Document Type

Teacher Resource

Publication Date

Fall 2019


The term transformational leadership was first introduced by James V. Downton in 1973, and has been the focus of researchers since the early 1980s (Northouse 161). After years of success and prosperity, the United States economy crashed into what is now known as the recession. The president at that time, Ronald Reagan, put forth many changes, such as cutting taxes and building up the military to help the country recover. During this time, the US imported more goods than it exported, therefore endangering manufacturing sector. Through such abysmal times, it was important for President Reagan and his government to motivate the citizens of the US. His leadership that led to the new wave of studies in transformational leadership.



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