Since the turn of the 20th century many leadership theories have emerged and evolved over time. Transformational leadership is one of the older, more prominent theories and has been used in organizations and in political arenas for many years. Complexity leadership theory, on the other hand, is relatively new in practice and academia. To date, there is very little literature addressing the similarities and differences between the transformational and complexity leadership theories as well as their comparative value in organizational contexts. Both the Complexity Leadership and Transformational Leadership theories are presented and the similarities and differences of each theory are discussed and evaluated. The purpose of this comparison and evaluation is present the theory’s foundations so that they may be applied to the challenges presented by IT software development teams. The application will result in determining and recommending the more effective leadership style for IT-based teams as well as presenting tips for successful IT software development projects. Understanding different leadership styles and their response to team challenges can ultimately contribute to the leader’s ability to effectively manage IT teams and successfully leading IT software development projects in organizations.





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