Transactional and Transformational Leadership

What are the Principal distinctions between transactional and transformational leadership?

Transactional Leaders

1. Transactional leaders motivate their followers in the direction of established goals by also clarifying role and task requirement (OB: Robbins &Judge pg437)
2.Transactional leadership is based on a transaction or exchange of something of value the leader possesses or controls that the follower wants in return for his/her services.e.g job for votes or subsidies for campaign contributions
3. Transactional style is precisely what happens in contracting scenario. The contractor provides the specified service purchased.
4Transactional leadership style only works well when both leader and led understand and are in agreement about which tasks are important
5. From R.Kegan’s six stage development theory –Transactional leaders for example are stage 2 leader what they do for the organization is done for whatever the organization has promised in return for the persons output.
6. Transactional leader used higher order level to persuade their follower although their beliefs and goals typically have not change (Bass, 1985)
7. They are active in management style to make sure the led does not deviate from rules and standards, if otherwise they take action (OB: Robbins & Judge Pg 437)
8. Management by exception they look unconcern until when standards are not met-passive (OB: Robbins & Judge Pg 437)
9. They avoid taking responsibilities in order not to make any decisions-Laissez-faire.

Transformational leadership

1. From R.Kegans six stage developmental theory –Transformational leaders are stage 4 leaders who have internalized a sense of commitment to their goals and articulate this in such a way to their followers so as to convert them to a high level of commitment as well
2. They influence their followers by providing vision and sense of mission instills pride and eventually gains respect and trust from them (OB: Robbins & Judge Pg 347)
3. They create inspirational motivation by communicating high expectations through the use of symbols to focus their effort. (OB: Robbins & Judge Pg 347)
4. They promote intellectual capability and solving initiative among their subordinate.
5. They give personal attention to their employee and treat them of such (OB: Robbins & Judge Pg 347)
6. They do more than simply lead; stimulate others to transcend their own needs and interests for a common goal.
Examples of transformational leadership are Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela, Andrea Jung at Avon, Richard Branson of Virgin Group to mention a view.

How Transformational leadership create a higher level of moral aspiration for followers and leaders alike?

This can best be explained by what Bass and Steidlmeier gave a warning “Transformational leadership is seen as immoral in the manner that it moves members to sacrifice their own life plans for the sake of organizational needs and there is no moral justification for the vision of the CEO becoming the future sought by the employee” But in order to overcome such situation the leaders agenda must be uplifting and as Burns said “Transforming leadership ultimately becomes moral in that it raises the level of human conduct and ethical aspiration of both leader and the led, and thus it has transforming effect on both”. Although Transformational leadership may be double – edged, however, with high moral values as ethics supported by both leader and led, the dark side is mitigated and forces for good are championed.

Is there a Link between transformational leadership and Emotional intelligence?

Transformational leadership has high emotional intelligence (EQ) and they often rely on it to motivate and transform their followers more than transactional and laissez-faire leaders

Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. and Nelson Mandela are unique men who have had a similar, transformational effect upon their followers .They are able to turn their vision into reality .This is a power of emotional intelligence in leadership

What Makes a teams so Successful

The followings can be attributed to what makes teams to be successful or effective (Fast Company, 2000 & Carl Moore)
Moore groups them into Purpose, Context, Size, Membership, Leadership and Process, although from OB-Robbins & Judge, Pg 344 it was brought into more focus model namely: Context, Composition, Work design and Process, Both idea are similar.


• The most essential ingredient of a successful team is a cause that everyone agrees on. That’s what spurs people on and drives them to excel. It is likely to be expressed as a “shared vision” or a “common goal.”
• The team members need to be driven by the team’s results, not by individual results.
2. Context
• One quality that most good teams share is the culture in which the team exists. Is the culture one that rewards groups? Is it one that rewards individuals? Or is it a culture where no one gets rewards?
3. Size
• Think small. Ideally, your team should have 7 to 9 people. If you have more than 15 or 20, you’re dead: the connections between team members are too hard to make. The team has to be as small as possible.
4. Membership
• No delegates. You don’t want people who have to take the team’s ideas back to someone else to get authorization. You want the decision-makers.
• The team has to be diverse. The team should be made up of people who think differently too.
• Current team members can’t be afraid of new talent or new ideas. New talent can force everyone to a higher level.
• A successful team has mutual respect among team members. If everyone on the team is able to say, “I can work with this person” about everyone else on the team, then you’ve got a good thing going.
• Selfish people doom a team effort.
• At the end of the day, team members have to like one another and they have to like what they’re doing.
5. Leadership
• A team works better when people are at ease with the leader. Members are more likely to say what’s on their minds.
• The team leader must always be on the lookout for distractions, tangents, and unproductive or ancillary issues.
• A good team leader will create an environment in which people can practice and make mistakes before they’re pressured to produce.
• A skilled leader will focus on managing the interactions between people, as opposed to managing individual behavior. That allows individuals to manage their own behavior.
• A good leader recognizes that everyone is competitive to some degree. There’s no need to stop people from competing, but that rivalry has to be channeled into cooperative competitiveness.
• The team leader is at the service of the group. It should be clear that the team members own the outcome.
6. Process
• Bring in a facilitator. Someone from the outside. A facilitator may be just what team members need to make the most of their diversity, and to help them overcome any personal agendas or conflicts.
• It takes shared space to create shared understandings.
• People will stick out an unpleasant assignment, but they won’t do it again.
• Don’t shortchange your startup. Take the time to understand what you’re going to do and how you’re going to deal with the possible bumps along the way.

Are teams always the correct answer to organizational effectiveness?

Teamwork are not always the best option for Organization to be effective, Some situations actually demand for the job to be done individually, therefore, before we conclude to implement teamwork in any given task we should carefully assess whether the work actually requires or will benefit from collective effoct.Robbins & Judge in OB suggest that 3 test should be carryout to see if a team fits the situation namely:
(1) Can the work be done better by more than one person? (2) Does the work create common purpose or goals and lastly are the members of the group interdependence, because team will only be more effective where there is interdependence between tasks to be carryout. Therefore, the benefit of using teams have to exceed the cost like time, resources, and conflict management that goes with it before it can be justifiable.

How do you motivate a diverse team to achieve results?

A team in a multicultural or diverse environment can be motivated through the following:
1. Recognize individual differences- for instance employee individual needs are different so is their culture, so we don’t have to treat them the same
2. Use goals and feedback- the set goals should be well known by the employee as well as feedback on attaining the goals
3. Allow Employee to participate in the Decisions That Affect them- such as work goal, benefit/rewards, etc that could motivate them and make them more commitment to work
4. Link Rewards to Performance-Approach to Rewards should be open and proportional to performance.
5.Check System for Equity- It should be seen has been justified with different in peoples performance as relate to experience,skill,abilities etc.(OB:Robbins & Judge Pg 247)


organizational behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 7: 467-505.

NY: Xicom. Tosi, H.L., Rizzo, J.R., & Carroll, S.J. 1986. Organizational Behavior. New York,

OB Textbook by Stephen P.Robbins & Timothy A. Judge 12 Edition

Carl Moore, Fast Company, November 2000, What Makes Teams Successful

TalentSmart, 2007. Whitepaper: Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership by Dr.Travis Bradberry, Lac D.Su, and Saakshi Arora.

Colonel Mark A.Homrig, 21 Dec, 2001: Transformational Leadership, Bass, Bernard M. and Paul Steidlmeier, “Ethics, Character, and Authentic Transformational Leadership,” Center for Leadership Studies, School of Management, Binghamton University, and Binghamton, NY. On-line. Internet, revised 24 September 1998. Available from

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