Transformational and Transactional Styles: Perceptions of Academic Library Leadership
Academic libraries and librarianship have been undergoing radical change for quite some time, and the new normal is now constant growth and evolution. One of the biggest keys to successfully navigating change is leadership. Transformational leadership is highly correlated with effective organizations and successful change, yet few studies of this leadership style exist in the library literature. This study surveyed 465 academic librarians at 4 year institutions to rate their library’s leadership using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). The respondents rated their director/dean/university librarian as more transformational than transactional, but the mean scores (0-4 scale) for both transformational (2.05) and transactional (1.65) leadership traits were not high. Transactional leaders set objectives, assign tasks, and clarify expectations so that employees can achieve the desired outcomes of the organization and be rewarded for their efforts. Transactional leadership is not a bad form of leadership, per se; however, it is not sufficient when it comes to creating serious, long-lasting change in an organization. In order to create lasting change, transformational leadership is needed. Transformational leadership is comprised of building relationships among people and creating real, significant change by emphasizing values and creating a shared vision amongst those in the organization. Transformational leaders use idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration with their followers. (Click the images to enlarge.)
For full article and citations: Martin, J. (2016). Perceptions of Transformational Leadership in academic libraries. Journal of Library Administration, 56(3), 266-284.