By: Mostafa Sayyadi
Compared to other leadership styles, transformational leaders are better equipped to deploy information technology tools, products, and services. Let’s take a deeper look at why transformational leadership sets you up for success in the tech world – both with managing teams and with understanding IT principles – in this article.
How Transformational Leadership Surpasses Other Leadership Theories
Today’s global business environments involve a high level of uncertainty, and organizations increasingly need more and better leaders to helm them. Transformational leaders may be more innovative and creative, but some type of additional leadership capability is necessary to lead a global organization. Since there are a plethora of leadership models and theories, my emphasis is on becoming better at spearheading organizations through practicing transformational leadership.
Although some scholars critique the literature of leadership for having no relevance between theory and today’s changing business environment, transformational leadership has a history of proven results within organizations—for example, influencing employee individual interests to align with organizational interests, and inspiring followers to create new ideas and innovations for effective business outcomes.
The early 1980’s was earmarked by dissatisfactions from previous leadership theories, which were a dichotomy of people-oriented versus task-oriented views. Subsequently, a new shift occurred in leadership studies with this new paradigm based on transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is easy to understand, implement, and encourage followers to speak with one voice and be vocal throughout the organization. It is apparent that transformational leadership is more realistic than some of the other leadership theories.
Recently, five scholars—Jessica Dinh, Robert Lord, William Gardner, Jeremy Meuser and Robert Liden—from the Academy of Management, one of the largest leadership and management organizations in the world, reviewed articles published in 10 top-tier academic journals, including The Leadership Quarterly, Administrative Science Quarterly, American Psychologist, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organizational Science, and Personnel Psychology. By analyzing 752 cases, these scholars concluded that transformational leadership is still one of the most dominant paradigms, compared to other leadership theories such as trait theory, behavioral theories, and situational theories. The findings of this study are illustrated in the following Table.
Now that I have identified that transformational leadership has risen to a phenomenon that is worth understanding, learning, and using in organizations around the world, let us look at leading technology using transformational leadership.
Leading Technology Using Transformational Leadership
Transformational leaders develop relationships and interactions within companies, set desired expectations, and inspire followers to identify further opportunities in their business environment. The idealized influence aspect of transformational leadership can be considered an important facilitator of technological communication, which enhances interactions among organizational members and departments and improves the extent to which knowledge is shared and is accessible for all employees. Therefore, I suggest that transformational leaders enhance effectiveness when they blend technological communication to enhance their leadership role.
Executives also spend a great deal of time conceptualizing strategic endeavors. Selby Noseworthy, an author and scholar in management at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, affirms that the strategic role of transformational leaders is enhanced when information technology implementation occurs at the right time and place. Transformational leaders raise awareness on the importance of technology and empower people to improve IT implementation within organizations. This managerial implementation improves both competitive advantage and enhances the time and efficiency of task significance, leading to satisfied teams who take better care of stakeholders. Thus, transformational leadership builds a foundational platform for effectively leading information technology within organizations.
Cultivating effective information technology assists in developing transformational leadership within organizations. In light of the increased pressures of the global workplace, leaders have been inspired to drive effective change at the organizational level. And transformational leadership is vitally important in effectively implementing IT to encourage competitiveness.
About the Author
Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies, and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.
Dinha JE, Lord RG, Gardner WL, Meuser JD, Liden RC and Hu J 2014 ‘Leadership theory and research in the new millennium: Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives‘, Leadership Quarterly, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 36-62.
Noseworthy, S 1998, Transformational leadership and information technology: implications for secondary school Leaders. Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.