Academic journal article Academy of Strategic Management Journal

Pre-Training Motivation and the Effectiveness of Transformational Leadership Training: An Experiment

Academic journal article Academy of Strategic Management Journal

Pre-Training Motivation and the Effectiveness of Transformational Leadership Training: An Experiment

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Emotional and symbolic aspects of leadership have remained an avenue of great interest for management researchers since 1980s. The theory of transformational leadership influenced by the work of James MacGregor Burns (1978) and more empirically researched Bass (1985 & 1996), describes this important aspect of leadership. Transformational leadership instigates the moral values of followers while unshackling mental processes to instill a concern for ethical issues and to mobilize energy and resources to reform organizations. Current research on transformational leadership, in contrast to Burns, focuses more on pragmatic task objectives than the moral uplift of followers (Yukl, 2008, p. 267). Transformational Leadership has a positive effect on subordinate's attitude and firm's performance. However effectiveness of Transformational leadership training is a less researched avenue. (Barling, Weber and Kelloway, 1996). This study evaluates the effect of transformational leadership training on subordinate's satisfaction with the supervisors.

On the other hand, training motivation plays a vital role in determining the effectiveness of a training program (Colquitt et, al. 1999). This study extends our understanding about the role of training motivation in transformational leadership training context.

This study substantiates the existing literature by using conceptualizations of transformational leadership to study the effect of such trainings on subordinates' satisfaction. Furthermore, to our knowledge, this study is unique in evaluating the role of training motivation and its impact on transformational leadership training effectiveness.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Transformational leadership Training

The effectiveness of transformational leadership training intervention have been studied from three different performance oriented perspectives i.e. effect of training on attitudinal outcomes of trainees (Howell & Frost, 1989), task performance of subordinates (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1996) and the impact of training intervention on financial performance (Barling et al, 1996). The dimensions of transformational leadership have been related to the task performance of subordinates. It has been identified that individuals working under a leader exhibiting individualized consideration are lower at task performance than individuals working under charismatic leadership (Howell & Frost, 1989). The effectiveness of transformational leadership training has been evaluated through three different criterions, namely, reaction (Popper, Landau, and Gluskinos, 1992) behavior and performance (Barling et al, 1996). For instance Barling (1996) used a true experimental design to evaluate the effect of transformational leadership training intervention and related it with organizational performance. It has been emphasized that the effect of transformational leadership training should be studied on other individual attitudes like subordinates' satisfaction with their supervisors (Barling et al, 1996).

Training Motivation:

In a training context, motivation is a goal directed inspiration derived from trainees' personal needs and the decision processes they use to satisfy those needs (Blanchard & Thacker, 2004). A number of external and individual variables have been identified that affect the motivation towards a training program.

Individuals with an ability to learn but low in training motivation cannot reap full benefits from a training program. (Noe & Wilk, 1993)

METHOD

This study uses a true experimental design. A pretest-posttest with control group design was adopted for the study. The procedure for selection of participants and the instruments is as follows. Area managers of a large scale private healthcare company were selected for studying the effect of transformational leadership training on attitudinal outcomes. The selection of a single company helped control the cultural variations, whereas, the selection of Area Managers, only, helped maintain uniformity of the staffing function as well as the SKA. …

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