Adventures in research land

I took a class on library research from Julie Elliott in the fall, so I knew that she could help me address the struggles I had in trying to find source related to my subject. That’s what happened during our consultation. I have been looking at the topic of leadership, mainly the distinction between transformational and charismatic leaders. The question that I sought to answer is what qualities make a leader effective and why is it difficult to replace an effective transformational leader?.

As I thought about transformational leadership, I realized that transforming leaders empower their followers to become leaders. One thing that often causes institutions to struggle when moving from a highly effective leader is that “followers” often see a transformational leader as a charismatic leader. Transformational leaders are often very charismatic. However, unlike charismatic leaders, transformational leadership is an egalitarian style of leadership rather than a method of leadership that focused on elevating the leader above followers.

Julie asked me to focus on one topic during our meeting. I chose to focus on the topic of leadership succession. She suggested that we look at two databases -most prominently Web of Science. It was amazing how the word “and” yielded more results. I used the some of the same keywords that Julie used such as leadership succession, transformative leaders, but putting the word and between the keywords allowed me to get more usable information.

I  downloaded four journal articles that will be very useful in my research. Three of them dealt with leadership succession and one examined the difference between charismatic and pragmatic leaders. I look forward to reading them and providing more details about what I learned.


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