International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 322

Full Length Research Paper

What Transformative Leaders do: Emerging Perspectives in the 21st Century

Allan D. M. Bukusi
  • Allan D. M. Bukusi
  • Africa Leadership and Social Development Center, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 19 August 2020
  •  Accepted: 23 September 2020
  •  Published: 31 October 2020


This paper examines the call for transformative leadership in the 21st century. It explores recent published articles on the subject matter in order to establish the expectations of a transformative leader. The turn of the century heralded a call for the adoption of a transformative agenda on the African continent. Nonetheless, the turbulent political, dynamic economic shifts and disruptive global events, such as posed by COVID-19, call for a new form of leadership to tackle these unconventional challenges. As an emerging area of study, transformative leadership is described and interpreted differently by leaders all over the world. This author reviews articles published in 2010 and later, to collate current perspectives and theory to equip leaders with a one stop reference document on the subject matter. The author answers the all-important question of, what do transformative leaders do? According to this study, transformative leaders are expected to do four important things namely; renew institutional vision and performance, advocate for ethical social advancement, empower individuals to make meaningful contribution to corporate goals, and sacrificially commit to realize the interests of those they serve. The paper equips policy makers, institutional leaders and business managers with insights on transformative leadership ethos and its potency to secure the benefits of ethical transformation for the well-being of wider society.


Key words: Transformative leadership, 21st Century leadership, transformative leaders, leadership styles, leadership ethos.