Leadership Theory

Leadership Theory

Leadership Theories

Transactional Vs. Transformational Leadership -
The transactional leadership style was first described by Max Weber in 1947, and again by Bernard M. Bass in 1981. To understand the difference between Transactional and Transformational leadership is necessary to understand the Transformational Leadership Theory. Relationships between leaders and others are based on the amount of and types of interactions they have. Typically the better the interactions are, the stronger the relationship is. When there is an expectation of reward for the interactions or if the interactions are based in part on some possible return from the relationship, that is a transactional relationship. Pay for performance is a common type of compensation program. Employees are paid a premium if certain criterion is met. There is a condition upon which a reward for effort is realized which creates a transactional relationship. According to Burns Transactional leaders: “Approaches followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another” while a transformational leader: “Recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a potential follower…(and) looks for the potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower”. In essence, Transactional leaders operate within the existing environment while Transformational leaders create change within their environment.

Transactional Leadership Pros:
When the reward for expected behavior is motivating to followers, Transactional Leadership is effective. Transactional Leadership is a proven compliance strategy which allows the Leader to make all of the decisions.

Transactional Leadership Cons:
Transactional leadership styles rely on the leader to be capable of making the right decisions for everyone. When people only do as they are told, creativity is suppressed. This leadership approach will not work with followers who are not inspired by their leader....

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