oa Journal of Management & Administration - Developing a transformational leadership style to fit the 21st century

Volume 2019 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1728-9157



The aim of this paper is to explore leadership styles and identify a preferred leadership style to fit the 21st century needs within the business environment. The concept of leadership, as represented by theories, applications and practices, has been around for thousands of years and yet scholars and academics are still unable to contain it in a single definition which all people in various levels of life can agree with and embrace without doubt or reservation. However, leadership is continuously evolving, and, above all else, it seems to be depending on when, how and why a person looks at it. It is a complex concept, with many applications, and the results that it creates depend highly on the context in which it is being observed or applied. This study addressed the lack of leadership, together with its challenges and complexities emanating from its evolution as observed in family structures, communities, organizations and nations today, particularly in Africa in a global context. Until the gap of leadership is appropriately addressed, nothing will be adequately managed or resolved. Everything in human life starts with situational leadership, and everything demands the service of leadership which is relevant to its given needs, demands, expectations and contexts. The study used a content analysis research method, which reviews documents and communication artefacts, texts of various formats, pictures, and audio or video recordings to elicit data. Social scientists use content analysis to quantify patterns in communication, in a replicable and systematic manner. The study found that effective leaders can be described as transformational. When a transformational leader interacts with organizational stakeholders in the same manner as he does with employees, the study found that customer retention is achieved, while cost containment is kept at balance. The study made a number of recommendations for thought leaders to consider when implementing change and further recommendation on research on the subject matter.

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