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Transformational leadership and the learning organisation: exploring requirements for management of anticipatory organisational change in the South African banking industry

Crow, A. G. (1997) Transformational leadership and the learning organisation: exploring requirements for management of anticipatory organisational change in the South African banking industry. DBA thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between transformational leadership, the manner in which these leaders approach their work and a variety of organisational outcomes in the South African banking sector. In particular, the manner and extent to which transformational leaders focus on the management of organisation culture and are able to bring about learning within their organisations was examined. Other areas explored included their sensitivity to the macro environment and extent to which proactive action is taken. These aspects have not been widely researched and provided the opportunity to seek new relationships. The study also replicated previous research by Bass and bis colleagues that established linkages between transformational leadership and outcomes such as subordinates willingness to work harder, perceived leaders effectiveness and satisfaction with the leader. The eight propositions are tested in 10 Strategic Business Units (SBU's) within the 4 largest South African banks. Data was collected using the multifactor leadership and 11 factor learning organisation questionnaires and also through structured open - ended interviews with the executives directly responsible for leadership of these 10 SBU's. Support was found for greater learning taking place within areas led by the relatively more transformational leaders in the sample. The level of appreciation and understanding of the concept of the learning organisation among the executives sampled however, was found to be low throughout the sample. In addition, support was found for the outcome measures, although not in the manner in which previous research had established. Those executives that were relatively more transformational were also found to be more proactive in their actions at the workplace. There was no support found for the proposition that transformational leaders are more sensitive to and aware of the happenings and trends in the macro business environment. The main contribution of the study is the finding that concerted efforts are required if the establishment of the learning organisation as a valid response to environmental changes is to be attained. Relying on individual leadership orientations is unlikely to be sufficient.

Item Type:Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Supervisor:Money, A. and Jones, A.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Management College
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School
ID Code:85820

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