Transformational Leadership and Innovation in Workplaces

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The leadership today is critical in determining the recital of the organisations. Organisations set prerequisites for certain trifling aptitudes for top management positions for the desired optimal output. There is need for leaders who are proficient of fostering innovation to attain advancements in organisational performance. Many organisations fail to attain justifiable competitive advantage due to their limited indulgent of the relationships between the strategic variables. The variables relate to knowledge and innovation that have a direct stimulus amid transformational leadership and output of organisations. (Howell and Avolio, 1993)

            Gumusluoglu and Ilsev (2009) state that innovation is an indispensable tool for the performance in many organisations. Through innovation many new drifts in relation to the workplaces are apprehended that when put to practice will produce desired output that stipulates effectiveness in the management. Innovation that involves all the employees in the workplace from the leader to followers is always the preeminent since there is collaborative and joint consensus reached. Many organisations are enthusiastic to train and educate their employees regularly to foster innovation. The performances are appraised and the organisations at times motivate their employees and this solidifies the relationships between the employees and the employers.

               Transformational leadership influences the critical attitudes of the members of the organisation and through this there is conception of a common mentality to attain a firm’s objectives. Transformational leadership is more efficient than the transactional leadership. A transformational leader should be able to manage the organisation relying on the system of information grasped from the outside or inside the organisation through the various processes of transformations and the new knowledge leads to innovation. (Howell and Avolio, 1993).

2.0.Transformational Leadership in Innovation at Workplaces

            Transformational leadership is s condition whereby leaders amplify and hoist the welfares of their followers and enable them know of their expectations and recognition of the purposes and objectives of the team. The leaders then push for the awareness of their employees to put aside the egocentric behaviour and adopt teamwork for the benefit of the organisation. This form of leadership puts more concern on others rather than the needs of the leader. (Howell and Avolio, 1993).

            Howell and Avolio(1993) stated that the transformational leaders depict four common behaviours; individual influence, inspiration, intellectual stimulation and individual treatment. Individual influence deals with the leader acting as a model to be emulated by the followers. Transformational leaders are adept of passing information to every person in the team work at workplaces. They have features that qualifies them be authentic and don’t give a damn on what people say on their characters. They set archetypal characters that everyone emulates and identify them. Through this the followers are able to integrate the comportments of their leaders and enactment in the organisations.

            Transformational leaders have inspiration in their traits. The leaders are in ability to lever the meanings of objectives and tasks. Then leaders inspire their teams and their ability to do this, leaves the other workers emotionally moved. They define the ways of accomplishing the intents and allow the followers to contribute their ideas to the best way of achieving these goals. They also appreciate the work done by their followers and this inspires the followers to do more hence innovating many ways of working. (Gumusluoglu and Ilsev, 2009).

            The transformational leaders have an intellectual stimulation. Intellectual stimulation is the ability to challenge their followers. The leaders often engage their followers and ask them on other ways of performing things as opposed to the hoary way. They become auto critic in nature and this lowers them to be the same level as their followers as they have the believe that success is transmitted by efforts of every individual. The leaders remind their people that everything is possible and the best are good at achieving the tasks and this belongs to them. (Matzler et. al. 2008).

            The last i is the individual treatment. The employees in an organisation are uneven in capabilities and knowledge. The leaders understand this phenomenon and henceforth develop each employee individually, with full credibility. The leaders give their followers the importance they require. Many leaders take time to talk to their followers when requested by the organisations. The transformational leaders are dissimilar as they create their own private time and approach their followers to discourse any imminent issue for the benefit of performance in the workplace. They enter into strong dialogues that foster the affiliation amid the leader and the follower. (Howell and Avolio,1993)

            Transformational leaders have allure, inspiration and individualized contemplation of employees as cited above. These leaders augment for noble communication networks and spirit of trust aiding dissemination of information and knowledge. The knowledge slack ascertains that new data is similar to the existing one hence a need for internalisation of the information. The organisations assimilate the new knowledge.  The new knowledge and the absorptive capacity enhance the leader’s perception to facilitate the full exploitation of ways to work in the organisation.  This result to innovations that benefit the organisation and the output from the followers will be at optimal level.

            Transformational leadership stimulates the absorptive capacity. Leadership paves a path for advancement of individual absorption, design of an organisation framework to fit the features of the organisation. This results to investment in research and development and passionate effort to fortify the organisational absorption capacity. The absorption capacity deals with the well-designed structure on division of roles and specialisation. The absorption capacity enables the firms to acclimate to adjustments in the surroundings and improve organisational performance. The leader creates a well environment that allows room for innovation as the followers are able to fully exploit on their capabilities. The members in an organisation have different domains and hence they are allowed to specialise in their areas of competency and this results to new ways of performing tasks.

            Transformational leadership embrace for reality by coming up of intellectual capital, know-how and learning. The leaders influence learning in an effective way poising a challenge to the existing class to influence organisational innovation and general output. The transformational leaders are the frontiers abridging these progressions to institute a learning organisation. The leaders are the strategists in creating a conducive atmosphere for effective organisational learning and their interaction. The leaders efforts are due to foster the learning and overdue the internal scepticism and external ambiguities that hinder it. Through the learning the employees gain more knowledge on what they were doing and this builds their genesis of inventing new ways of performance and even improving on their current state of job performance hence resulting to innovations.( Jung, Chow and Wu, 2003).

            A transformational leadership conveys a sense of trust and meaningfulness. The leaders in transformational leadership are the key perpetrators of this phenomenon. The followers are bound to emulate the character of their leaders who in turn develop them. The employees are entrusted with the ability to perform different roles without the strict supervision from their leaders. This builds confidence and self-worthiness. The challenge of self-responsibility is poised to them and they have to act accordingly. The followers feel free to show off their skills and try new ways of working and this result to innovations. (Matzler et. al. 2008).

            Transformational leaders focus on doing the right things for the right reasons. The organisations have set values that govern their operations. There are ethical behaviours that must be adhered to when in the workplaces. The leaders who practice transformational leadership uphold these core values and put them to practice and the followers emulate this behaviour. The followers focus on the right tasks given and dedicate their maximum cooperation in accomplishing the tasks hence resulting to good performance. The leaders impact this on their followers hence there will be minimal chances of messing in the workplaces. (Matzler et. al. 2008).

            Transformational leadership is intriguing and fun. The leaders act as freely and they are candid with their followers. The leaders lower themselves and are on the same class as the rest of the employees. The followers act freely without fear and ask their leaders clarifications on anything they have insufficient knowledge and know how. The leaders show their followers what is to be done and they at times jointly accomplish the tasks hence improving on the confidence and performance of the followers. This results to innovation as a result of the transformational leadership. .( Jung, Chow and Wu, 2003).

3.0.Examples of Transformational leaders

            There are leaders who have show cased their practices of transformational leadership and their results have been greatly seen in their workplaces. These leaders have been considered as legends in the line of leadership. These leaders include Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

            Steve Jobs was a former CEO, Chairman, and co-founder of Apple. He passed on October 5, 2011. Steve Jobs displayed characters like focus, passion, innovation, involvement and effective communication. Steve focussed on insisting of team work, be enthusiastic and be humble, to take charge of the full organisation (Sharma and Grant, 2011).In 1976, Steve Jobs started apple computers with Steve Wozniak. Steve Jobs involved his followers fully to accomplish the tasks of making the apple computers. He went ahead and introduced Revolutionary Macintosh in the market. Steve Jobs had his focus and he founded the Next Computers. He was among the co-founders of the Pixar Animation Studio. The Next Computers was sold to Apple and Jobs became the CEO. Through his leadership Apple was able to launch revolutionary iPod and introduced 3G iPhone. (Sharma and Grant, 2011).

            Steve Jobs was a transformational leader. He involved his followers fully in the cooperation at the workplace. Steve Jobs was passionate in his job. He used to encourage his followers to sacrifice their time and dedicate their full time to achieving the tasks they had at hand. He engaged his co-workers in making decisions that would favour the performance of the firm. He was charismatic and simple in his operations. Many employees of Apple by that time describe Steve as a dedicate leader who was not sophisticated. The Apple company success to date draws back to Steve Jobs’ efforts and transformational leadership. (Sharma and Grant, 2011).

            Mahatma Gandhi was a leader of the Indian country at the time when the Indians were protesting against the rule of Britain. (Bligh and Robinson, 2010). He spear headed the approach of peaceful protestations by the tool of being candid and affection to attain their goals. He showed exemplary transformational leadership qualities that enabled his followers collaboratively emulated him. A transformational leader arouses his followers by enabling them know the importance of the task ahead of them. Gandhi displayed the transformational leadership as his followers were influenced by his stand of staging protests that are peaceful. Gandhi further urged his followers to have trust, loyalty, admiration and respect. This showed transformation in leadership.

            A transformational leader has intellectual stimulation. Gandhi held many meetings to discourse the issues that his people faced along in India. In his movie, he preached to sundry people about the importance of unity. The people of India collectively staged their grievances and Gandhi discussed with his followers on the way forward and they settled the problems among themselves as they still pushed for independence from Britain. Gandhi further communicated to his people in an open way and candidly. He was honest in his speeches and he preached what he practised himself and urges his followers to emulate the example of himself. Gandhi practised the transformational leadership values such as altruism, humility, fairness and justice, empathy and healing. Mahatma Gandhi will be fully remembered for his efforts in the fight for independence in India. (Bligh and Robinson, 2010).

            Glad and Blanton (1997) stated that Nelson Mandela was a transformational leader as he will be remembered by his struggle for the independence of South Africa from Britain. Nelson   Mandela displayed transformational leadership by the way he lead his followers to achieve the independence. He was an inspiration to millions of the people of South Africa. He inspired many people through his speeches that he preached to the people. He conveyed many meetings which he used to encourage the citizens of South Africa and he told the congregations never to give up and should stay focussed on their bid to attain independence.

            Mandela put his interests and decided to pursue the interest of the nation. He was arrested, beaten and harassed but he never gave up in fighting for the independence of the country. The people of South Africa followed his example of honesty, humility and team work. After the imprisonment of 27 years, he was released and he decided to come back to his country to begin the process of healing the nation. He united the people that had been dispersed. Mandela came up with a strategy of reaching to the most affected families and consoled them. He promised the people to believe in the better days to come. As a transformational leader he only stayed in power for 5 years and he had no greed for power. (Glad and Blanton, 1997)


            Transformational leadership is the best type of leadership that should be emulated by organisations. The benefit of this leadership is that it entails merits to the individual workers as well as organisations as well. The world today is concentrating on entrepreneurship that deals with business operations. The adoption of transformational leadership will result to maximum output and increased cooperation among the people. The qualities of transformational leaders showed by Steve, Mandela and Gandhi are to be emulated for the better performance of organisations. (Howell and Avolio, 1993)


            Bligh, M. C., & Robinson, J. L. (2010).Was Gandhi “charismatic”? Exploring the rhetorical leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(5), 844-855.

            Glad, B., & Blanton, R. (1997). FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela: A study in cooperative transformational leadership. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 27(3), 565-590.

            Gumusluoglu, L., & Ilsev, A. (2009). Transformational leadership, creativity, and organizational innovation. Journal of business research, 62(4), 461-473.

            Howell, J. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1993). Transformational leadership, transactional leadership, locus of control, and support for innovation: Key predictors of consolidated-business-unit performance. Journal of applied psychology, 78(6), 891.

            Jung, D. I., Chow, C., & Wu, A. (2003). The role of transformational leadership in enhancing organizational innovation: Hypotheses and some preliminary findings. The leadership quarterly, 14(4-5), 525-544.

            Matzler, K., Schwarz, E., Deutinger, N., & Harms, R. (2008). The relationship between transformational leadership, product innovation and performancein SMEs. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 21(2), 139-151.

            Sharma, A., & Grant, D. (2011). Narrative, drama and charismatic leadership: The case of Apple’s Steve Jobs. Leadership, 7(1), 3-26.

October 30, 2023

Business Science


Management Technology

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Leadership Innovation

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