Transformational Leadership and Authentic Leadership as Practical Implications of Positive Organizational Psychology

Transformational Leadership and Authentic Leadership as Practical Implications of Positive Organizational Psychology

Meltem Yavuz
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0058-3.ch008
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A large body of evidence suggests that leadership can be learned, and followers may respond to such learned behavior positively. Indeed, motivation, engagement, health, and wellbeing of employees in an organisation depend on the quality of the managers to a great extent. In this context, managers need to be equipped with the skills and behaviors both to engage and to protect the health and wellbeing of their teams. In this chapter, the theoretical backgrounds of transformational leadership and authentic leadership are explained, and these theories are compared and contrasted with each other. It also discusses how these leadership theories might help to enhance positive psychological abilities and positive attitudes of both leaders and their followers, and how these leadership theories contribute to the development of the management-training programs.
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Seligman, founder of the positive psychology movement explains his epiphany over the speech of his daughter: “From the time I was three to the time I was five, I was a whiner. I whined every day. When I turned five, I decided not to whine anymore. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And if I can stop whining, you can stop being such a grouch” (Seligman, 2002a, p.3). Then, he realized that raising children is should be more about identifying and nurturing their strongest qualities instead of just concentrating or fixing what is wrong with them (Luthans, 2002a). The idea of catalysing human resource strengths and psychological capacities rather than their pathologies and dysfunctions make them improve the quality of their lives (Luthans, 2002b), and lead to be blossomed of the positive psychology movement among various disciplines (Donaldson & Ko, 2010). This positive movement has reflected to the workplaces and organizational scholars, as well (Dutton, 2003; Luthans, 2002a, 2002b).

In recent decades, positive-based approaches and constructs such as employee wellbeing, reinforcement, procedural justice, job satisfaction, commitment, organizational citizenship behaviour etc. have been widely studied within the context of positive organizational scholarship. On the other hand, there is also a topic that is frequently studied is positive organizational behaviour which exclusively focuses on psychological resource capacities (Youssef & Luthans, 2007). This new perspective, guided by theory and research, has brought about pleasant concepts such as trust, hope, optimism, happiness and resilience to traditional organizational behaviour (Donaldson & Ko, 2010). Indeed, positive psychological capital as an umbrella term of positive organizational behaviour is a psychologically positive development of individuals and taking on challenging tasks, having the confidence (self-efficacy) in order to be able to deal with them, to think positively about being successful in the present and in the future (optimism) striving to be successful within the framework of targets and re-reviewing the paths to the targets when necessary (hope) is defined as being self-recovering and resuming (psychological resilience) to succeed, even if it is surrounded by problems and troubles (Luthans, & Youssef-Morgan, 2017; Luthans et al., 2007; Luthans, Vogelgesang, & Lester, 2006; Luthans, Luthans, & Luthans, 2004). Positive organizational behaviour aims to increase the organizational performance, especially performance of managers and leaders by using the capacity of positive psychology within the organization (Bakker & Schaufeli, 2008; Wright, 2003). The concept is a dynamic to make efficient use of human resources from an organizational point of view, and to facilitate the superior performance (Nilsson, 2015; Donaldson & Ko, 2010). Through positive organizational behaviour, employees focused on their capacities and capabilities, and efforts were initiated to develop them (Nelson & Cooper, 2007).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Transformational Leadership: A type of leadership style which emphasizes generating enthusiasm for a vision, and acting as a role model to gain the respect, admiration, and trust of employees.

Organizational Development: Practices that serves to deliberately improve problem solving and renewal processes in organizations.

Authentic Leadership: A type of leadership style which emphasizes the positive psychological capacities as well as moral and ethics values with greater self-awareness and self-regulated positive behaviors.

Management Development Training Programs: Programs especially for qualified employees to help enhance their managerial skills.

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