Without a doubt, leadership is one of the most researched and discussed aspects of human life. Leadership is defined as a social science where a various group of people or persons are influenced so as to achieve a common goal. In their article “Transactional, Charismatic and transformational leadership types are identified by”, Micha Popper & Eliav Zakkai. (Popper, M. and Zakkai, E., 1994, pp 3-7).
Transactional leadership is aimed at monitoring and controlling employees through rational or economic means. The major aspects of transactional leadership are; Contingent reward ,where leadership behaviors focused on exchange of resources. That is, leaders provide tangible or intangible support and resources to followers in exchange for their efforts and performance. Management by exception–active involves monitoring performance and taking corrective action as necessary. The focus of management by exception is on setting standards and monitoring deviations from these standards. In the less active version of management by exception (management by exception–passive), leaders take a passive approach, intervening only when problems become serious. Finally, laissez-faire is included under the transactional leadership label, though it can be thought of as non leadership or the avoidance of leadership responsibilities. (Bono, E. J and Judge , A. T., 2004 pp 901-910).
Transformational leadership is proactive, a transformational leader sees the present as a springboard to achieve future aims. This leader forms new expectations in his or her people and sets the empowerment process in motion. Briefly, he or she relates to his peoples developmental needs. (Popper, M. and Zakkai, E., 1994, pp 3-7).
Charismatic leadership is expressed through mechanisms of attribution, projection and transference.
The leaders are images created by the led, who use the leaders as a screen for their projections and attributions. (Popper, M. and Zakkai, E., 1994, pp 3-7).
Emotional leadership has taken root in numerous leadership scenarios. Micha and Eliav explain that this perspective describes the relationship between the leader and the led as essentially emotional. In this perspective the leader is a person who arouses emotions in his people which motivates them to act. (Popper, M. and Zakkai, E., 1994, pp 3-7).
Specifically, research has demonstrated that the manipulation of a leader’s emotional expressiveness can lead to perceptions of charisma, and that emotionally expressive leaders were, in fact, more effective. Charismatic leaders use their ability to express emotions to rouse and motivate followers and to build strong emotional ties with them. There is a great deal of evidence that expressive individuals are evaluated more positively in social encounters, have a broader network of social ties, and are more confident public speakers – all characteristics that are associated with charisma. ( Ronald E. Riggio and Rebecca J. Reichard., 2008 169-185).
Emotional leadership entails understanding some vital skills; these are; identifying emotions, which involve the ability to recognize emotions in oneself and others, as well as the ability to express emotions. Using emotions to facilitate thinking, which involves using emotions to improve thinking processes and harness the power of positive moods. Understanding emotions, including the complexities and subtleties of emotions as well as their interrelationships; and managing emotions, which involves skills in regulating and controlling felt emotions in a positive fashion.( Ronald E. Riggio and Rebecca J. Reichard., 2008 169-185).
Possessing emotional and social skills was also associated with higher quality social relationships and more supportive social support systems . Moreover, deficits in emotional skill have been implicated in certain forms of psychopathology, leading to low levels of social and emotional competence that can breakdown family and other relationships . ( Ronald E. Riggio and Rebecca J. Reichard., 2008 169-185).
How does the distance between the leader and his followers affect leadership? If the distance between the lead and led is too far, is it possible that nobody will follow the lead? In this scenario, Micha and Eliav explain that leadership is the expression of a social schema that seeks to organize expectations attached to this role in a logical and consistent structure from the individual’s point of view. They continue to state that in absence of precise facts and details the individual will tend to complete the schema out of his or her own needs and expectations. Tendency to make fundamental attribution errors will be greater and the leader becomes a subjective creation of the led. (Popper, M. and Zakkai, E., 1994, pp 3-7).
On the other hand if the distance between the lead and led is closer, the greater the possibility of regular personal contact and perceptions made are on a more factual basis. The led will relate to him in a less attributional and projective manner and attribution errors are reduced. (Popper, M. and Zakkai, E., 1994, pp 3-7).
The identified leadership types are universally agreed upon and have been the basis of leadership studies for decades. The transactional leadership is based on Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs, and is one of the earliest forms of leadership to be identified. Transformational leadership developed much later, brought forward by the clamor for change which can be identified with major historical events.
Despite all the research that has been done on leadership, there still remains a lot to be done. As the social environment changes constantly, leadership has to change too. Therefore, as leadership changes to suit the current needs more research has to be carried out to identify new leadership styles. The emotional, situational and contingency leadership styles are some of which have evolved due to major changes.
(Popper, M. and Zakkai, E., 1994.Transactional, charismatic and transformational leadership.
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