Full Range Leadership

Early theories of leadership restrictedly incorporate exchanges between leaders and subordinates. Proceeding from Burns’ (1978) work on transformational leadership and recognizing that charismatic leadership might not lead to desired results as the sole characteristic of successful leaders, new core functions and behavioral aspects came to inform expectations of modern leadership. With the introduction of transformational leadership, Bass (1985) affected a paradigm shift in the understanding of effective leadership (Antonakis, Avolio & Sivasubramaniam, 2003). The Full Range Leadership Model (Bass & Avolio, 1995) integrates dimensions of charismatic, transformational, contingent reward, management-by-exception (MBE) and laissez-faire leadership into one single theory and opens up a new era of comprehensive leadership research. Bass and Avolio’s (1995) model takes value-intensive needs of subordinates into account for the first time in the history of leadership theory. Undoubtedly, Full Range Leadership has evolved to one of today’s most discussed theories in leadership research and might be regarded as an advanced approach to explaining behavioral relations between leaders and followers in international corporations.

The original model comprised four factors, however it was revised after repeated empirical application. The latest model consists of nine single-order factors accounting for leadership effectiveness, active and passive leadership (Antonakis et al., 2003). Five transformational leadership factors, three transactional and one passive leadership factor are encompassed in the model (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The Full Range Leadership Model

Source: Bass and Avolio (1995)

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