Leadership has developed over time into a variety of different models. Four of these models are transactional leadership, transformational leadership, charismatic leadership, and situational leadership. This paper will describe in detail the characteristics of these four leadership models, focusing on their similarities and differences. These models also can be used to address contemporary leadership issues and challenges in health care. Understanding these leadership models will help move forward in any organization as a leader.
Contrast of Leadership Models Transactional Leadership Transactional leadership is also known as managerial leadership. It focuses on the role of supervision, organization, management, and group performance. In this model, rewards and punishments are based on the performance of the follower. This model is more easily recognized and utilized in business settings. It is stated by Weber that without structure and incentives, the higher sense of meaning dissipates (Jones, 2001).
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Rules, procedures, and standards are a necessity in transactional leadership and are most influential when problems are clear, simple, and defined. Specifically defined in health care, gender, age, education, and health care experience contribute to the utilization of transactional leadership. It was shown in a study of an Ontario Hospital that continued use of transactional leadership negatively impacted viability and ultimately the profit margin (Nurse, 2010). This suggests that followers ultimately need a higher sense of meaning within an organization to feel a part of it.
Transactional leadership assigns a precedence of reward correlated to a followers worth, which can destroy their sense of commitment to the leader and the organization over time if the transactions are not favorable to the follower. However, without rewards and punishments, it is difficult to establish a leader-follower relationship. Transformational Leadership Transformational leadership is the management of emotion. These leaders are those who bring followers to exert a higher level of performance and exertion by encouraging them to surpass self interest (Avolio & Yammarinom, 2002).
Bass and Avolio (1993) characterize transformational leaders by four characteristics: ? Charisma or the ability to communicate their vision; ? Inspirational motivation or making emotional appeals to followers to build or increase awareness of shared goals; ? Intellectual stimulation or encouraging followers to think outside the box; and ? Individual consideration or recognizing that different followers have different needs. (Bass & Avolio, 1993). Transformational leadership is seen more in health care organizations combined with other leadership styles, such as transactional.
Transactional leaders are said to work within the constraints of the organization, whereas transformational leaders change the organization (Bass & Avolio, 1993). Health care is an ever-changing field that requires organizations to change with the needs of the patients. Transformational leadership must be a characteristic when one is a leader of that industry. Charismatic Leadership It is said that charismatic leadership invokes change in individuals’ goals, values, needs, and aspirations.
There are three components of charismatic leadership: envisioning, energizing, and enabling. Envisioning entails the development of the objective for the preferred future. This stimulates enthusiasm in followers. Energizing is required by the followers to be motivated to act on the vision. Finally, the leader must enable the followers to achieve the vision (Wren, 1995). Weber initially argued that charismatic leadership arises in a time of crisis (Weber, 1968). In charismatic leadership, there are several points that are assumed.
For example, it would be assumed that the leader must have charm and grace. It is also assumed that people follow others that they personally admire. However, there have been several behaviors defined within the capacity of charismatic leadership. Avolio and Yammarino (2002) list several of the conclusive traits of charismatic leaders. A few of these are, “Leaders strive toward distal, rather than proximate, goals. Followers are directly influenced by their leader and their personal relationship with him or her.
The leader will exude confidence, dominance, and a sense of purpose” (p. 122). Charismatic leadership is not widely seen as a sole leadership style in health care. Charismatic leadership tends to require industries, such as Military that are more values objective lead as opposed to business objectives (Wheatley, 2010). Situational Leadership Situational leadership is based on the idea that decision-making takes on many facets, so leadership should as well. Situational leadership is about finding the best solution to any given challenge.
Hersey and Blanchard concluded that situational leadership is based on readiness levels. “The leader must remain sensitive to the follower’s level of readiness. As personal problems arise, new tasks are assigned, or new goals established, the level of readiness may change” (Wren, 1995, p. 207). Readiness is defined as the ability and willingness of followers to perform a particular task. This could correlate to education, training, emotional capability, commitment, motivation, or even enthusiasm (Wren, 1995).
David Bull did a study in situational leadership and employee turnover in health care organizations. It is argued that employee turnover and turnover intent can correlate to the organization’s success, and in turn, the organization’s leaders. Both clinical and nonclinical employees shared the same perceptions about their leaders and their leader’s adaptability. The follower’s perceptions of their leaders’ adaptability contribute to the employees’ intent to stay at their current position, which ultimately correlates to the success of the organization (Bull, 2010).
Comparison of the Leadership Models Transactional leadership, transformational leadership, charismatic leadership, and situational leadership have demonstrated to have a variety of differences; however, these leadership models also have a unique likeness. “Since one of the biggest assets an organization has is human capital, it is in the organization’s best interest to make sure that teams are producing at maximum efficiency and providing a competitive advantage” (Hill, 2012, p. 4). This ultimately requires the combination of a variety of eadership models to engage the followers to achieve this objective. Transformational and transactional leadership is not “empirically distinct. ” Transactional leadership supplements transformational leadership (Jones, 2001). Transformational leadership specifically targets emotional management; however, these models encompass aspects of emotional management. Readiness levels in situational leadership include emotion just as transactional leadership does, because the transaction needing an emotional impact on the follower.
Situational leaders will continually adapt to the current problem and utilize a variety of approaches that include transactional, transformational, and charismatic approaches. In the end, all these leadership models tie into each other to produce the strongest, most effective leader available. This is what Bass and Avolio describe as the full-range leadership theory (FRLT) (Avolio & Yammarino, 2002). Contemporary Leadership Issues and Challenges These models each address contemporary leadership issues and challenges.
For example, as Christine Hill describes in her discussion on leadership in hospitals: team performance, motivation, organizational culture, and leadership styles all impact the Health care organization’s mission and goals (Hill, 2012). Understanding the changing dynamic of health care organizations, reputation for quality of care is just as important as financial success and is intertwined in the organization’s success (Hill, 2012). There are two main challenges in health care that will be addressed: employee retention and the transition of the health care delivery model.
Employee retention always has been and will continue to be in the forefront of challenging issues in health care. This contributes to the continuity of care for patients, more so present day that the future of health care depicts an environment of an increase in hospital-employed physicians. As David Bull (2010) discussed, situational leadership supports employee retention. It will take a combination of transactional, transformational, and charismatic leadership styles to adapt to a variety of situations to enhance the longevity of the employees.
A leader must understand his or her followers and what motivates them. With that information, a leader can use transactional leadership to support the initiatives and promote positive, self-starter behaviors. Adaptability will be essential. Gilkey (1999) highlights the most challenging aspect of health care moving forward: the emergence of integrated health care delivery systems. The future of health care demands the alignment and coordination of leadership to allow the organization to continue to be strategically focused.
Organizations must advance on a path of higher organizational and human performance to stay competitive. Leaders must stimulate value by providing quality care with diminishing costs by empowering the follower (Gilkey, 1999). This challenge ties in closely with employee retention. It will take the experience and collaborative efforts of all professions within health care to work collectively as a team to determine the outcomes of the industry. It will require both clinical and nonclinical; physician and non-physician alike, to derive a solution that satisfies government regulations as well as patient outcomes.
This will take a new kind of leader, the FRLT leader. Conclusion In conclusion, there are several different leadership models used to analyze leaders and leadership. Among these models are transactional leadership, transformational leadership, charismatic leadership, and situational leadership. It will take characteristics from each of the leadership models to face the challenges in health care moving forward: employee retention and the adaptation of the health care delivery models. Ultimately, the FRLT leader will step forward.
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