Leadership

The Silk Route To Transactional Leadership

Transactional Leadership (also known as managerial leadership) focuses on the role of oversight in organizing a group’s performance. Leaders who implement this style focus on a particular task and motivate their followers through direct and indirect communication rather than direct action. Leadership theory was first described by sociologist Max Weber and further explored by Bernard M. Bass in the early 1980s. Sources: 7

This stream of research has done much to understand what we know about leadership styles, what styles individuals exhibit, and what conditions are most favorable for these styles. Guides from research on how transactional styles work: The Transactional Leadership Model. Sources: 3, 7

According to Bass and Avolio, leaders have the ability to demonstrate leadership behavior at different frequencies depending on their mental leadership model. There are non-transactional forms of leadership that involve extremely passive and ineffective behavior, in which leaders avoid leadership and cede responsibility for tasks. These leaders are lazy with responsibility and often absent when they are needed. Sources: 3

Transactional leaders generally do not look ahead in order to strategically lead the organization to a position of market leadership. Instead, managers nowadays are often concerned with making sure everything runs smoothly. Sources: 8

Transformational leadership focuses on well-executed change, not on an organization’s short-term success. They go beyond management to raise the next level of performance and success to a higher level, such as a new product, a better product line, or a more efficient business model. Sources: 8

The term transactional leader refers to a type of leader who essentially motivates his subordinates by exchanging rewards for performance. Transactional leaders use disciplinary power and a range of incentives to motivate employees to perform at their best. These leaders set out to push their subordinates to higher levels of performance by offering employees opportunities for personal and professional growth. Sources: 4, 8

Transactional leaders do not look ahead to strategically lead the organization to a position of market leadership. Instead, managers are responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly today. Transactional leading, popularly known as managerial leadership, has its own responsibilities, such as monitoring and evaluating the performance of each group. Sources: 0, 4

Transactional leaders expect their followers to be docile and ensure the kind of reward and punishment they receive. The transactional leader expects his followers to be docile, and he or she ensures this either through reward or punishment, or both. Sources: 0

Described by Hughes, Ginnett, and Curphy (2012), transformational leadership is the approach of a leader who focuses on changing the person (s) rather than transforming them. This approach is not about changing or improving the future for the head of state; it is simply about keeping things as they are. This continues with previous theories of leadership, as both transformational and transactional leadership focus on the importance of the relationship between leader and follower in each situation. Sources: 0, 5

This type of leadership is geared towards the followers and ensures that they are motivated to meet the highest demands. Sources: 5

Transactional leading occurs when the leader and his supporters maintain an exchange relationship that meets the needs of both parties. This is because the transaction manager has his subordinates as his subordinates and vice versa. Sources: 5, 6

Transactional leadership remains a popular style of leadership because its reward and punishment principles motivate productive employees. This also increases the willingness of employees to show performance that is motivated by rewards. However, there has also been criticism over the way in which employee performance is monitored, affecting staff’s ability to lead and be creative. Sources: 6

This ideology was later developed by MacGregor Burns and extended further by Bernard Bass in his theory of leadership. It describes a leader who is always charismatic, authoritative and traditional, but transactional in nature. This is a manager who monitors and organises his supporters in a way that does not compromise the team’s performance and achieves goals. The reward and punishment of failure is achievement, and the reward of success is success. Sources: 9

The Transactional Leader works organizationally to perfect things and expects his followers to do the same, but forgets that they don’t have to, and he expects them to do the same. Sources: 9

The transformational leader tries to achieve positive results for the employees by investing them in projects and leading internal, higher compensation systems. He works within the existing organizational culture by emphasizing and transforming new ideas. Instead of appealing to group interests and the notion of organizational success, the Transaction Manager appeals to employees who seek their reward in the traditional way: by rewarding and punishing them according to organizational standards. Sources: 2

Transactional leadership is more akin to the conventional concept of management, while transformational leadership is more closely aligned with what is colloquially known as “leadership.” The theory of transactional leadership is a very popular and frequently used theory when it comes to promoting greater leadership qualities. Sources: 1, 2

Essentially, the theory can be defined as the idea that a leader or manager motivates a group to perform on the basis of punishment and incentives. This is achieved by creating the right rewards and punishments that encourage the group to perform exceptionally. Sources: 1

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