Transactional and Transformational Leadership essay

Leadership is very important in the life of an organization. The type of leadership exhibited can enhance the organization or limit its performance. Transactional leadership is a brand of leadership that uses the “carrot or stick” framework. Leaders who subscribe to this brand tend to be directly concerned only with results and outcomes. The rewards or punishment will then be given based on such performance (Howell & Avolio, 1993). Transformational leadership on the other hand is not only concerned with the outcome but also with the processes that subordinates follow.

In addition to that, transformational leadership is forward looking in the sense that the leader empowers the subordinates to exceed expectations. In doing so, they are able to raise the morale and the level of performance of the subordinates (Bass, 1998). Although transactional leadership may be effective in cases where the organization needs direct control and action yet transformation leadership is more effective in the long run. When I was still new in the company I am working for, my team leader would often have a one-on-one chat with us, team members.

In the process, he successfully imparted the vision and mission of the organization to us. We also felt that we were significant members of the organization. By doing that, we managed to become more effective in our tasks and helped the organization more. Organizational Culture An organization develops its own set of rules, its ways of interactions and its own systems. As such, organizational culture refers to the collection of norms and values being shared by individuals and groups within an organization.

These norms govern the way that they interact with each other and with other concerned groups or individuals outside the organization (O’Donovan, 2006). One of the dimensions of organizational culture is formal structures and hierarchy. This helps define lines of authority, accountability and responsibility. I have been part of a team. I was accountable to my team leader. The team leader is also accountable to his superior and so on. I could not directly engage the senior management of the organization. I have to follow protocol. If I breach that protocol, I would be reprimanded.

Another important dimension of organizational culture is myths and stories that we trade with each other to further strengthen our loyalty to the organization. In this regard, the organization I belong to has a monthly gathering where the managers give their accomplishment reports to the whole company. This is a venue for celebrating successes, rewarding the performers and also providing a challenge to those departments that are lagging behind. Although there is the sense of competition, people are willing to listen to stories so that they can be more attuned to what is going on inside the organization.

Even beyond the monthly gathering, people in the organization are collecting stories to be shared with each other and rely on the history of the organization to help them build confidence and boost their morale. The group did well in determining which member will do what. This can help establish accountability and responsibility. However, the vision and the goals they want to achieve were not sufficiently communicated and internalized by the group members. If they were to become a successful group, they need to move together with a common purpose and goal.

Without such unity, they may become fragmented and before long, they would be pursuing the goals that they see fit, instead of the agreed upon goal for the whole group. The class has been an immense help in my understanding of group processes. The leadership principles were also very helpful and yielded important insights, not only in the theory but also in the practical aspect of leadership. The principles discussed in the class were not only theoretically helpful but they also helped me understand the role of the leader and the followers in the accomplishment of common goals.

The discussions also pointed out the areas that I need to develop as a leader and as a follower. Leadership development is a continuous process. What I have learned from the class is a good starting point in my journey. I know that I have to learn continually and read books on leadership. Yet, I know that I have earned the foundation I need in leadership to succeed as a leader and as a follower. Whether in a leadership position or as a follower, I can apply the principles I have learned from the class.


Bass, B. M. (1998). Transformational leadership: Industrial, military, and educational impact. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Howeel, J. M & Avolio, B. J. (1993). Transformational leadership, transactional leadership, locus of control, and support for innovation: key predictors of consolidated-business-unit performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78 (6), 891-902. O’Donovan, Gabrielle (2006). The Corporate Culture Handbook: How to Plan, Implement and Measure a Successful Culture Change Programme. U. K. : The Liffey Press.