ⓘ Full Range Leadership Model

Full Range Leadership Model

ⓘ Full Range Leadership Model

The Full Range of Leadership Model is a general leadership theory focusing on the behavior of leaders towards the workforce in different work situations. The FRLM relates transactional and transformational leadership styles with laissez-faire leadership style.


1. Background

In 1991, Bruce Avolio and Bernard Bass introduced a concept that distinguished three leadership styles, namely transactional, transformational, and laissez-faire leadership styles. As shown in the figure, these three leadership styles can be sorted according to a leaders engagement towards their team.


1.1. Background Laissez-faire leadership

Laissez-faire is French for "Let them do what they want". This leadership style can be seen as the absence of leadership, and is characterized by an attitude avoiding any responsibility. Decision-making is left to the employees themselves, and no rules are fixed. Obviously, this style is the least active way of leading people as well as the most ineffective one measured by the impact of the leaders opinion on the team.


1.2. Background Transactional leadership

Main article: Transactional leadership

The term transactional leadership refers to the transactions between a leader and followers. Transactional leadership is a style of leadership in which leaders promote compliance by followers through both rewards and punishments. Unlike transformational leaders, those using the transactional approach are not looking to change the future, they aim to keep things the same. Leaders using transactional leadership pay attention to followers work in order to find faults and deviations.

A transactional leader follows the objective exchange of value between an employees performance and the managers response to it. The manager communicates clear requirements and goals to the employee and rewards achievements. Some authors define transactional leadership as a "conditional reward" – the definition of the goal is negotiated between the manager and the employee, and in the event of a successful performance by the employee, the reward promised by the manager is granted.


1.3. Background Transformational leadership

Main article: Transformational leadership

In contrast to the two above mentioned leadership styles, transformational leadership follows a different, more long-term oriented philosophy: Short-term, egotistic goals, are substituted by long-term, higher-ranked values and ideals. This paradigm change usually increases commitment, self-confidence, and employee satisfaction. Podsakoff and colleagues distinguish six dimensions of transformational leadership:

  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Role model
  • Individual support
  • Promotion of group goals
  • High performance expectation
  • Future vision