Transformational and transactional leadership theories are the two main types of leadership theories. Charismatic leadership is a subset of transformational leadership. The critical question now is:
“Which leadership style is most closely aligned with the realities of today’s business environment?”
1- The transformational approach describes how leaders can initiate, develop, and implement significant organizational changes. The term derives from the work of historian and political scientist James MacGregor Burns.
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The Transformational Leader Model concerns how confident leaders can inspire their followers to greatness.
Transformational leaders must set a good example and create a vision that gives meaning to and clarifies the organization’s identity.
Through the vital teaching role of leadership, transformative leadership seeks to change and elevate followers’ motives, values, and goals.
Transformational leadership is concerned with end values such as liberty, justice, equality, and so on and focuses on developing a robust and long-lasting relationship between leaders and followers.
Transformational leaders help followers see the value of going beyond their self-interest for their group’s or organization’s mission and vision.
Transformational leadership may be introduced as a sub-title of charismatic leadership. Charisma is explicitly defined as a relationship between a leader and one or more followers based on leader behaviours combined with positive attributions on the part of followers.
The leader’s key behaviours include articulating a vision and sense of mission, demonstrating determination, and communicating high-performance expectations.
Favourable attributional effects on followers include instilling trust in the leader, making followers feel good in their presence, and instilling strong admiration or respect.
Transformational leadership, which includes the charismatic leadership style, can be summarized as developing a closer relationship between leaders and followers, one based on trust and commitment rather than contractual agreements.
2- Transactional leadership is defined as primarily motivating followers through contingent-reward-based exchanges. Transactional leaders typically focus on setting goals, clarifying the link between performance and rewards, and providing constructive feedback to keep followers on track.
The transactional leader’s managerial work is focused on negotiating extrinsic exchanges and controlling the actions of their collaborators so that they follow the leader’s will.
A transactional leader works within an existing system or culture rather than trying to change it by focusing on exchanges and contingent reward behaviour and paying close attention to deviations, mistakes, or irregularities and taking action to correct them.
Transactional leaders, as the name suggests, conduct leadership as a series of transactions between leader and follower: Transactional leadership is essentially a bargain to aid the individual interests of individuals or groups going their separate ways.
Transactional leadership focuses on outcomes and behaviours rather than any internal change in the actors’ identities, emotions, and values. This leadership style focuses on individual interactions and instrumental considerations such as efficiency and procedural fairness.
It is critical to understand that both transactional and transformational leadership are required and complementary. To achieve sustainable differentiation in today’s business world, leaders must possess and exhibit the characteristics of both leadership approaches.
Serhat TATLI, M.D.
Compare two leadership theories. Provide an overview of each and discuss the strengths and weakness in relation to nursing practice.