Transformational Leadership: Scientific Concept or Management Concept?

Sverre Spoelstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

More than twenty years after its introduction, the concept of transformational leadership is still one of the key concepts in business leadership research. Up till now both defenders and critics of the concept treat transformational leadership as if it were a scientific concept. In this article I propose to understand transformational leadership as a management concept instead. That is to say, as a concept not to be judged on its explanatory power but on its spreading and performative power. Understanding transformational leadership as a management concept has important research implications. It suggests that the critical question to ask is not to which extent transformational leadership (as a leadership phenomenon) is moral, but to which extent the concept of transformational leadership itself leads a moral life.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event69th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2009: Green Management Matters - Chicago, United States
Duration: 7 Aug 200911 Aug 2009
Conference number: 69
http://annualmeeting.aomonline.org/2009/

Conference

Conference69th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2009
Number69
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago
Period07/08/200911/08/2009
SponsorEuropean School of Management and Technology, Heller College of Business Administration, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Tulane University, A.B. Freeman School of Business, Vienna University of Economics and Business
Internet address

Keywords

  • Leadership
  • Evidence-based management
  • Management
  • Organization - management
  • Organizational research
  • Executive ability (management)
  • Interorganizational relations

Cite this