A theory of leading that enhances the motivation, morale, and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms.
The full-range theory of leadership seeks to blend the best aspects of transactional and transformational leadership into one comprehensive approach. Transactional leadership focuses on exchanges between leaders and followers. Transformational leadership deals with how leaders help followers go beyond individual interests to pursue a shared vision. These two approaches are neither mutually exclusive, nor do leaders necessarily exhibit only one or the other set of behaviors. Depending on the objectives and the situation, a leader may move from using one approach to the other as needed.
Management researcher Bernard Bass developed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), consisting of 36 items that reflect the leadership aspects associated with both approaches. The MLQ also includes several characteristics of a more passive leadership approach known as laissez-faire. Respondents are asked to think about a leader they work with and to rate how frequently the individual exhibits the leadership behaviors. The MLQ is used to help leaders discover how their followers perceive their behaviors, so they can develop their leadership abilities. The questionnaire is most effective with eight to twelve respondents, as this feedback gives leaders a broad set of perspectives from the people who interact with them.