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Transactional Leadership and Transformational Leadership

The opposite types of leadership, transactional and transformational, are both important to the employees of the enterprise despite the fact that some of these types of management might seem an unappealing option. The reason is that no one wants to become a despot to the followers while using transactional leadership, or short of gravitas in usage of transformational one. The transactional leadership is the way of management, which implies the carrot and the stick approach while the transformational management uses morale and motivation through the leader as an example to run followers (Hood 2007).

According to Winkler (2010, p. 40) transactional leadership operates with basic human needs in the Maslow’s hierarchy of need. The good work means good rewards and vice versa – the leadership penalises the followers for mistakes. Such a leadership approach is aimed at short-time objectives but not for long management planning. There are two types of managers using this leadership – active and passive. The active is the way when leader controls the whole process and revises the work during it, and the passive one is intended not to interfere in the process until someone makes a mistake (Winkler 2010).

The transformational leadership in distinction from transitional one operates with the self-actualization needs situated at the top of Maslow’s pyramid. The leader should boost the morale and motivation through different psychological mechanisms. He should cooperate with each subordinate individually. The chief must stimulate and cheer the creativity of his followers and make the optimistic mood among them. In addition, a leader should be the example for subordinates; otherwise, the mood of his crew might become sceptical (Bass & Riggio 2006).

The most often compared styles are transactional and transformational leaderships. They are not antipodes, but some people believe they are. However, there are some distinctions between them; for example, the leadership itself in the transitional style could be both passive and active, but in the transformational one – only active in order to inspire the crew by personal example. The organizational structure must remain stable with transitional leadership structure, but the leaders, which are using transformational one, can change it as well as the corporative culture. The abovementioned rewards and penalties are true for transitional system, and the workers within transformational one achieve the goals through high ideals and morals. The saving of status quo for stressful work in order to achieve the highest working capacity is also true for transitional leadership while the transformational one is oriented on the assistance to creativity to solve the problem in an unusual way (Burns 2003).

One could think that the transitional leadership is the worst one because it is based on stressful work, penalties, and sometimes cruel managers; however, it is not true. Many skilled managers understand a variety of styles, and they know how and when to apply some of them. For example, the goals of the command are always clear and understandable when transactional method is used. It is proven that the money and the fear of losing job are great motivators, and the employees will be rewarded for their efforts; thus, no one would think that this style of management is unfair. In addition, the results of the work will appear fast. Although, choosing transformational strategy, a leader has to be well disciplined and literary the best among his followers; otherwise, the transformational leadership will fall short. The workers could feel exhausted and drained because of feeling that they are not on their places.

In conclusion, both strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, and the manager is eligible to choose some in order to meet the challenges. For example, a manager of sales at supermarket uses mostly transformational leadership strategy, but when there are some holidays, this manager switches the strategy to overcome the hot season (Hood 2007). As one can see, no matter what strategy is chosen because all depends on the leader’s ability to inspire respect among his followers. Therefore, honourable leader can handle both strategies equally good under the stipulation that he will do it correctly.

Reference List

Bass, BM & Riggio, RE 2006, Transitional leadership, 2nd edn, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., New Jersey.

Burns, JM 2003, Transforming leadership: a new pursuit of happiness, Grove Press, New York.

Hood, J 2007, Transformational and transactional leadership styles: an exploratory investigation of traditional and nontraditional student perceptions, ProQuest Information and Learning Company, Ann Arbour.

Winkler, I 2010, Contemporary leadership theories, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.