How can Kenyan organizations create an environment that is more open to employee citizenship behaviour that goes beyond the call of duty, creativity/innovation and knowledge sharing?
This is one of the central concerns interrogated in a Public Lecture presentation entitled: Transforming Leadership: A Full Range Perspective, delivered by Prof. Fred Walumbwa, a distinguished Kenyan-US based scholar, at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Juja Main Campus, Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
During the well attended Lecture to JKUAT students and academic staff, Prof. Walumbwa, who is also the Knight Ridder Professor of Management and International Business at the College of Business, Florida International University, challenged leaders in all spheres of national endeavour particularly in organizations, to create a viable climate that promotes creativity, innovation, knowledge sharing, learning, voicing and ethical behaviour among other values.
Illuminating on the concept of transformative leadership, the US- based scholar said, the onerous task of creating the type of work context lies with leaders at different levels of an organization.
Prof. Walumbwa noted that the major drawback in creating this environment is the dearth of knowledge on how leaders can successfully address transformative leadership concepts for effective functioning of their organizations. He identified four key behavioural characteristics of transformational leadership namely, idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration, pillars which are also referred to as “the four I’s.”
Although transformational leadership was at the heart of effective leadership, Prof. Walumbwa contended that a model that took account of the full range of characteristics identified in what he referred to as “The Full Range Leadership Model,” arguing that for an effective leadership, the Leader should exhibit more of the “4 I’s” in order to gain the confidence, trust of the employees.
While stressing the importance of a creating a conducive climate that promotes creativity, innovation and knowledge sharing, Prof. Walumbwa reiterated that, “employees who engage in the identified behaviours are likely to promote long-term competitive success for their organizations.
According to the presentation, the identified behaviours remain critical in the context of the globalized markets where interdependent and culturally diverse organizations’ emphasis on time is a critical component in their ability to survive.
The Professor of Management and International Business further observed that transformational leaders engage the full person so that followers are developed into leaders, adding, such leadership could occur top-down, but can also occur between two followers, and bottom-up when someone influences his /her leader to reconsider the focus, mission, or vision he /she is pursuing.
The scholar also outlined the significant role played by transformational leadership in raising the followers’ level of awareness about the importance of achieving valued outcomes and strategies for reaching them; encouraging followers to transcend self interest for the team and organization; developing followers’ needs to higher levels in such areas as achievement, autonomy and affiliation which may be both work related or not.
Speaking on behalf of the School of Human Resource Development under whose auspices the Public Lecture was organized, Prof. Elegwa Mukulu who is the Dean, paid glowing tribute to Prof. Walumbwa for finding time to interact and share his knowledge and ideas with members of the academic community and appreciated the don for making an insightful and exquisite presentation.
Prof. Mukulu also appreciated the work of the team that worked to actualize the forum and further thanked the audience for their attendance and active engagement with the visiting scholar.
The audience exchanged ideas on what makes transformational leaders stand out among other issues which have curtailed the emergence and growth of genuine transformative leadership in Africa and beyond.