Transactional And Transformational Leadership Research

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The aim of this essay is to discuss whether leadership makes a difference to organizational performance. For the past few decades, the research of leadership is seen as highly relevant and important area (Bryman, 2011). There has been a big requirement of leadership qualities and methods to help improve or generate the efficiency in organizations’ structures. Companies have been looking for great leaders to enhance competitive advantage. However, this has been questioned by many scholars. “Some argue that leadership has less impact than historical, organizational, and environmental forces” (Bryman, 2011).It is then speculative if individual leaders can be attributed for organizational performance (Bryman, 2011).
What is leadership?
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Transactional leadership and Transformational leadership one of few styles/approaches from a multitude of leadership approaches. The more traditional leadership style is the transactional leadership, (Avery, 2004). A transactional leader is a person who treats relationships with followers in terms of exchange, by giving them what they desire (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2013, p. 673). In return, the leader establishes expected goals and tasks that follower has to accomplish in order to get what he wants. By these actions, leaders can successfully maintain increased performance by giving tangible rewards such as salary raise or promotion to followers based on the negotiated expectations. Sub-ordinates themselves are motivation-driven thanks to the potential reward. However, in return for increased performance of individuals and better efficiency leaders have to endow followers and by that raise the standard organizational salaries. In addition, by assigning tougher tasks and challenging followers, transactional leaders might require more skills from staff on specific tasks. This approach, therefore, can also be counterproductive, as some followers who do not fit into the work requirement could be punished. Followers then might not approve the Leader-Member exchange theory and lead them to sabotage, theft, production deviance, withdrawal or even abuse. (Liu and Sun, …show more content…
According to Bass and Avolio (1994), “transformational leaders motivate others to do more than they originally intended and often even more than they thought possible”. Transformational leadership could be considered as an expansion to transactional leadership. Transactional leader accentuates the transaction between him and followers. The exchange is, however, a simple agreement based on followers’ desires as a reward for a fulfilled work. The difference from transactional leadership is the increased cooperation between leaders and followers based on more than just simple agreements or rewards. They try to achieve exceptional results by applying one dimensions (Bass and Avolio, 1994). Inspirational motivation is another dimension where subordinates put organizations’ interest before self-interest (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2013, p. 674). This style of leadership gives higher level of power to subordinates. According to Fenwick and Avery (2008), “followers require sufficient power to work autonomously towards a shared vision”. Subordinates basically need more “power” to help the leader in realizing his visions. These requirements are making followers more dependant and might change the operational structure despite their knowledge base and skills and leads to Individualized consideration. Transformational leaders act as mentors or coaches as they put interest into developing individual followers to

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