Critique of Transformational Leadership

PAPER: Journal Article| Arnold, K. A. and Loughlin, C. (2010) Individually considerate transformational leadership behavior and self sacrifice. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31(8) pp. 670-686| UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PAPER AIM/PURPOSE OF THIS PAPER| The aim/purpose of this paper is:a) To investigate how and to which extent leaders engage in individually considerate transformational leadership behavior with focus on the developmental, supportive and self sacrificial aspects of this behavior. ) To investigate the degree of Developmental versus Supportive aspects of Individual Consideration as a major component of transformational leadership style. | METHODS USED IN THE RESEARCH Research Methodology used:| Qualitative | Data Type:| Primary data: Semi-structured telephone interviews and discussion with key informants. Secondary Data: Review of written material from the public sector organizations related to leadership training and development program| Population sets:| Senior Leaders in both public and private sectors from five (5) provinces in Canada which consisted of both males and females. Sources of Information:| Senior Leaders, written reports and key informants| Sample used:| Canada = 51 senior leaders; 30 in the private sector (11 females and 19 males) and 21 in the public sector (10 females 11 males). | Sampling method:| Purposive sampling technique which is a form of Nonprobability sampling| Data collection method:| Telephone interviews, written reports in regards to the context and discussion with key informants. Data Analysis Method:| a) Blended Grounded Theory: Theory derived from data, systematically gathered and analyzed through the research process (Bryman & Bell,2007) b) Content Analysis through the use of Nvivo 7. 0 software| SUMMARY OF FINDINGS Findings of this research include the following: * Leaders tend to engage more in the supportive aspect rather than the developmental aspect of individually considerate transformational behaviour. Leaders can engage in self sacrificial ways or otherwise for both the supportive and developmental aspects of individually considerate behaviour. * Gender concerns crop up as males are less likely to report in engaging in self sacrificial ways when developing their employees than females. VALUE OF THE PAPER Although this paper has a point by shedding more light on possible Gender variations in self-sacrifice of leaders with regards to development, its small sample size defies the norm of generalisabilty of concepts discovered.

An obvious finding it is that leaders engage less in developmental aspect of leadership over the supportive because leaders are faced with greater pressure to perform in the face of limited resources of time and money in the bid to cut cost. Nevertheless this would serve as an Organisational development and behavioral management tool. SUBJECT CONTEXT OF THE PAPAER The Individually considerate transformational leadership behavior and sacrifice research paper is seen to have adopted the positivist research philosophy and encompasses disciplines of study such as Organisational Development, Sexology, Behavioural Psychology, Leadership studies.

Therefore the type of people or individuals that this material would be of relevance and much help to include Leaders, Managers, Employee representatives, Psychologists, Feminists, Academics (Researchers & students), Guidance counselors and Management consultants. CRITIQUE OF RESEARCH METHODS USED IN THE PAPER * The literature review of this paper which was highly focused on research gave a wonderful insight of what research work had been done in the past with regards to this topic in which I must hail the researchers.

However, to a first time reader it lacked a key definition of transformational leadership. It is not only about its components but how does an individual without knowledge of this style of leadership understand the background of the paper. * References used are mainly journals which are not old but not so current therefore there is no the guarantee that their findings and theories referred to can be applied to our current day complex managerial world. * No form of real life scenario examples here provided in the literature review to give the readers a greater insight of what transformational leadership involves. * Individual consideration has been characterised as behavior that allows transformation to occur in this article. This has shown a dysfunction as it takes more than consideration but also involves influence and stimulation as seen in Mullins (2005). * Key authors who have contributed in one form of the order to this field of knowledge has been referred to however the one man who first brought about the Knowledge of transformational leadership James Burns (1978) wasn’t referred to. The word Leaders was used interchangeably with managers in some instances. To the researchers do both terms mean the same? In actual fact leaders are different from managers. * Semi structured interviews used to gather data. This approach used is rather a subjective one because it is based on how the leaders understands issues that is what the leaders or key informants view as important in explaining. Secondly there is a tendency for the leaders to digress away from what is expected of them. The research also display another form of subjectivity as the use of the semi structured approach depends on the skills of the interviewer in conducting the interview and analysing the data, Also the length of time used in the interview of people varied and wasn’t consistent. * The use of the telephone interview method in this research has a number of disadvantages such as the interviewer cannot see the expressions or body language of the leaders, the leaders could lie with regards to their answers, leaders have little time to think well before they answer the questions posed to them and network failure of telephone networks. The sample size where just 51 participants all from the country of Canada shows that the sample size is inadequate to be enough to make conclusions with regards to transformational behavior. * All the participants of the interview where all top executives, though from different sectors but within the same country. * This research didn’t take into cognizance views for the followers within the organizations. It therefore showed a one sided approach. Only the positive side of individually considerate transformational leadership has been looked into without taking into cognizance the negative effects this behavior may have on the leader. * Purposive strategy for sampling in this research is prone to subjective judgment of the researcher knowing that this sample method is used when people that have the expertise required is minimal. But this is not so in this research as a lot of companies in various countries have this expertise. Specific criteria of the people used in the sample were not made clear in this article.

This research is therefore subject to bias and errors. * Age range of all leaders where the same which is of essence a great impact because the taught patterns of a certain age may be different from the thought patterns of another. * Audio recorded then transcribed data used in the research can pose challenges because environmental factors such as noise can be an impediment. Transcription can also consume a lot of time as multiple transcribers can come up with different results due to environmental factors. The content Analysis done with Nvivo is advantageous notwithstanding it can be utterly time consuming and sometimes based on related word counts. * Blended Grounded theory which has become far more the most widely used framework for analyzing quantitative data (Bryman & Bell, 2007) is used in this research. However, the processes of this theory weren’t followed to latter as it seemed more like concepts where developed in the research not theories because for a formal theory to be developed with this approach data must be collected and analyzed in other settings. This research involved the deconstruction of interviews in which is based on the knowledge of people that are involved. Therefore of a certainty some data are misinterpreted and some meaning is lost. * The discussions with key informants from their samples as a source of information is prone to some issues such as distortion of information, relationship between interviewer and them can influence report, may overlook some vital information and the efficiency of the analysis of information provided by these key informants can be subjective. Review of written materials for public sector on leadership training is a good source of secondary information, however this is dependent on if the information within the materials is valuable to the research and if the information can be useful in other settings. * Researchers should realize developmental aspect of leadership is not only based on the leader as an individual but also organizational perspective of development and many more external factors. * This research has however probability of subjectivity ranging from the sample size to the interview method to coding and resolving of the disagreements as a result of coding etween the researchers. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT * Enhanced definition of transformational leadership and behaviors for better understanding to people without leadership background knowledge. * Provision of real life scenarios in literature review to give fore hand an insight into this leadership style. * Larger sample size should be considered. * Clear and concise definition of experts should be looked into. * More diverse sample size from different cultures and age groups should be used in research. * Alternative views within organizations should be considered such as view of the followers. Better recruitment of sample size example low level managers should also be considered. * Consistent approach towards interviewee and subjects ranging from time spent on interviews and so on. * Effects other than the positive impact of individual considerate Transformational Leadership Behaviour should be looked into. * The complete processes of Blended Ground theory need to be followed step by step in order to create theories that can be applied in diverse settings rather than concepts. * Triangulation needed in the research.

RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY OF THE FINDINGS IN THE PAPER * Non-Representative samples in the research. * Inconsistent interviewing example time spent on interviews. * One sided approach without considering followers view in the research. * Problems with the use of Managers and Leaders interchangeably in the research. * Potential bias in analysis and key format interview. * Poor piloting. * Inconsistent interview answers and missing Data. * Consensus method of resolving disagreement on coding not good enough. * Use of telephones to gather data prone to challenges. Transcription subjectivity in research. * Drawing conclusions about presence of individual considerate Behaviour from Examples provided by interviewee is a major issue. * Findings cannot be applied. * Small non diverse sample therefore generalization not possible. * Research based on fairly current literature REFERENCES Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2007) Business Research Methods. 2nd Edition. New York, Oxford University Press Incorporated Mullins, J. (2005) Management and Organisational Behaviour. 7th Edition. Essex, Pearson Education Limited

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