Transactional Leadership Vs.

Transformational Leadership
Posted by Babou on August 4, 2008

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Number of Leadership theories evolved on the basis of Trait, Behavioral, Transformational, Situational, Charisma. Researchers and thinkers made efforts linking some of the theories across these leadership islands. But each model has its own pros, cons, assumptions & limitations. Latest researches are conducted on Situational & Transformational leadership styles. Leadership gurus presented new models as variations to the already existing models. Max Weber, MacGregor Burns, Bernard M.Bass, Warren Bennis & Nanus are few important researchers in the area of transformational leadership.

Understanding the difference between transactional and transformational leadership is vital in getting the whole concept of transformational leadership theory.

As a starting point, let us review our everyday life. In general, a relationship between two people is based on the level of exchange they have. Exchange need not be money or material; it can be anything. The more exchange they have the more stronger the relation. Your manager expects more productivity from you in order to give good rewards. In this way, if something is done to anyone based on the return then that relation is called as µTransactional¶ type. In politics, leaders announces benefits in their agenda in exchange to the vote from the citizens. In business, leaders announces rewards in turn to the productivity. These relation is all about requirements, conditions and rewards (or punishment). Leaders who show these kind of relationship are calledµTransactional Leaders¶.

In life, at one point of time, things happen without expectation from other side. Say, mom¶s dedicated service to her kid. Mom doesn¶t expect anything from the child and the service she provides in raising the child is unconditional, dedicated, committed. Mom plays a major role in shaping up the kid¶s future life. This type of relation is called as µTransformational¶. Leaders do exist in this world with these behaviors. Transformational Leaders work toward a common goal with followers; put followers in front and develop them; take followers¶ to next level; inspire followers to transcend their own self-interests in achieving superior results.

Transactional Leadership * Leaders are aware of the link between the effort and reward * Leadership is responsive and its basic orientation is dealing with present issues * Leaders rely on standard forms of inducement. rhetorical and completion of the bargain. intellectual stimulation and idealized influence to * Leaders motivate followers by setting goals and their followers promising rewards for desired performance * Leaders create learning opportunities for their * Leadership depends on the leader¶s power to followers and stimulate followers to solve problems reinforce subordinates for their successful * Leaders possess good visioning. Bass Transformational Leader: ³recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a potential follower« (and) looks for potential motives in followers. Following table shows difference of transactional and transformation leadership[1]. economic exchange to met subordinates current material and psychic needs in return for ³contracted´ services rendered by the subordinate «.Transactional Leader: approaches followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another « Burns pursues a cost benefit. to engage the full person of the follower « to a higher level of need according to Maslow¶s hierarchy of needs´ « Bass As exactly said by Bass ± ³the transactional leaders work within the organizational culture as it exists. punishment and sanction to control followers Transformational Leadership * Leaders arouse emotions in their followers which motivates them to act beyond the framework of what may be described as exchange relations * Leadership is proactive and forms new expectations in followers * Leaders are distinguished by their capacity to inspire and provide individualized consideration. seeking to arouse and satisfy higher needs. seeks to satisfy higher needs. and engages the full person of the follower´ « Burns The leader who recognizes the transactional needs in potential followers ³but tends to go further. the transformational leader changes the organizational culture´. management skills. to develop strong emotional bonds with followers * Leaders motivate followers to work for goals that go beyond self-interest. reward. .

will often focus strongly on making the group very clear and distinct. Other descriptions tend to assume a more benevolent approach. as do cult leaders. separating it from other groups. In doing so. if they are not naturally charismatic. Self-belief is a fundamental need of leaders. Pulling all of the strings Charismatic Leaders use a wide range of methods to manage their image and. for that time. . They pay much attention to the person they are talking to at any one moment. too. They then will hone their actions and words to suit the situation. People follow others that they personally admire.CHARISMATIC Assumptions Charm and grace are all that is needed to create followers. including the use of symbolism and metaphor. Personal risk taking. Religious leaders. Sensitivity to the environment. the most important person in the world. where the leader is 'playing to the house' to create a desired effect. a cult or a business team. Alternative views The description above is purely based on charisma and takes into account varying moral positions. If you want to increase your charisma. may practice assiduously at developing their skills. Sensitivity to member needs. as being far superior to all others. Leading the team Charismatic Leaders who are building a group. Charismatic Leaders pay a great deal of attention in scanning and reading their environment. They will then build the ima ge of the group. Many politicians use a charismatic style. and are good at picking up the moods and concerns of both individuals and larger audiences. rather than any form of external power or authority. in particular in the minds of their followers. may well use charisma. Deliberate charisma is played out in a theatrical sense. The searchlight of attention It is interesting to watch a Charismatic Leader 'working the room' as they move from person to person. The Charismatic Leader will typically attach themselves firmly to the identify of the group. They will show great confidence in their follower s. Conger & Kanungo (1998) describe five behavioral attributes of Charismatic Leaders that indicate a more transformational viewpoint: y y y y y Vision and articulation. They also make effective use of storytelling. they create an unchallengeable position for themselves. whether it is a political party. studying videos of their speeches and the way they interact with others is a great source of learning. such that to join the group is to become one with the leader. They are very persuasive and make very effective use of body language as well as verbal language. They may engender trust through visible self-sacrifice and taking personal risks in the name of their beliefs. Performing unconventional behaviour. Style The Charismatic Leader gathers followers through dint of personality and charm. as they need to gather a large number of followers. making that person feel like they are.

Charismatic leaders rely on several techniques to empower followers (Conger. Burke. a charismatic leader can serve as a role model. they start to become independent in the initiation and continuation of work behavior and processes. and hence lead their followers into an abyss. their followers. The extent to which either of these two goals is dominant depends on the underlying motivations and needs of the leader. If they are well-intentioned towards others. As followers possess the enhanced feelings of self-efficacy resulting from the empowerment of a charismatic leader. by demonstrating his/her own ability in performing some of the same tasks that followers are supposed to do. mobilize a greater sustained effort. Third. Despite their charm and apparent concern. 1986). 1986). verbal persuasion and personal recognition by a charismatic leader help followers gain confidence in their abilities. The self-belief can also lead them into psychotic narcissism. Discussion The Charismatic Leader and the Transformational Leader can have many similarities. 1996). and confirm their self -worth (Conger. they can create cults and effectively rape the minds (and potentially the bodies) of the followers. the Charismatic Leader may well be somewhat more concerned with themselves than anyone else. Their main difference is in their basic focus. Empowerment is a distinguishable behavioral characteristic of a charismatic leader from an ordinary manager (Bass. The experience of initial success enhances followers' self-efficacy in later task performance (Bandura. Second. 1998). the Charismatic Leader may not want to change anything. Burke. 1986). quite possibly. Conger & Kanungo. They may also be intolerant of challengers and their irreplaceability (intentional or otherwise) can mean that there are no successors when they leave. 1985. Yet afterwards. If they are selfish and Machiavellian. you may begin to question what they said (or even whether they said anything of significance at all). The values of the Charismatic Leader are highly significant. ask the sunbeam of their attention is moved elsewhere. By facilitating empowerment. Whereas the Transformational Leader has a basic focus of transforming the organization and. they can elevate and transform an entire company. A typical experience with them is that whilst you are talking with them. they can easily believe that they are infallible. In experiencing vicarious success through their charismatic leader. VISIONARY . 1989). in which they are very convincing.Musser (1987) notes that charismatic leaders seek to instil both commitment to ideological goals and also devotion to themselves. followers are inspired to do more than they thought they could do. Spreitzer. As a result. 1986. 1995. even when they have received adequate warning from others. by using verbal persuasion and verbal recognition. 1996. Their self-belief is so high. it is like being bathed in a warm and pleasant glow. where their selfabsorption or need for admiration and worship can lead to their followers questioning their leadership. First. they structure goals and tasks so that followers can easily experience initial success before tackling successive gradual increments in task complexity (Behling & McFillen. followers come to have confidence in their own efficacy in task performance (Bandura. Proposition 1c: Charismatic leaders empower their followers by enhancing their perceptions of self-efficacy and their confidence in their ability to overcome obstacles. 1986). and by functioning as a role model. in that the Transformational Leader may well be charismatic. a charismatic leader hel ps followers feel powerful and capable (Tichy & DeVanna. 1989.

Communicating clear and high standards regarding what you expect from those around you [15] . working with imagination. in compelling and contextually relevant ways     [12] . They recognize that there is some truth on both sides of most polarized issues in our society today. Jr. purpose driven people. insight. Mahatma Gandhi. They are social innovators and change agents. Their eyes are on the horizon. often coupled with a reputation of unconventional behaviour . . There is a profound interconnectedness between the leader and the whole.  A willingness to take personal risks and make sacrifices in order to realise their vision[11]. and true visionary leaders serve the good of the whole. They present a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. Behavioural Components of Visionary Leadership Behavioural elements of transformational leadership common across various models include:  Being able to communicate a clear vision of the future along with the gap between that vision and current realities. A strong social presence and superb oral communication skills . and Aung San Suu Kyi. and boldness. seeing the big picture and thinking strategically.Visionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn. Sir Richard Branson. without being overly bossy . Overtly modeling the values and attitudes needed in your own behaviour[14]. [9] [8] [6] [7] [5] [3] [4] In short. Personal Characteristics of Visionary Leaders Visionary leaders are likely to have many of the following personal characteristics:  A deep sense of personal purpose coupled with an unshakable self-confidence in the ability to realise this purpose. They work with the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. They search for solutions that transcend the usual adversarial approaches and address the causal level of problems. Martin Luther King.  A sensitivity to how people are feeling and an ability to influence others at a one-on-one level through relational power[10]. not just on the near at hand. whilst helping staff align their ideas with the broader organisational solutions[16]. They find a higher synthesis of the best of both sides of an issue and address the systemic root causes of problems to create real breakthroughs. visionary leaders are confident. who can connect well with others and mobilise them into action. These characteristics emerge in different ways with different people as illustrated by such notable figures as Bob Hawke. Empowering staff with the authority to create innovative ways of realising the vision.   A strong desire to take charge and make things happen. Helping people to find purpose and meaning in their life through pursuit of this vision[13].

Offers hope of a more appealing future (vision). frustrations. [19] Charismatic Leadership Charismatic leadership occurs when followers attribute a leaders behavior to extraordinary qualities that they believe the leader possesses. would do well to first see the world from the eyes of those being led. Leaders wanting to enhance their charismatic appeal. gifted . The term charismatic is an ancient Greek word that means.or more specifically gifted by the gods. . Charisma is neither a personal trait. This is why Martin Luther King's (Jr). charisma emerges from the meaning that others place on our behavior and our habitual tendencies. Astute reading of organizational realities and constraints. with an ability to work within these. Using a caring and coaching style of leadership in one-on-one settings. Vision matters. empathising with the situation of staff whilst drawing forth creative solutions from the staff themselves[18]. while many of the corporate vision statements that adorn the walls of companies do not. It also appears that such emotionally connected behavior is more likely to be considered charismatic if it is coupled with three other habitual actions:    Personal risk in pursuit of the vision. [17]  Recognising staff achievements and desired behaviours in personally meaningful ways. Unconventional behavior. Rather. It is follower perception that ultimately creates charismatic leadership. nor a behavior . and then frame a dual message that:   Shows you understand what life is like for them (senitivity to followers).  Engaging others in strategic and creative thinking around the realisation of the vision . but only when it emotionally resonates with the existing mental state of those being led.although both contribute charismatic leadership. It is not surprising then that being sensitive to the needs. hopes and dreams of others is the first behavioral tendency that is likely to lead followers to view a leader as charismatic. I have a dream speech was able to capture the hearts and minds of so many.