The Pros: Strengths and Benefits of Transformational Leadership
1. Most Effective Style of Leadership: Studies have shown that transformational leadership is more effective than transactional leadership. One study noted that it ranked first in terms of effectiveness. Transactional leadership ranked second while the contingent reward and managing-by-expectation ranked third and fourth respectively.
2. Fosters Creativity and Innovation: Transformational leadership has the advantage of producing more creative ideas and innovative solutions through collaboration. Transformational leaders collaborate with their followers to make decisions and solve problems through the generation, evaluation, and synthesis of different insights and ideas.
3. Builds and Maintains Motivation and Satisfaction: Studies have shown that transformational leaders are the most effective in increasing employee satisfaction and thereby, enhancing mental and psychological health inside and outside the workplace. A motivated and satisfied workforce increases organizational outcomes.
4. Facilitates Organizational Change: Another advantage of transformational leaders is that they help an organization go through change because they positively influences the behavior of employees. Transformational leaders help employees accept change through engagement and improving relationship or cooperation.
The Cons: Weaknesses and Limitations of Transformational Leadership
1. Limitations in Applications: One disadvantage of transformational leadership is that it is not universally applicable. It is useless in new and chaotic groups or organizations, those that perform mechanized tasks, and in emergencies or situations that require quick decision-making or prompt problem-solving.
2. Dependence on the Cultural Context: Cultural factors also limit the application and effectiveness of transformational leaders. A study concluded that more traditional cultural values do not benefit from transformational leadership. Hence, cultural context determines the applicability and effectiveness of the transformational approach.
3. Can Pressure Followers: A transformational approach to leadership distributes accountability across the group or organization by giving them autonomy or ownership over their tasks.
This can be a weakness. Some individuals might find additional collaborative and leadership roles and responsibilities too demanding.
4. Negatively Impacts Individual Creativity: Note that one of the strengths of transformational leaders is their role in facilitating creativity and innovation through collaboration. However, the transformational approach enhances group creativity and innovativeness but negatively affects such capabilities at the individual level due to dependence.