinations, the hospitals allow them a chance to perform their prayers at their selected times.

The top management continually wasting time assessing every action and modus operandi of each of the employees, it has instead focused on making environments that encourage certain desirable behaviors (Sundel & Sundel 2005). This is because the environment has a system that allows for desirable behavior and gives off rewards to this people. This is achieved since the closed loop of collection and issuance of feedback does not only affect how the hospital is run, but also acquires and issues both positive and negative feedback to employees based on the quality of their work output.

Aside from the unique management style that the manager has employed as his stead, one of the most common methodologies for understanding this style is applying theory to practice. This ensures that the assessment is not performed merely on how the manager executes his mandate, but instead asking why each action is performed (Miner 2006). This allows us to understand and analyze why a specific methodology being employed by the manager succeeds or fails, and the impact it has on the organization and employees’ behavior.

The Transformational leadership Theory: Definition and Explanation

            The transformational leadership theory is one that was created with a view of instilling and motivating positive energy for the employees and the leader. It seeks to change the culture and organizational behavior of the company, employees and the leader. Leadership expert and presidential biographer James MacGregor Burns formulated it. In his theory, he aimed to provide motivation, inspiration, and passion for the job, morale, and job performance of the employees through the integration of a couple of mechanisms (Jung and Francis, 2001, 13). Some of the mechanisms being utilized by the leader are such as challenging the employees, promoting self-identity and self-realization in the employees, provision of useful and positive role models, and seeking to understand each employee’s strength and weaknesses.

The Transformational leadership Theory: The Four Models

The first model is individualized consideration of transformational leadership theory. This is whereby the leader seeks to understand each individual employee based on their strengths and weaknesses and seeks to motivate them for positive development by encouraging and challenging them to become achievers. These leaders will also act as mentors to the individual and reward them for innovation and creativity to increase morale and job satisfaction.

The second model of the transformational leadership is the inspirational motivation. Under this model, the leader promotes and shares a consistent mission, vision, and goals of the company with all employees. This strategy allows the employees to have a goal, become committed, and embrace challenges that stray out of their comfort zones (Einstein & John, 2005). This inspirational model allows the leader to seek effective communication strategies to make the employees self aware of the organization’s goals and objectives, and seeks ways and means to become a part of this objective to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.

The third model of the transformational leadership is the intellectual stimulation. Under this model, the leader promotes creativeness and innovation. He encourages employees to seek new ideas and allows them to practice them. In the event of a failure, the leader does not publicly condemn them, but simply puts aside this ineffective idea and encourages them to have ideas that work. Therefore, they focus on how to fix problems and issues so that they can be more effective. The fourth model of the transformational leadership is the idealized influence. This is whereby the leader acts as a role model to the employees by behaving in a manner those others can emulate. Under this strategy, the leader uses power to influence positive change in the employees.

Application of the Theory to the Manager’s Leadership Style

One of the applications of the models for transformational leadership is on individualized consideration and inspirational motivation. The management style of the hospital manager has been structured in a manner that encourages feedback for actions and operational mechanisms. This is a closed system that strives to ensure that actions are scrutinized and decisions made based on the viability and scope of the actions (Griffin 2010). However, the caveat to this autonomy is that the employees have to act in a manner that conforms to the code of conduct set by the organization.

Additionally, since a majority of the workers is health professionals that continually save lives by treating people, the hospital has embarked on an effort to rewarding these workers on a periodic basis. For instance, one of the methodologies used to reward surgeons is the placement of a notice board showing their successful and failed operations on patients. This public display of one work has a twofold effect in breeding both positive and negative challenges to encourage achievement under the intellectual stimulation of the transformational theory. For instance, if a surgeon has an exemplary record, his machismo and work output is evidenced publicly on the notice board and gives him/her bragging rights. Contrastingly, if the surgeon has a poor record that has resulted in botched surgeries that caused either patient death or poor workmanship, the evidence will be publicly displayed.

Therefore, this system would result in a feedback system where the surgeons can feel appreciated through individualized consideration. The undesirable behavior of a poor record is also assessed and appropriate actions and consequences made to control and dissuade workers from having this negative qualities and mannerisms (Buskist & Davis, 2008, 159). However, it is prudent that the hospital does not surpass their mandate since some methodology of critiquing could have negative consequences on the individual’s drive to perform their duties effectively and productively. For instance, the notice board could reduce morale if one has a poor record. It could also result in some workers being overly ambitious in a manner that could blind them on their core duties, responsibilities, and role in the hospital.

In the case of the hospital, the manager has embarked to drive this culture by adapting the role of an overseer and letting the workers make and perform their own duties and responsibilities. In this regard, the manager has ensured that these employees are provided with equipment, education, and training. Additionally, the autonomy given to the workers induces in them a culture of performance, self will, self-realization, and higher self-esteem. This enabling environment has also allowed the workers to understand their strengths and weaknesses and formulate mechanisms for catering to developing measures to tap into their abilities and inabilities.

In the idealized influence of the transformational leadership model, the leader acts in a manner that he preaches so that other employees would follow. Under this system, all employees have to adhere to a certain code of conduct that would be instrumental in discouraging undesirable behavior. This code of conduct is symbolic of the leader’s actions, and in the event that one does not follow suit, then the leader can then take the necessary actions on the employee under the individualized consideration model of transformational theory of leadership. In its stead, the system punishes people deemed to contravene these rules and regulations (Raj, Nelson & Rao, 2006, 855). For instance, under the punishment system, all health workers have been ordered to observe cleanliness of their environment within the hospital, as well as on the attire they atone.

Finally, the manager has integrated a system that would allow for equitable and unbiased sharing of resources by both the employees and patients. This strategy is based on a combination of models such as the individual consideration and inspirational motivation. This allows the employees to be rewarded by the organization when the organization seeks extra time or effort that falls outside their working duties and responsibilities (Bass & Riggio, 2008). For instance, the hospital encourages some doctors to work for long shifts that fall outside the required number of hours under the law. Therefore, to cater to the disquiet or low morale of the doctors, the hospital pays them and offers them meals and rooms.

Therefore, based on this assessment and relation of the theory to the manager’s leadership style, it would be prudent to articulate that his actions have been warranted and effective. This is because the staff and patients live in an environment that promotes the provision of their needs without favor or bias. However, in some instances, some of the transformational leadership models have been unsuccessful in achieving the goals, objectives, and ideologies set forth by the manager. For instance, in his endeavor to avoid civil suits due malpractice, the manager has forced the health workers to sign a contract that would hold them liable to any improper performance of the duties thorough immediate termination of their services. However, this has formed a conflict of interest since under the employee act; a worker is protected from forceful termination (Sorcher & James 2002). Additionally, this worker would have the right to seek legal redress for such an action. Therefore, this negative reinforcement and punishment strategies have proven ineffective.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the theory

Strengths

One of the main strengths of this theory is its ease of ability to be applied within an organization. Due to its ability to be integrated into the modus operandi of the organization without causing changes or upheavals within the organization, it has become a very attractive method for motivational learning and implementation. Since it focuses on external factors, this ease of use makes it very desirable as compared to other theories.

Finally, one of the major strengths of the transformational leadership theory is its ability to influence and change behaviors of people through the promotion and implementation of a system that would encourage or discourage certain actions. Moreover, the placement of some consequences on the performance of undesirable behaviors could result in the reformation of an individual’s professional and social responsibilities and development (Cheney & Pierce 2004). Additionally, since this theory promotes openness on how employees are managed, it allows an organization to generate a culture that defines how they conduct their activities and operations. This would make it easier for the maintenance of a continual and effective system that promotes organizational success in spite of a change in leadership.

Weaknesses

In some instances, the theory could result in a complicated system. For instance, the individualized consideration and inspirational motivation have to be structured in a manner that would be commensurate of one’s actions. Additionally, since it is an inspirational form of leadership, it promotes amoral leaders. One of the major weaknesses to this theory is its ability to cause behavioral change to become more difficult. Therefore, this means that this theory can only manage to influence behavior periodically, and it is impossible to change one’s mannerisms for a long period.

According to Richmond, it is unethical to influence behaviors, ideas, and mannerisms to suit one’s ideology of a perfect or imperfect organization. This is because such a system of continuous influence would impose on one’s free will. Therefore, majority of scholars and professionals would argue that in some cases, resistance to changing one’s free will could have disastrous effects to the authority trying to cause a behavioral change. Another weakness of the reinforcement theory is its inconsideration that each person is unique and reacts differently to different situations (Coon 2006). This inability could mean that some positive and negative influences on behaviors are ineffective and hence fail to meet the obligation of causing behavioral change in an individual. Additionally, this theory disregards internal motivation. It assumes that one of the primary means for bringing behavioral change has to be influenced by constant positive energy either individual, inspirational, or from role models. It disregards one’s ability for self-realization that could result in a behavioral change without undue influence.

Comments

Data was collected from observation of a manager working as an administrator in a private hospital.

References

Bass, BM & Riggio, RE 2008, Transformational Leadership, Mahwah, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Buskist, W, & Davis, SF 2008, 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook, Vol. 2, Thousand Oaks, SAGE Publications, Inc.

Cheney, CD & Pierce, WD 2004, ‘Behavior Analysis and Learning’, 3rd edn, Mawah, NJ, Laurence Erlbaum Associates, INC., Publishers.

Coon, D 2006, ‘Psychology: A modular approach to mind and behavior’,10th edn, Belmont, CA, Thomas Higher Education.

Crain, W 2004, ‘Theories Of Development: Concepts and Applications’, Fifth Edition, Upper Saddle River, Pearson Education.

Einstein, WO. & John, HH 2005, “Transforming Leadership: Matching Diagnostics to Leader Behaviors.” The Journal of Leadership Studies vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 48-60.

Griffin, RW & Moorehead, G 2010, ‘Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations’, 9thedn, Mason, OH. South-Western, Cengage Learning.

Hellriegel, D & Slocum, JW 2007, ‘Organizational behavior’, 11th edn, Mason, OH, Thompson Higher Education.

Jung, DI & Francis, JY 2001, “Perceptions of Transformational Leadership Among Asian Americans and Caucasian Americans: A Level of Analysis Perspective.” The Journal of Leadership Studies vol.8, no. 1, pp. 3-21.

Miner, JB 2007, ‘Organizational Behavior: From Theory to Practice’, Armonk, NY,  M.E. Sharp, Inc.

Northouse, PG 2001, ‘Leadership Theory and Practice’, 2 edn, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, Inc.

Raj, J, Nelson, J, & Rao, KSP, 2006, ‘Behavior Modification’, A Study on the Effects of Some Reinforces to Improve Performance of Employees in a Retail Industry, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 844-866.

Sorcher, M and James, B, February 2002, “Are You Picking the Right Leaders?” Harvard Business Review, p. 78.

Sundel, M, & Sundel, SS 2005, ‘Behavior change in the human services:  Behavioral and cognitive principles and applications’, 5th Edn, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, Inc.