Factors and characteristics of transformational Leadership. Idealized Influence as an important role for the practice of Nelson Mandela

Essay, 2016
12 Seiten



1. Theoretical Topic
1.1Transformational Leadership
1.2 Idealized Influence - Charisma
1.2.1 Role-modelling and Change
1.2.2 Critical Evaluation of Charismatic Leaders

2. The Practice of Nelson Mandela

3. Fit between Theory and Practice

4. List of Sources

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1. Theoretical Topic

1.1Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership occurs when leaders and their followers ensure success of putting each other to a higher stage of morale and motivation (Burns, cited in McCleskey, 2014, p. 118). In 1987, James MacGregor Burns first described Transformational Leadership and separated it from Transactional Leadership. In contrast to Transactional L., where you only have a transaction between the followers and the leader (Burns, 1978, cited in Kuhnert and Lewis, 1987, p 648), Transformational Leaders try to change the values of their employees by exemplary visions to reach a common, overarching objective. That’s how it possible that employees feel higher levels of motivation and morality (Gill, 2011, cited in Theory and Practice of Leadership, p.82).

Bass extended this and said in order to reach motivation, you need to increase the awareness of the proposed objectives, which will make employees do more than they expected to do (Givens, 2008, cited in Transformational Leadership). Popper and Mayseless agree and add that at T. Leader encourage their followers to think independently […] as well as expand their current status of self-confidence, self-worth, self-efficacy […] (Watson,2008, cited in Developing shared leadership). Moreover T. Leaders have some key leader values as liberty, justice and equality (Gill, 2011, cited in Theory and Practice of Leadership, p.82). According to Bennis and Nanus the follower’s behaviour can be influenced by the comprehensible vision of how to create a transformation of status quo (Kouzes and Posner, 1987, cited in Northouse, 2016 p.174). Trust is another necessary characteristic of a T. Leader in the relation to his follower (R.K.Dwivedi, 1995, cited in Organizational Culture and Performance). In relation to that Trice and Bayer add that an honest leader can change the common culture and strengthen established beliefs, shared values as well as practices and norms within an organisation (Creed&Miles, 1996, cited in Trust in Organizations). By conveying a mission and intellectual simulation, T.L. encourage followers to take responsibility in their job, what has an increasing positive impact on job satisfaction (Givens, 2008, cited in Transformational Leadership, p.13). In the theory of Bass the behaviours of a Transformational Leader are divided in four categories, the so-called four I’s (Bass and Avolio, 1994, cited in de Vries, Roe and Taillieu, 1997, p. 2). Firstly, Individualized Consideration considers a leader who acts as a consultant, coach, teacher and mother figure and focuses on the needs of the followers. Secondly Inspirational Motivation states that T. Leaders try to increase the intrinsic motivation of their followers by an inspiring vision, which gives them a clear sense and meaning for their work. Intellectual Stimulation describes the leader’s effort to stimulate the creative and innovative abilities of his follower and make them feel challenged in a positive way (Bass, 1985, cited in From Transactional to Transformational Leadership, p.22). However in this assignment I will focus on the fourth factor Idealized Influence, as it plays an important role for my leader Nelson Mandela.

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1.2 Idealized Influence - Charisma

The word charisma comes from the Greek and means “inspired gift” and was related to the unexpected a leader can achieve (Choi, 2006, cited in A Motivational Theory of Charismatic Leadership, p.25). Weber was one of the first to describe charisma in a situation of social crises, where a leader offers a clear vision with resulting solutions for the followers. Charismatic leaders should stand for a clear vision within an accepted latitude of the followers and therefore offer new, attractive ways of achieving idealized goals to be extraordinary (2011, cited in Theory and Practice of Leadership, p.91). Therefore he stated that the special personality characteristics of a leader makes them not only superhuman, but also is only reserved for just a few (Weber, 1947) By providing congruent visions, that underline values of the leader, motivational effects will occur more likely (Yukl, 2010, cited in Leadership in Organizations). Kanungo adds that qualities of charismatic leader contain properties like behavior, know-how and situation-dependent aspects. (Conger and Kanungo, 1987). By supporting a common objective, leaders strengthen the basis of trust. Charismatic leaders can reach a high level of trust by appearing confident about their concerns but also by taking personal risk as well as self-sacrifices (Yukl, 2010, cited in Leadership in Organizations). In addition to that Conger analyzed that followers are more likely influenced by charismatic leaders due to their strong convictions, self-confidence and strategic insight and want to become like them. Bass stated that followers are able to identify themselves to leaders, who are setting high standards and focusing on morality. That’s how leaders get in a position of a role model, wanting their followers to adopt their beliefs and values. (Bass, 1990, cited in From Transactional to Transformational Leadership). According to House charisma is important for the emotional leader-follower relationship as the followers believe and obey beliefs, values and missions of the leader. Due to his extraordinary approaches, being dominant and self-confident a leader can change the status quo of his followers. By acting in a unique, self-confident way he can reach charismatic effects on his followers (Robert House, 1976, cited in Theory of Charismatic Leadership). Shamir agrees, however mentions not only personal identification is important but also social identification, as charismatic leaders make their followers pride being an part of a big group with a collective identity (Asforth & Mael, 1989). Charismatic leaders can improve the performance, sense of competence and transmit confidence in followers by communicate high expectations (Avolio & Gibbons, 1988).

1.2.1 Role-modelling and Change

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Role-modelling is a big component of Charismatic leaders and belongs to the emotional part of leadership (Antonakis, 2012). Leaders have a high base of moral and ethical behavior which influences their followers to do the right things (Northouse, 2012, cited in Leadership Theory and Practice, p.191). Moreover emotions take a big importance, as leaders empathize followers needs what effects in a strong commitment they receive (Khatri, Templer & Budhwar, 2012, cited in Great transformational leadership = charisma + vision, p.40). Therefore Weber claims that they use symbolic language which effects on their magical appearance (1946, cited in Presidential charismatic leadership: Exploring the rhetoric of social change). As powerful charismatic leaders they grow into a role-model for their followers, who want to become like them. By providing a clear vision leaders earn a lot of trust and respect (Khatri, Templer and Budhwar, 2012, p.41).This trust is encouraged by providing strong values to everyone (House, 1977, cited in Sosik, p.224). Role-model have the ability to transmit solving problems skills to followers who can later adopt it and take action independently (Gardner, 1989, cited in Barbuto).


Transformational Leaders are able to change the status quo of their followers and motivate them to experience unknown. Leaders try to innovate, improve and grow and thereby they do not hesitate to take risks to make things better. By taking risks they can improve out of their mistakes in taking decisions in leadership strategies (Kouzes and Posner, 2012, cited in Northouse). Conger and Kanungo add that the desire to change the present makes leaders use certain changes in their vision (1994, p.442). House stated that the vision includes the leader’s values and morals (Hose1976, p.13), which gives them consequently not only fruitful results, but also peach hopes of followers with time (Shamir, House & Arthur,1993, p.583).


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Factors and characteristics of transformational Leadership. Idealized Influence as an important role for the practice of Nelson Mandela
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Tomislav Cicak (Autor), 2016, Factors and characteristics of transformational Leadership. Idealized Influence as an important role for the practice of Nelson Mandela, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/379818


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