Transactional Leadership Style

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According to Burns (1978), a transactional style was often defined as autocratic leadership or ‘top down’. ‘Transactional’ leadership is passive and focuses around exchanges or rewards for compliance with leader’s requests. It often appeals to the follower’s self-interests to motivate their performance. Burns also advocated that ‘transformational’ leadership is characterized by vision, influence, personal relationships and creativity.
It would appear that Carmichael et al., (2011) believe that in the current business environment, we do not have the luxury to segregate the type of leader into such categories. Sirisetti (2011) advocates the following:
Effective leadership is integral to organizational effectiveness. Effective leaders create
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The King’s Fund (2011) Commission on leadership within the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom, subtitled No More Heroes, stipulated that two of the biggest challenges facing leadership within the NHS was the need to engage clinicians, notably doctors in management and leadership roles. Secondly, it notes that engagement with staff and patients is not an optional extra; it is essential in making change and improvement happen.
The King’s Fund (2012) also found that it was essential to engage with all staff in the decision making process, disregarding their level of engagement. If an exclusive approach is adopted, they can spiral downwards into burnout. This can lead to feelings of cynicism, exhaustion and depression. But where staff are engaged, studies across a range of areas show performance rises
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By comparison, within the Irish context, De Burca and Williams’ (2010) studies of the HSE linked leadership style with organizational control. They found that corporate leadership style is orientated to the autocratic (56%) and authoritative (17%). This is in direct contrast with predominately democratic (34%), transactional (22%), and autocratic (18%) styles attributed to the immediate supervisor.
One important aspect to note is that with De Burca and Williams’ studies, organizational control is polarized at the extreme of being highly centralized, and prescriptive. They found that 51% of staff do not have any budget to control, while 19% reported a budget of €10 million or more; this in an organization with an annual budget of €16 billion (based on 2008

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