Assignment: perceptions of leadership
Assignment: perceptions of leadership
Assignment: Social work perceptions of transformational and transactional leadership in health care.
1. Social work perceptions of transformational and transactional leadership in health care………………………. 1
Document 1 of 1 Social work perceptions of transformational and transactional leadership in health care Author: Gellis, Zvi D ProQuest document link Abstract: Despite the resurgence of leadership research, few investigations have examined the association between leadership behaviors and organizational performance in the social work field. The purpose of this study Wa’s to evaluate empirically a model that delineates two types of leadership processes, transformational and transactional leadership, within social work practice as measured by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Links: Linking Service Full text: Headnote Despite the resurgence of leadership research, few investigations have examined the association between leadership behaviors and organizational performance in the social work field. The purpose of this study was to evaluate empirically a model that delineates two types of leadership processes, transformational and transactional leadership, within social work practice as measured by the Mutfifador Leadership Questionnaire. The model was tested with a sample of 187 clinical social workers employed in hospitals. Results indicated that all five transformational factors and one transactional factor were significantly correlated with leader outcomes of effectiveness, satisfaction, and extra effort. Implications for social work practice are provided. Headnote Key words. clinical social workers; effectiveness; leadership; transaction; transformational Little empirical attention has been given in the social work literature to the concepts of leadership and organizational performance (Malka, 1989; Patti, 1987). Researchers have emphasized that investigation of management characteristics and behavior constitutes a critical area for social work (Gummer, 1995; Hasenfeld &Schmid, 1989; Malka, 1989). Others have called for expanded training in leadership practice in schools of social work (Brilliant, 1986; Patti, 1987). Bargal and Schmid (1989) reviewed the management literature and suggested such themes as transformational leadership, vision and strategy, and organizational culture to be useful to the social work field. They stated that there has been a “changing paradigm in research on organizations … and these themes represent holistic and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding leadership approaches” (p. 52). At a theoretical level, transformational leadership has the potential to be instructive to the social work field (Gummer, 1995). Therefore, this research investigated social workers’ perceptions of the degree to which their managers practice transformational leadership, and of leader attitudes and behaviors that social workers associate with organizational effectiveness. No previous studies have been identified that extend the theory of transformational leadership in the social work and health field. Rarely have models of leadership practice been advanced in social welfare (Ezell, Menefee, &Patti, 1989). Berg (1980) developed a “proactive”-“reactive” model of leadership style. In this model, proactive leaders are associated with attributes of risk taking, innovation, and change, whereas reactive leaders are depicted as maintaining the status quo and avoiding risk taking and change. Ezell et al. described a model of social work administration whereby managerial behaviors produced or enhance desired client outcomes. Austin (1989) stated that the appropriate behavioral model for the human services was “interactive leadership.” This model emphasized the pattern of personal interaction between the manager and other staff in the organization, using a problem-solving approach within participatory groups. Hasenfeld and Schmid (1989) described a life cycle model of social services organizations from a management perspective incorporating concepts such as transactional, management by exception, and transformational leadership within their stages
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of maturation and elaboration. Existing social work studies on leadership have numerous methodological limitations. Some lack adequate samples and do not rely on systematic observations of leadership behavior, whereas others lack operational definitions of leadership practice (Malka, 1989; Wernet &Austin, 1991). Other studies rely on the reporting and perception of a small number of respondents (Jansson &Simmons, 1986). Also, inadequate attention is paid to issues of reliability and validity of measurement instruments (Wernet &Austin, 1991). Relevant literature informative to social work examines leadership in teams and organizations (Bass, 1985; Bass &Avolio, 1994; Bennis &Nanus, 1985; Gummer, 1997). New research strands in the organizational field have been developed and have focused on transformational leadership (Bass, 1985) and the related concepts of charismatic (Conger &Kanungo, 1988) and inspirational leadership (Bennis &Nanus, 1985). TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP THEORY Bass’s (1985) theory of transformational leadership was developed from Burns’s (1978) thesis of transactional and transformational political leaders. In transactional leadership, leader-follower relationships are based on a series of exchanges between them. Bass’s (1985) research has identified two factors composing transactional leadership. First, contingent reward leadership is viewed as an active and positive exchange between leaders and followers whereby followers are rewarded for accomplishing agreed-on objectives. Conversely, leaders also can transact actively or passively with followers by focusing on mistakes, delaying decisions, or avoiding situations until problems arise. Bass refers to such behavioral exchanges as management by exception (Hater &Bass, 1988). Bass and his colleagues stated that the essence of transformational leadership is to produce organizational change through its emphasis on new values, and a vision of the future, which transcends the status quo (Bass &Avolio, 1994). A central argument of Bass’s (1985) theory is that transformational leadership goes beyond transactional behaviors by developing intellectually stimulating and inspiring followers to put aside their own interests for a collective (team, unit) purpose. Bass described transformational leadership as comprising four conceptually distinct factors: (1) charisma (idealized influence attributes and behaviors), (2) intellectual stimulation, (3) individual consideration, and (4) inspirational motivation. Charisma refers to the leader’s ability to arouse devotion and articulate a vision through personal dynamics such as self-confidence and emotional appeal, for subordinates to identify with and develop higher order goals, and instill respect and loyalty for the leader. The charisma factor is separated into idealized behaviors and attributes (Bass &Avolio, 1997). Intellectual stimulation refers to the leader’s ability to understand and solve problems in novel ways, to “break with the past.” Individual consideration refers to the leader’s ability to treat each subordinate with care and concern (Bass, 1985). Inspirational motivation orients subordinates toward action, building confidence, and inspiring belief in a cause. An understanding of transformational leadership is necessary to account for the extraordinary efforts often exerted by followers. In contrast to transactional leaders, transformational leaders attempt to elevate follower needs to higher levels, try to develop followers into leaders, and attempt to bring about changes in the culture of the organization. Although transactional and transformational leaders are two distinct types, characteristics of both can be found to differing degrees in the same individual (Bass &Avolio, 1990). Bass (1985) stated that transformational leadership would result in followers performing beyond expected levels of performance as a consequence of the leader’s influence. Specifically, followers’ level of extra effort may be due, in part, to their commitment to the leader, their intrinsic work motivation, their level of development, or their sense of purpose that drives them to excel beyond ordinary limits. By delineating a vision and shared values, transformational leaders can help units and teams maximize performance. Moreover, teams more open to innovation and risk taking may be more conducive to transformational leadership (Bass &Avolio, 1990). Bass also claimed that transformational behaviors could be learned in organizations. QUANTITATIVE STUDY