Week 3: DB Leadership Theories

Leadership theories have evolved in many ways over time, from the great man theory (1840), trait theory (1930), behavioral theory (1940), contingency theories (1960), to transactional (1970) and transformation theories (1970). Theorists initially placed emphasis solely on the leader but later expanded to include the leader and follower relationship by incorporating key leadership competencies such as being a visionary—particularly where change is concerned, communicating effectively, serving as an expert in a particular industry, and inspiring trust in others (Northouse, 2016).

This week, you will synthesize leadership theory to gain additional insight into the nature and practice of leadership. You will evaluate the effective implementation of transactional and transformational leadership styles. You will also evaluate leadership theories as a means to support doctoral-level scholarly research.

Learning Objectives

Independent scholars will:
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of transactional and transformational leadership styles in business
  • Evaluate leadership theories and theorists to support doctoral research

Discussion: Transformational Leadership:
An Ideal Solution?

For many, the concept of transformational leadership is difficult to understand. Numerous researchers have defined it as a leadership theory and leadership style. One definition of transformational leadership is “the process whereby a person engages with others and creates a connection that raises the level of motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower. This type of leader is attentive to the needs and motives of followers and tries to help followers reach their fullest potential” (Northouse, 2016, p. 162).

Sir Richard Branson is a commonly cited example of a transformational business leader. Branson’s entrepreneurial efforts began in the music industry and then expanded to numerous industries, including the Voyager Group travel company, Virgin Atlantic Airline, and Virgin Galactic, a space-tourism company. He changed perceptions of entrepreneurial possibilities and empowered other business leaders.

To prepare for this Discussion, do the following:

  • Consider the difference between transactional and transformational leadership.
  • Identify two well-known business leaders from the scholarly literature or personal experience, including one who exhibits transactional business leadership behavior, and one who exhibits transformational business leadership behavior.
  • Note: Your transformational business leadership example need only satisfy one of the functions of transformational leadership as outlined in the course text.

By Day 3

Post an evaluation of the effectiveness of transactional and transformational leadership in business. In your evaluation, do the following:

  • Describe two well-known business leaders who respectively exhibit transactional and transformational business leadership behavior, and explain how each business leader exemplifies the identified type of leadership.
  • Explain whether you believe that transformational leadership is the most effective type of business leadership and why. Be sure to include specific examples, if any, in which transactional leadership might be more appropriate.
  • Describe any potential negative consequences of transformational leadership.

Be sure to support your work with a minimum of two specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and one or more additional scholarly sources.

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