Theoretical Perspective on Contemporary Leadership Styles: Transformational and Relational Leadership

Theoretical Perspective on Contemporary Leadership Styles: Transformational and Relational Leadership

Nermin Kişi
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6301-3.ch013
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Leaders can influence the behavior of their followers through the use of different leadership styles. Therefore, the leadership style is viewed as a key determinant of organizational effectiveness. In recent years, leadership trends are changing rapidly, and paradigm shifts in leadership are occurring all over the world. There has especially been a significant expansion of research on contemporary leadership styles. This chapter reviews the most popular and influential leadership styles currently used and present a comprehensive view of two leadership approaches. The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the theoretical perspective of the transformational and relational leadership styles among contemporary leadership approaches. It is expected that research results will be a source for both educational and business contexts.
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Definitions Of Leadership

What is leadership? What do leaders do? The answers to these questions have been sought for centuries. Although some authors have found specific answers, discussion on this issue are still ongoing (Fairholm & Fairholm, 2009, p.6). In order to understand the concept of leadership, the authors first examine the definitions of leadership. Leadership means that the ability of an individual to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization (Nikoloski, 2015, p. 33). Therefore, leadership is an important and necessary skill for managers (Osborne, 2008, p. 5). It is an especially necessary ability to create change (Hacker & Roberts, 2004, p. 44). It plays an important role in affecting change and promoting development (Andrews, McConnell & Wescott, 2010, p. 4). The five rules of leadership are to shape the future, make things happen, engage today’s talent, build the next generation, and to invest in yourself (Smallwood & Ulrich, 2010, pp. 160-161). Leadership is a concept which has been studied extensively for many decades. There are different definitions by different authors concerning leadership. Table 1 presents that various examples of definitions of leadership.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Leadership: It is the process of influencing, directing and controlling the activity of the person or group in order to achieve shared goals.

Leader-Member Exchange Theory: It is a leadership theory that focuses on the interactions between leaders and followers.

Transformational Leadership: A leadership style with which the leader inspires, motivates, and encourages the followers and takes care of their needs and feelings.

Relational Leadership: A leadership style which emphasizes that the leader must be purposeful, empowering, inclusive, ethical, and process-oriented.

Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire: It is a tool that measures various types of leadership behaviors.

Transactional Leadership: A leadership style based on the exchanges between the leader and follower who want to meet mutual expectations.

Leadership Style: A concept that is shaped by the frequency of leadership attitudes and behaviors.

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