The purpose of this article is to analyze the impact of the external environment on the emergence of particular forms of transformational leadership.
To develop a conceptual model, the extant literature on environment and transformational leadership was used. Specifically, the focus was on the constructs of volatility of the external environment, environmental uncertainty, and existing models of transformational leadership.
In this article, an environment‐induced model of transformational leadership was developed, which identifies three types of transformational leaders – revolutionary, evolutionary and transgressor. Revolutionary transformational leaders are likely to emerge in organizations operating in volatile environments and whose members show either a high or a low degree of receptivity. However, evolutionary‐transformational leaders are likely to emerge in less volatile environments whose members show a high degree of receptivity, and transgressor‐transformational leaders would emerge in less volatile environments whose members show a low degree of receptivity.
This model is a conceptual one and has not been empirically validated yet. However, the model's propositions have implications for research. Organizational scholars may empirically test the extent to which firms' external environments influence the types of transformational leaders that emerge within them. They may also assess the extent to which the external environment facilitates employee acceptance of particular forms of transformational leadership.
Knowing the external environment of a firm may help select the appropriate type of leaders needed to move the organization ahead. For instance, when organizations face high volatile environments, they may be well advised to select revolutionary‐transformational leaders as CEOs or change agents.
The value of the present article lies in the fact that it binds together the literature on the firm external environment and transformational leadership. Thus, the article helps reduce the artificial boundary between macro and micro issues in the study of organizations.
Beugré, C., Acar, W. and Braun, W. (2006), "Transformational leadership in organizations: an environment‐induced model", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 52-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437720610652835Download as .RIS
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