n South African Journal of Higher Education - From power to empowerment : a paradigm shift in leadership

Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article argues that there has been a clear shift in leadership approaches from those where the leader is in control and commanding i.e., power-based leadership to one where there is empowerment. Here the power comes from the followers and is shared. Burns concepts of transactional and transformational leadership are used interchangeably with the concepts of power and empowerment respectively. Under power-based leadership are included great man and trait, behaviourist and contingency theories. The article argues how these theories fit under the power based paradigm. Included under empowerment-based leadership are visionary, moral, servant and cultural leadership approaches. The article argues why these theories fall under this paradigm by showing for example how power is shared through the development of followers into leaders themselves.

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