Date of Conferral
Empirical evidence suggests that transformational leadership is positively correlated with job satisfaction, job performance, organizational commitment, and survivability. Although transformational leadership has been implemented in various organizations, little research has examined the issues in implementing transformational leadership concepts within a scientific laboratory. The purpose of this exploratory, qualitative case study was to examine (a) the current leadership style of the president of a scientific laboratory from the scientists', analysts', and technicians' perspective and their preferred leadership style; (b) the president's self-perceived leadership style and perceived subordinate style preference; and (c) the employees' perceptions of advantages and challenges to applying and implementing a transformational style of leadership. The laissez-faire, transactional, and transformational leadership models of Avolio, Bass, Burns, and Kouzes and Posner provided the theoretical basis for the case study. Data were collected from the president and subordinates and responses were coded and classified according to patterns and emerging themes. Results indicated that the president's current leadership style was transactional, whereas the subordinates' preference was transformational. The president's self-assessment of current style and perceived subordinate preference was found to be transformational. Subordinates expressed ideal and effective leadership qualities and shared advantages and barriers to transformational leadership. Leaders in scientific laboratories who apply these findings and implement more effective leadership may impact social change through increased subordinate job satisfaction and performance, thereby enhancing organizational survivability and improving the status quo.