Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Relationship between Transformational Leadership Style and Innovative Work Behavior in Educational Institutions

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Relationship between Transformational Leadership Style and Innovative Work Behavior in Educational Institutions

Article excerpt

Transformational leadership is an ideal style of leadership in educational sector because such leaders are analytical, active, effective, result oriented and direct followers to a new set of corporate values and behaviors. They are appropriate for promoting pragmatic change, amazing potentials, determination, willpower and innovation in the organizations. In view of the importance of transformational leadership in the educational sector, this study aims to examine the relationship between transformational leadership style and innovative work behavior.

The Full Range Leadership Theory (FRLT) proposed by Bass and Avolio (2000) comprised of three leadership styles i.e., (i) transformational; (ii) transactional; and, (iii) laissez-faire. Transformational leadership style in FRLT is a multidimensional construct (Avolio & Bass, 2002). It comprised of five facets such as (i) idealized influence attributed; (ii) idealized influence behavior; (iii) inspirational motivation; (iv) intellectual stimulation; and, (v) individualized consideration (Bass & Avolio, 2003). Bass (1990) recommended that a novel strategy is to be evolved to instill copious desire in the followers for attaining the culmination of performance in their organizations and dubbed this leadership as transformational leadership. Therefore, this style is the most superior style of leadership in FRLT. All the dimensions of the transformational leadership style are active according to the underlying theory i.e., FRLT and effective according to the underlying research (Bass & Reggio, 2006).

Idealized influence attributed or attributed charisma involves the communicating a vision, embedding a sense of mission in the followers and encouraging them. In response, the followers trust on the leader and give him respect (Bass, 2000). Idealized influence behavior involves exemplary leadership on leader's part where leader serves as a role model. The followers observe the leader and acts out accordingly (Bass & Avolio, 2000). In inspirational motivation, the leader charismatically communicates the futuristic vision, clarifies the paths for the followers by reducing ambiguities and complications and uses referent power to influence followers (Avolio & Bass, 2002). The intellectually stimulating leader fosters creativity and motivates followers to solve old problems in new ways. The leader encourages followers to do rational reasoning, interpretation and thoughtfulness consideration (Bass & Reggio, 2006). The leader with individualized consideration truly affiliates with followers by providing them personal attention, bonding with them by care and concern. The leader considers individual needs and empowering followers (Bass & Avolio, 2003).

Similarly, innovative work behavior is a multidimensional construct (Butt, 2006; Dorenbosch et al, 2005; Krause, 2004). The most common dimensions include idea generation i.e., introducing creative ideas, idea promotion i.e., getting support for the implementation of ideas (Scott & Bruce, 1998; Jansen, 2000), work commitment i.e., showing selfmotivation and personal commitment to an innovative idea (Kanter, 1988), and idea implementation i.e., practical implementations of the new ideas in the real setting (Jansen, 2000; Mumford, 2003; Scott & Bruce, 1998; Zhou & Shalley, 2003).

Many practitioners and intellectuals such as Axtell et al. (2000); Bunce and West (1995); Unsworth and Parker (2003) support the vision that organizations should promote, develop and apply innovative potentials of their workforce as a means to organizational achievement. The significance of innovation in organizations has been confirmed on various occasions which have later led to the recognition of successful leadership as a possible method. In addition, a transformational leader's intellectual inspiration can help unusual and innovative thinking and functioning processes that direct to new facts and knowledge which is primary to determined innovative work behavior (Jung, Chow, & Wu, 2003 ; Tierney et al. …

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