Transformational Leadership: An Ideal Solution?
For many, the concept of transformational leadership is difficult to understand. Numerous researchers
have defined it as a leadership theory and leadership style. One definition of transformational leadership
is �the process whereby a person engages with others and creates a connection that raises the level of
motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower. This type of leader is attentive to the needs
and motives of followers and tries to help followers reach their fullest potential� (Northouse, 2013, p.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is a commonly cited example of a transformational leader. King�s efforts
galvanized the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s. His calls for increased racial
equality and nonviolent protest inspired sit-ins and marches across the nation. He changed African-
Americans� perceptions of their possibilities and empowered them and others committed to civil liberties
to strive for the common goal of improved civil rights. King�s stirring speeches remain an inspiration to
all those fighting for equality and social justice, and his actions and words transformed the entire nation.
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According to Northouse (2013) leadership in organizations is a significant in fashioning
employees’ perceptions, reactions to organizational transformation and acceptance of inventions
like evidence-based practices. Comprehending the difference between transactional and
transformational leadership is important in obtaining the entire perception of transformational
leadership theory. Different leaders utilize distinctly varied management styles, ranging from
somewhat tolerant, facilitative styles to repressive, micro-managing styles. Leaders can as well
use varied motivational plans and methods to increase worker performance or achieve internal
transformation. Transformational and transactional management are polar opposite when it
comes to the underpinning concepts of management and inspiration. Comprehending the
distinction between transformational and transaction leadership is important undertaking. As a
beginning, it is important to evaluate everyday life. Collectively, an association between two
individuals is founded upon the level of exchange they have. Exchange does not have to be
monetary or material, it may be anything. The more exchange they have the more robust the
association (Avolio, 2009). An organization’s executive anticipates more efficiency from the
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employee in order to offer better rewards. In this manner, if something is done to anybody on the
basis of return that relationship is known as transactional type. In politics, leaders declare
benefits in their plan in exchange to the vote from the populace. In commerce, leaders announce
rewards in turn to the efficiency. The relationship is all about expectations, conditions and
rewards. Leaders who exhibit this type of relation are known as transactional leaders. On the
other hand, transformational leaders work towards a common objective with followers, place
followers at the forefront and are concerned with their overall growth.
A lot of companies need their leader the capacity to set and communicate objectives,
inspire, encourage initiative and empower the followers and enable transformation. On the other
hand organization require efficiently organize the subordinates in accordance with processes and
principles. The traits of transformational and transactional styles will be looked further below.
There is a connection between a person’s personality and the leadership style individuals are
most comfortable with and more probably to utilize. The link between personality and
management has been a key interest for leadership specialists. It is significant to comprehend the
natural leadership style so that one can capitalize on his/her natural leadership strengths
Transactional leaders accomplish set objectives by acting within the identified processes
and principles. This leader allots particular, well-explained tasks to subordinate and needs that
they completely satisfy their duties and meet conditions accurately as prescribed or agreed upon.
Transactional leadership stressed the exchange that takes place between the manager and the
follower. This consists of directives from the leader concerning the requirements and goals. As
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much as reward and improvements techniques, they think of the “carrot and stick” method.
Rewards are subject to successful achievement of the transaction. Achieving the goals
characteristically amounts to rewards and support of the successful performance (Judge and
Transformational leadership on the other hand aims at higher objectives than
transactional does. Transformational leaders accomplish the objectives by motivating followers
and inspiring their initiative. Transformational leaders inspire their followers by solving their
worries from essential need to accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Like with transactional
leadership, dependent rewards are available at transformational leadership and consist of both
psychological and material ones. Transformational leadership nevertheless, places a great stress
upon the psychological rewards (Whittington et al., 2009). Transformational business leadership
can amount to unusual transformation in direction. A case and/or example would be a new
manager fortifying an organization and returning it to prosperity. The traits of transformational
leaders consist of visualization, self-assurance, audacity and a readiness to make sacrifices.
Transformational leadership can as well emanate from firms. Organizations that were pioneers of
the computer revolution transformed the path of business history. There have been a lot of
transformational transformations in technology and without doubt there will be a lot more. The
growth of computing technology with IBM, Microsoft, amid other companies in the late 1970s
and the early 1980s was a transformational event. To keep the model of a transformational
leader plain, it is best placed as a leader that cares about the feelings of their workers.
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When organization has transformational leader self-esteem is frequently the greatest
general change. The manager will go into a company and establish what the key worries are of
the workers and find a means to make their condition better. Not only are they determined to
make the work atmosphere a little friendlier, they as well will work to expand their personal
talents. Under a transformational manager workers are going to be pertinent to work toward
promotions as this kind of manager is going to inspire them to work harder and grow as
employees (Avolio, 2009). Thereby, transformation leadership is an effective method of
leadership since it pushed the organization from the bottom up. However, the morality of
transformational leadership has been questioned. A major criticism is that inside it
transformational leadership has capacity for misuse of authority. Transformational managers
inspire followers by attracting to robust emotions despite of the final impact upon followers and
do not essentially attend to positive ethical values (Hoyt & Blascovich, 2003).
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Avolio, B. J. (2009). Full leadership development: Building the vital forces in organizations.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Barbuto, J.E. (2005). “Motivation and transactional, charismatic and transformational leadership:
a test of antecedents.” Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 11(4), 26-40.
Hoyt, C.L. & Blascovich, J. (2003). Transformational and transactional leadership in virtual and
physical environments. Small Group Research, 34(6), pp. 678-715.
Judge, T.A. & Piccolo, R.F. (2004). “Transformational and transactional leadership: a meta-
analytic test of their relative validity.” Journal of Applied Psychology, 89/5, pp. 755-
Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6 th Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Whittington, J.L., Coker, R.H., Goodwin, V.L., Ickes, W., & Murray, B. (2009). “Transactional
Leadership Revisited.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39(8), 1860-1886.