Transformational Leadership as Conceptual Framework

Subject: Leadership Styles
Pages: 1
Words: 292
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: PhD

Transformational leadership was developed decades ago, but the framework is still regarded as up-to-date and effective in the current business environment. James McGregor Burns developed the theory in 1978 and described the concept of a transformational leader (Siangchokyoo et al., 2020). According to this paradigm, the leader transforms subordinates’ behavior by encouraging and inspiring. Followers’ behaviors, motivations, and even values (if necessary) are transformed, which contributes to excellent performance and facilitates employees’ creativity. This theory is employed in the present study due to several reasons.

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This theoretical framework concentrates on the relationship between the leader and followers and its impact on the performance of the latter. It has been acknowledged that transformational leadership has a positive influence on employees’ creativity and reduces job-related stress (Zheng & Liu, 2017). It can be important to identify the elements of transformational leadership the participants have used and explore the related outcomes.

Another theory guiding this study is the sustainable development theory. The concept of sustainable development appeared in the Brundtland Commission report in 1987 (Frecè & Harder, 2018). The major idea behind this framework is that present activities should not compromise the wellbeing of future generations. This attitude is inflicted on all spheres of human life, including business. Organizations governed by such principles are seen as exemplary and competitive (Baumgartner & Rauter, 2017). Employees of such companies remain motivated and explore their creativity, which positively affects organizational performance.

Baumgartner and Rauter (2017) also note that leadership and the peculiarities of the relationship between leaders and subordinates have a considerable effect on companies’ sustainable development. This study can benefit from the focus on this theoretical framework as the participants’ vision, and the organizational values they promote can explain the behavior and attitudes of the involved stakeholders.


Baumgartner, R. J., & Rauter, R. (2017). Strategic perspectives of corporate sustainability management to develop a sustainable organization. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 81-92. Web.

Frecè, J. T., & Harder, D. L. (2018). Organisations beyond Brundtland: A definition of corporate sustainability based on corporate values. Journal of Sustainable Development, 11(5), 184-193. Web.

Siangchokyoo, N., Klinger, R. L., & Campion, E. D. (2020). Follower transformation as the linchpin of transformational leadership theory: A systematic review and future research agenda. The Leadership Quarterly, 31(1), 1-18. Web.

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Zheng, X., & Liu, X. (2017). The buffering effect of mindfulness on abusive supervision and creative performance: A social cognitive framework. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1-12. Web.