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Mark Reid A critique of Transformational Leadership theory Introduction This paper assesses the main characteristics of the criticisms which are made against transformational leadership TL theory.
Particular emphasis is placed on those arguments which question the entire theoretical basis of TL on the grounds that it has been constructed on foundations which contain certain fundamental flaws, which inevitably results in questions arising on the extent to which the empirical evidence can be trusted in terms of generalizability and representativeness.
Consequently certain key claims of TL theory have been put under close scrutiny.
Amongst the criticisms made, this discussion has deemed the following to be amongst the most significant: Criticism and counter-criticism Arguably the greatest charge against TL theory is that the MLQ - an instrument which underpins the entire philosophical framework of the theory itself — is conceptually flawed.
According to this view, TL theory relating to aspects concerning influence would have more substance if the actual processes themselves were more lucidly identified within TL empirical studies.
In other words, all of the qualitative research studies which underpin TL theory are inherently flawed. In seeking to address these criticisms Hoyt and Blascovich undertook rigorous research into whether or not the TL style is directly responsible for raising the collective self-efficacy of the group in the realm of raising performance standards would appear to be needed before one could categorically state that TL is responsible for this impact Hoyt and Blascovich, Using regression analysis methodology the authors have clearly demonstrated how trust is a vital component in the relationship between follower behaviour and productivity.
Tellingly, the results from sample group studies conclusively demonstrated how trust was viewed as being the key ingredient which led followers to produce more qualitative work which was inextricably bound with group-cohesiveness and job- satisfaction brought about by reacting to the influence of the leader ibid: It should be emphasized that both the MLQ and Full Range of Leadership Model FRL were originally constructed by Bass as a way of bringing concrete rigour to issues surrounding the very ambiguities which had hitherto bedevilled the measurement aspects of leadership theory.
Implicit in such criticism is the notion that transformational leaders are somehow endowed with special traits which followers have no way of accessing; consequently follower destinies are inescapably tied to the ambitions of dominant leaders.
In my view, these criticisms are unfair of the most recent empirical research work to be found in the TL canon. One only needs to give a cursory look at the extensive journal literature on TL case studies to see that a lot of material exists which is replete with objective studies that have paid very close attention to the precepts of academic rigour and objectivity, insofar as is possible given the essentially non-scientific nature of such enquiries.
It is inevitable that the very nature of leadership research is to an extent at 3 the mercy of those who wish to deploy their own subjective interpretation on the essential characteristics of TL. In the final analysis, leadership theory is not an exact science.
Other critics have decried what they perceive to be the inherent measurement-based flaws to be found in the MLQ instrument itself. For example, Tejeda et al formed the view that the MLQ lacked a sufficiently rigorous approach which delivered a research platform that ensured consistency, reliability and replicablity, insofar as such criterion is possible with a field which is reliant upon qualitative-based research.
In this vein a far-reaching empirical study was conducted by Antonakis et al. Arguably TL theory has managed to offer a plausible synthesis of certain aspects of other leadership theories, thereby offering a coherent model 4 which is best able to adapt to the complex requirements of modern organizational life.
A comment by Huczynsky and Buchanan underscores how TL theory has proven to be remarkably adaptable to the requirements of modern organizational life: These are all recognizable traits of TL theory. This is a powerful vindication of the central tenets of TL theory.
We should not therefore be overly surprised if any one theory emerges from all the others to claim the ascendancy, only to be undermined by others who hold sharply opposing views. It speaks volumes that Amazon.
Clearly, TL theory by its very nature is open to criticisms because the ideas they purport can be challenged by any sceptical mind who wishes to pick holes in a theoretical construct which is unable to offer a water-tight defence akin to theories which are to be found in the natural sciences.
It is self-evident that elusive concepts such as influence and charisma traverse many situations where the number of variables at play are simply too vast to measure which any degree of scientific accuracy to a level which would satisfy all of those who question such measures of validity.
I would argue that the FRL dimension of TL theory would appear to be the only successful attempt which has managed to integrate pre-existing leadership theories into an all-encompassing explanatory framework which is a genuine attempt at advancing the academic debate.
In the grander scheme of things this has huge potential for the corporate world and, seen against such a backdrop, the empirical criticisms are relatively trivial. I suspect and this is pure speculation but it sometimes the impression that I get there is a hint of professional jealousy at play and an inability of certain contemporaries to accept the simplistic beauty of TL theory, resulting in attempts to undermine its conceptual credibility.
Leadership Quarterly, 14 3[Accessed: Leadership Quarterly, 15 6[Accessed: Small Group Research, 34 6[Accessed: In Harvard Business Review on Leadership Harvard Business School Press, U. A Mintzberg, H Psychometric properties and recommendations.
Leadership Quarterly, 12 1[Accessed: Leadership Theory in Transition?Power and Leadership: An Influence Process Fred C. Lunenburg Sam Houston State University ABSTRACT A new concept of power, referred to as The key to this framework is that leadership as an influence process is a function of the.
- Concept analysis is the breakdown of a problem into pieces to figure out ways to form a conclusion on how to correct, or improve, the problem. This response reviews a concept analysis that looked at problems with successful breastfeeding.
Leadership was a basic concept in all these frameworks with a direct or indirect impact.
In the Australian Quality Award Leadership Criteria examine the role of management in creating. A critique of Transformational Leadership theory Introduction This paper assesses the main characteristics of the criticisms which are made against transformational leadership (TL) theory.
It begins with a concise overview of the meaning and concept of leadership in terms of research, theory, and practice. This is followed by an examination of the theories of leadership, principles and styles of leadership.
In this theoretical debate, the authors presented a moderately detail analysis of a theoretical research conducted on. Derived from the book "Best and universal root of leadership-management--only greatest concern of the Quran", an approved doctoral research from International Islamic University Malaysia, originally presented as the author's thesis (doctoral--International Islamic University Malaysia, ) under title: The root concept of leadership in the.