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Leadership: Transactional Versus Transformational Essay

1026 words - 5 pages

Weber (1920/1947, p. 358-359) described charisma, as a personality characteristic possessed by extraordinary, god-like exemplars. Robbins and Langton (2003, p. 395) asserted that the two most popular approaches to leadership are contingency models and the study of charisma. Burns (1978, p. 4) who built upon the work of Weber categorized two types of leaders, transactional and transformational. Kuhnert and Lewis (1987, p. 650) argued that constructive/development theory can be utilized to uniquely identify the different levels of transactional leadership by ferreting out the key personality characteristics associated with each level. Transactional leaders induce their followers to carry ...view middle of the document...

If, you were in prison for 25 years and you were set free would you refuse? Well, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela the South African freedom fighter did, he refused the terms set by the government of the day, and negotiated his own terms. Mandela faced a complex, wicked, nefarious system known a apartheid. Mandela’s view on leadership was revolutionary and captivating and is encapsulated these words: in celebratory moments, lead from the back; and in perilous times frontline leadership is your ultimate responsibility (BrainyQuote, 2014). Nelson Mandela through a vision of positive social change and non-violent resistance transformed South Africa from an isolated territory into a new era of peace and prosperity.
Juxtaposing Transactional and Transformational Leadership
According to Bennis and Nanus (1985, p. 60), positive self-regard in a transforming leader results in high expectations in followers. Kouzes and Pozner (2006, p. 288) contended that transformational leaders possessed exceptional characteristics that motivated their followers towards superior levels of performance through a shared vision. The extant literature has not provided conclusive evidence of the causal relationship between transformational leaders and transformation in followers’ organizational behaviors (Northouse, 2013, p. 203). The demands on the energy and time of transactional leaders are greater than transformational leaders because transactional leaders must continuously provide valuable exchanges to pacify their followers (Kuhnert & Lewis, 1987, p. 649).
According to Kuhnert and Lewis (1987, p. 653) stage 3 transactional leaders exhibit an essential characteristic of transformational leaders, in that they use values, beliefs and relationships to motivate followers instead of bartering. Nikezić, Purić, and Purić (2012, p. 287) deduced that transactional leadership is inflexible and difficult to change as it is trait-based. Consequently, transactional leadership is best suited to simple, deterministic problems. In contrast, transformational leadership is best suited to poorly defined, complex problems. However, a major challenge to the transformational approach is not enough time to accomplish all the necessary transitional steps in implementing a successful change (Nikezić et al., 2012, p. 289). In addition, Eisenbeiß and Boerner (2013, p. 63) found that an attendant negative side effect of transformational leadership was...

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