We know by now that transactional leadership is based on contingent awards were transformational leadership is based on motivating the followers to achieve performance beyond expectations. Bass identified a number of subdimensions of transformational leadership including charisma, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration (M. Bass & E. Riggio 2006).
Some of these elements did not pass empirical studies and analysis without some remarks concerning their validity or relevance under certain circumstances. It is interesting to mention some of that criticism in this topic because it can help us in defining a sharper set of dimensions for transformational leadership.
When we look at the charisma, of the transformational model, then it does not incorporate the components mentioned by Weber (1968) who states that charisma includes the five components of an extraordinarily gifted person; a social crisis; a set of ideas providing a radical solution to a problem; a set of followers who are attracted to the exceptional person and believe that the leader is linked to transcendent powers; and the validation of the leader ’s extraordinary gifts through repeated success.
The contribution of the situation surrounding leaders and followers, the personal qualities linked with charisma, and the association that followers make between a charismatic leader and transcendent powers are not explored. A common theme when discussing charisma is the importance of articulating a vision. Weber (1968) identified vision as one of the five elements that contribute to charisma. Vision could replace charisma and be one of the dimensions of transformational leadership when doing so. (E Rafferty & A Griffin 2004).
The second element of transformational leadership identified by Bass (1985) is inspirational motivation. A recurring element within existing definitions of inspirational leadership is the use of oral communication to motivate and arouse followers’ emotions. It is perhaps better to use inspirational communication, or the use of appeals and emotion-laden statements to arouse followers’ emotions and motivation, as opposed to the broader construct of inspirational motivation proposed by Bass and his colleagues (E Rafferty & A Griffin 2004).
An important factor that distinguishes transformational leadership from other New Leadership theories is the inclusion of individualized consideration. More recently, discussions of individualized consideration have focused on one component of this construct, supportive leadership. Other authors in the transformational leadership field have also focused on supportive leadership as opposed to the broader construct of individualized attention. It is a specialization of which scholars say it is better suited to most situations wherein transformational leadership is used.
While the Individualized consideration leadership factor has not been the subject of extensive research, this construct encompasses a more focused, and internally consistent set of behaviors than the other sub dimensions of transformational leadership. As a result Rafferty et al (2004) did not changed this dimension in their critical study of the elements of transformational leadership. Individualized consideration has a lot to do with recognizing the needs of others, the followers if you will. An important element can be rewarding followers for attaining specified performance levels and focus the reward based on individualized consideration and stimulation. By doing so transformational leadership is strongly linked with transactional leadership by sub-dimension.
Furthermore empirical evidence indicates that contingent reward is highly positively correlated with transformational leadership, and displays a similar pattern of relationships to outcomes as the transformational subdimensions. The term personal recognition instead of individualized consideration could be used to capture that aspect of contingent reward that is conceptually related to transformational leadership.
The above review identified a set of more focused sub dimensions of transformational leadership including articulating a vision, inspirational communication, supportive leadership, intellectual stimulation, and personal recognition (E Rafferty & A Griffin 2004). Together with the ‘original’ dimensions formulated by Bass (1985), they could make our perception of the applicability of transformational leadership within organizational environments more robust and trustworthy.
Bass, B 1985, Leadership and performance beyond expectations, 1st edn, The Free Press, New York. Bryman, A 1992, Charisma and leadership in organizations, 1st edn, Sage Publications, London. E Rafferty, A & A Griffin, M 2004, 'Dimensions of transformational leadership', The Leadership quarterly, no. 15, pp. 329-354. M. Bass, B & E. Riggio, R 2006, Transformational Leadership, 2nd edn, Lawrence Erlbaum, London. Weber, M 1968, On charisma and institution building, 1st edn, University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Yukl, G 1999, 'An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership', The Leadership Quarterly, no. 10, pp. 285-305.