Essay about Diversity in Western vs Eastern Transformational Leadership

Essay about Diversity in Western vs Eastern Transformational Leadership

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B.M. Bass developed a study in 1985 on leadership in the western world which focused on western leaders and how they influenced their subordinates. What he found was that leaders across organizations shared similar attributes. He referred to this style as “transformational leadership”. Through this style, leaders “inspire followers to transcend self-interest for the good of the organization and can have an extraordinary effect on their followers” (Robbins & Judges, 2012:188). Bass discovered that cultures that used this leadership style placed importance on the development of individual’s work performance within organizations. Using his research, Bass was able to organize the behaviors of what he deemed transformational leadership into four categories: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual consideration, and intellectual stimulation. Each category is a different form of influence that the leaders have over their followers which allow them to affect diverse groups of people. Since the theory was based on a study of western leaders, the transformational leadership theory can be viewed as bias in a western context. In other words, this style of leadership may be more effective in western organizations than eastern organizations due to the differing cultural values. However, there are examples of transformational leaders in each culture.
Martin Luther King Jr. is one example of transformational leadership in the west. In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people where he delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. He touched the crowd with his passion and charisma, which created a vision for those people to strive towards. That vision he created is an examp...


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Lawson, S. 1987. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, Georgia Historical
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Palmer, D. 2009. Business leadership: three levels of ethical analysis, Journal of Business Ethics. 88(3): 525-536.

Robbins, S. Judge T. 2012, Groups in the organizations, Essentials of Organizational Behavior, 12(12): 188.

Sayeed, O. Shanker, M. 2009. Emotionally intelligent managers & transformational leadership
styles. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 44(4): 593-610.

Spreitzer, G. Perttula. Xin, K. 2005. Traditionality matters: an examination of the effectiveness of transformational leadership in the united states and taiwan. Journal Of Organizational Behavior, 26(3) 205-227.

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