The concept of “transformingleadership”, which becomes later “transformational leadership”, was first originatedby James Macgregor Burns in 1978. He defined “transformational leadership” as aconcept where “leaders and their followers raise one another to higherlevels of morality and motivation” (Burns, 1978, p.
164). In his research,Burns dissociated the notion of “management” from “leadership” and claimed thatthe differences between these two concepts lie in traits and behaviors. He foundedtwo concepts: “Transforming Leadership” and “TransactionalLeadership”.
According to him, the “transforming approach” generatesimportant transformations not only inthe lives of people but also within organizations by redefining insights and principles??and changing the way people within an organization are expecting thing and standardsto which they aspire. This type of leadership relies more on thepersonality of the leader, on his characters and his aptitude to make thingsdifferent by having and sharing a motivating vision and setting ambitious objectives,at the opposite of the second concept ” TransactionalLeadership” that implies relations between the leader and his collaboratorsin the sense that they receive their wages or a certain level of prestige forhaving complied with the wishes of the leader “requires a shrewd eye for opportunity, a good hand at bargaining,persuading, reciprocating” (Burns, 1978, p.169). According to the”transactional leadership” model, relationships between leaders and their teammembers are thus conceived of as a form of exchange of “contributions” / “rewards”or “sanctions” / “rewards” rather than a true form of evolution involving aform of submission to the leader’s desires. On the contrary,” transformationalleadership” increases the level of motivation of employees through theattention of their leader (Northouse, 2004).
Few years afterwards, the concept of transformationalleadership was extended and refined by Bernard M. Bass. “Bass added to theinitial concepts of Burns (1978) to help explain how transformationalleadership could be measured, as well as how it impacts follower motivation andperformance” (Leadership Qualities for Effective Leaders, page 44).
He changed theterm “transforming” that has historically been used to “transformational”and developed further the work done previously by Burns by clarifying the processthat support the two concepts of leadership established by his predecessor; “transforming”and “transactional”.In 1985, Bass nonetheless identified a major problemin Burns’ work, which viewed “transactional” and “transformational” leadershipas the end point of a “continuum”. He finds that there are really twoindependent dimensions and that one person can use one of them, the other one,the two of them or none of them: “transactional leadership and transformationalleadership are two distinct dimensions rather than opposite ends of one continuum”. The author has presented a formalmodel of “transactional” and “transformational” leadership. The “transformationalleadership” model was based on four factors :”idealized influence,inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration” (Bass & Riggio page 82). The “transactional”model was based on “contingent rewards” and “exception management” thatconverged toward higher performance expectations (Northouse, 2004).