Title: The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership: A Critical Perspective
Author: Dennis Tourish
Reviewed by: Dr Michael Walton in Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal
Excerpt from review: The book hits directly at the heart of much of what is going awry in the corporate world which, to my mind, is the dysfunctional application of personal and institutional power. Indeed the author considers that leadership, as traditionally envisaged, has been a key factor in many of the high-profile corporate failings of recent years and especially so for those who have adopted a transformational leadership orientation. “Transformational leadership” as an approach legitimises too much of a concentration of power into the hands of the few who then probably see their mission as being that of transforming “the others”. Transformation is after all quite an appealing and seductive notion if one is “doing” the transformation but perhaps less so if one is on the receiving end, no matter how appealing the proposed changes may be presented as being. One is reminded of the old quip about a Scout feeling impelled to help someone across the road, even if that person had no desire to do so!