Thematic Analysis of Literature in Order to Essay

  • Length: 7 pages
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  • Subject: Leadership
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #30304072

Excerpt from Essay :

thematic analysis of literature in order to influence of transformational leadership on organizational outcome. The data is identified from relevant literature on organizational behavior and then used in the creation of a more coherent picture. Recommendations and conclusion is then presented on the benefits of transformational leaders to various organizations.

The concept of transformational leadership has been suggested to lead to an improvement in the level of organizational outcomes (Tucker & Russell, 2004). The work of Bass (1994) indicates that transformational leadership comprises of four main elements. That is; individualized consideration, idealized influence, inspirational motivation and intellectual stimulation. In this paper, we investigate if indeed transformational leadership enhances the level of organizational outcomes.

Research questions

This paper will be guided by the following research questions

What are the effects of leadership in general on organizational performance?

2. What are the ways in which leadership can be used in enhancing organizational performance?

3. What are the attributes of transformational leadership that are necessary in realizing organizational success?

4. What is the impact of transformational leadership on follower satisfaction?

5. What is the impact of transformational leadership in the level of organizational commitment?

Literature review

Extant literature has been dedicated to the concept of transformational leadership and its influence on employees (followers).The impact of transformational leadership on the level of follower satisfaction has been widely studied (Koh, Steers and Terborg, Hater & Bass,1995).The effects of transformational leadership on the level of organizational commitment has also been evaluated (Barling et al., 1996)

Conceptual framework

The concept of transformational theory was pioneered in the late periods of the 20th century by Burns in his work on political leader's analysis (Burns,1987).Before this work, most of the attention was focused on the examination of the approaches of various leaders who successfully managed to transform their organizations. Burns successfully characterized the concept of transformational leadership as one that "occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality" (Burns, 1987,p. 20). In his analysis, he believed that the efforts of a transformational leader could effectively raise the followers from their lower levels to higher levels of needs as proposed in Maslow's (1954) hierarchy of needs.

The work of Bass (1985) then refined as well as expanded the already existing leadership theories of Burns. Bass however said that a leader is an individual who motivates his followers in order to do more things that they originally intended to do (Bass,1985,p.20). He pointed out that this level of motivation could easily be achieved by the effectively elevating the level of awareness on the importance of various outcomes as well as ways of reaching them. He also indicated that leaders are able to encourage their followers to act beyond their self-interest for the team or the entire organization.

A more refined as well as refined version of the transformational leadership theory by Burn has been employed in various organizational setups since 1980s (Waldman, Avolio, & Bebb, 1987; Bass, 1985).

The application of this theory is focused on the exchange that occurs between leaders and the organization which they lead. The concept of transformational leadership when applied to an organization serves as a means of crating as well as sustaining an atmosphere for the building of human capacity through the identification and the development of core values while unifying the purpose necessary for liberating the human potential. It also generates an increase in the level of capacity and development of leadership. In the process, it utilizes an interaction that is focused on the design of an organization as well as the building of increased interconnectedness as pointed out by Hickman (1997,p.2).

The role of transitional leaders is to bring about economic and human transformation. In a given organization, the work in generating missions, visions, goals as well as culture all of which contributes to the capacity of an individual, group as well as organization to serve its purpose by practicing its values (Hickman,1997).

The reliable leaders should be able to generate a high level of commitment from all of their followers which capable of generating a high level of commitment (Bass, Waldman et al., 1987). Extant literature has discussed the connection that exists between transformational leadership and the efficiency of organizational operations. Yet again, transformational leadership has been linked to several organizational outcomes like employee commitment (Barling, Weber, & Kelloway, 1996). Job satisfaction (Koh, Steers, & Terborg, 1995). The work of Bryman (1992) indicated that transformational leadership is related positively to several organizational outcomes such as the level of perceived efforts, job satisfaction as well as organizational citizenship behaviors. According to the work of Trice and Beyer (1993) as well as Schein (1985),, organizational leadership can change as well as sustain organizational culture through the generation of new as well as reinforcing the establishment of asset of beliefs, norms and shared values within a given organization. Creed & Miles (1996) pointed out that transformational leadership leads to the development of trust within a given organization.


This work was carried out through a thematic analysis of extant literature. Evidence of the effects of transformational leadership on organizational outcome was collected from a series of relevant studies and then the finding analyzed for specific themes.

Data Sources

The data to be used in this study were extracted from the various business and leadership related literature on organizational behavior.

Data Analysis

The relevant organizational outcomes were identified and the level of correlation that exists between the outcomes.


Transformational leadership and employee satisfaction

Research indicates that transformational leadership has a huge impact on the level of employee satisfaction (Koh, Steers, & Terborg, 1995) as well as their level of commitment to a given organization (Hatter & Bass,1988). This research also indicates that transformational leadership has a great impact on the level of employee commitment to impending or ongoing organizational change processes (Yukl, Leithwood, & Jantzi, 2002). It also has an impact on the level of organizational conditions as shown by the work of Lam, Wei, Pan, & Chan (2002).

The work of Tucker & Russell (2004) indicated that transformational leadership has a great impact on both the persona as well as organizational outcomes in all sorts of organizations.

Aarons (2006,p.1163) clearly indicated that the concept of leadership is closely associated with the level of staff and organizational performance. The concepts of personal as well as organizational behavior are also indicated to be related to the idea of leadership demand.

Organizational outcomes

This study has indicated that transformational leaders are able to influence their followers by motivating them as well as inspiring them to successfully achieve their goals as reiterated by Bass & Avalio (1995).The work of transformational leaders is to attempt to assist their subordinates in imagining the future organizational outcomes. The main organizational outcomes which research indicate are affected by transformational leadership are grouped according to the major themes that emerged in the course of the study. They include; organizational citizenship behavior, job satisfaction, in-role performance, organizational commitment as well as effort.

The influence of transformational leadership on organizational citizenship performance/behavior

Organizational citizenship performance/behavior refers to the non-obligatory as well as voluntary behavior by a certain employee, actions of which are noted to go beyond the normal job description that are prescribed by the employee. These are never associated with any form of a reward system as reiterated by Organ (1990).Organizational citizenship performance/behavior is note by MacKenzie, Paine, & Bachrach (2000) to bear a positive effect on the level of employee performance. It has also been indicated to produce relatively positive benefits on both the organization and the employees (Bolino, Turnley, & Bloodgood, 2002). Several studies have indicated the existence of a positive relationship between transformational leadership and Organizational citizenship performance/behavior (Koh et al., 1995; MacKenzie, Podsakoff, & Rich, 2001).

The concept of transformational leadership has been indicated by Bass (1985) to effectively stimulate the followers to perform their duties beyond the normally expected limits (p.32). Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter (1990) indicated that the stimulation that occurs on the followers as a result of the influence generated by the transformational leader is important in enhancing both the quality and quantity of the followers' performance.

The work of Bass indicated that transformational leadership helps in the creation of leaders who are never selfish, are faithful as well as connected to the organizational mission and vision.


Empowerment is another theme that merged as a result of the influence of transformational leadership on organizational outcomes. Empowered employees produce better results (organizational outcomes). The followers of a given transformational leader are empowered by the vision that is formed by their leader. Eden (1992) pointed out that the signal that they receive from their leader on their ability to achieve a certain vision also plays an important role.

Transformational leadership must therefore construct an environment which is participative as well as empowering in order to allow their followers to quickly respond to the environmental and organizational…

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