In this book, I provide the reader with a portion of the research and development that has been completed about transformational leadership. In less than 20 years, the subject has caught the attention of scholars, students, and practicing leaders. Although the book draws heavily from military research, findings in business organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, and hospitals are not ignored for the principles of transformational leadership have considerable generality. Situational differences are discussed, but a general model of transformational and transactional leadership are presented for describing the consequences of transformational and transactional leadership. Overall, I hope to show that transformational leadership is more effective and satisfying than constructive transactions, and constructive transactions are more effective and satisfying than corrective ones. Passive leadership is least effective and satisfying. Leaders use all these approaches, but some do more than others in how they lead. Better leaders are transformational more frequently; less adequate leaders concentrate on correction and passivity.
For much of the research and theory, I am indebted to many others. The original stimulation of the ideas about transforming and charismatic leaders came from management professor Robert House's 1976 theory of charismatic leadership and historian James MacGregor Burns' Pulitzer Prize-winning book Leadership. For much of my own research reported in this book, I am indebted to the close collaboration of my colleague, Bruce Avolio and to other collaborating colleagues Fran Yammarino, David Waldman, and Leanne Atwater. I am also indebted to those students in the Center for Leadership Studies and many other students and scholars around the world who chose to carry out their studies in transformational leadership. The many diverse citations in the book as well as the References and Suggested Readings also show the contributions of numerous investigators from military and civilian firms, agencies, and other organizational sectors.
I am grateful to Michael Drillings and his colleagues in the basic research program in behavioral science at the ARI for the sponsorship of this effort as well as for their helpful suggestions. Finally, I deeply appreciate the dedication and expertise of my wife, Ruth Bass, which made the rapid organization and preparation of my manuscript possible.
--Bernard M. Bass
Center for Leadership Studies State University of New York at Binghamton . . .