Week 5 Discussion 1 Leadership and change

Highlight the most prominent situations affecting leadership from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. Consider how these situations affect an organization with which you are affiliated (or of which you have knowledge), and discuss what your leadership approach to change would be in response to these situations. 

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Week Five Lecture 

 Leaders inspire and encourage their followers to reach objectives they have deemed important. The ability to empower others to reach these objectives is a key skill of a leader. Many U.S. workers value “innovation, entrepreneurship, autonomy, teamwork, and diversity” (Nadler, Gerstein, & Shaw, 1992, p. 173). The capacity of leaders to build organizations where workers can gain the skills to act on their values is at the heart of the concept of transformational leaders whose relationships with followers extend to helping them lead productive lives that align with their corporate identities.   

Transformational Leaders   

Because of their influential and motivational relationships with followers, transformational leaders can sometimes be viewed as charismatic. People follow them because they have a certain charm. Followers often view charismatic leaders as fair and cooperative people and thus give them their own cooperation (De Cremer & van Knippenberg, 2002).  

Transactional Leadership In some circles, transactional leadership might be overshadowed by proponents of transformational leadership. However, understanding the foundations of this theory is useful. Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn (2005) noted that the exchanges between leaders and followers that take place are necessary to some extent to accomplish basic and repetitive organizational tasks. Transactional leadership can include contingent rewards, active management by exception (correcting followers if needed), passive management by exception (only making adjustments if standards are not met), and laissez-faire (avoiding making a decision at all). 

The types of exchanges used by transactional leaders are not limited to monetary rewards (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2009). The exchange can take many forms, including economic, political, or psychological trade-offs. Transactional leaders might not possess the leadership characteristics that allow transformational leaders to develop interpersonal relationships with their followers; however, they can have a positive influence on follower satisfaction and performance when the time is available to use these skills (Avolio & Bass, as cited in Hughes et al., 2009). Transactional leadership is often underused since the value of the theory is often overlooked. The downside of using only this theory is that it often maintains the status quo and is ineffective at producing long-term change. The good news is that transactional leadership skills appear to be easier to improve than transformational skills, based on research conclusions (Hughes et al., 2009).  


With transformational theory, leadership makes yet another shift moving from exchanges with people that essentially control events to influencing and motivating followers through the establishment of a highly valued relationship between leaders and followers. Today, transformational theory resides in many of the research efforts on teams and teamwork and in studies of performance and positive organizational change.  

Forbes School of Business Faculty 


De Cremer, D., & van Knippenberg, D. (2002). How do leaders promote cooperation: The effects of charisma and procedural fairness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(5), 858-866. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.87.5.858 

Hughes, R. L., Ginnett, R. C., & Curphy, G. J. (2009). Leadership: Enhancing the lessons of experience (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. 

Nadler, D. A., Gerstein, M. S., & Shaw, R. B. (1992). Organizational architecture: Designs for changing organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

Schermerhorn, J. R., Jr., Hunt, J. G., & Osborn, R. N. (2005). Organizational behavior (9th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 

Required Resources 


Warrick, D.D. (2016). Leadership: A high impact approach [Electronic version]. Retrieved from 

Recommended Resources 


Yun, S., Cox, J., & Sims, H. P., Jr. (2006). The forgotten follower: A contingency model of leadership and follower self-leadership. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21(4), 374-388. Retrieved from the ProQuest database. 


INTELECOM (Producer). Contingency theory (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from

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