Transformational and transactional leadership in human service organizations: A descriptive analysis

TitleTransformational and transactional leadership in human service organizations: A descriptive analysis
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsKuckartz R
AdvisorJeffery B
Academic DepartmentSocial Work
DegreeMaster of Social Work M.S.W.
Number of Pages80
UniversityUniversity of Regina (Canada)
CityRegina, SK

This research examines the use of transformational (TFL) and transactional leadership (TAL) in two types of human service organizations. Applying the transformational leadership model developed by Burns (1978) and Bass (1985), the researcher explores the variations of how this model is practiced between leaders in community based non-profit organizations (CBO) and leaders in government social services. Differences in variables between individual leaders (such as sex, age and education) are also explored. The 45-item Multi-factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) is used as the measurement tool. A non-random sample of executive directors in twenty-seven CBOs and twenty-six front line supervisors within the Social Services Income Security and Child and Family Services program areas were selected from five urban centers in the province of Saskatchewan. The results show leaders in CBOs use transformational leadership more frequently than leaders in government social services. No difference was found between leaders in the two types of organizations and the use of transactional leadership. Other results that compare transformational and transactional leadership between male and female leaders are very tentative due to the small sample. The researcher suggests the transformational leadership model is useful and can be applied to social workers and other human service disciplines as a means of understanding and enhancing leadership ability.

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