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Good Leadership
Comparison of Transformational and Transactional Leadership
Charismatic Leadership
Business, Politics and Religion
Sir Richard Branson
Nelson Mandela
14th Dalai Lama
Transactional Leadership
Tranformational Leadership
Comparison of Transformational and Transactional Leadership
Servant Leadership
Mother Theresa
Mahatma Gandhi

Transformational Leadership

        Create a “vision” for the future

        Ability to see long-term results/achievements

        Leaders are risk-takers and encourage curiosity with their followers

        Leaders manipulate their power to get what they want and can be construed as self-centred

        Stimulates follower performance and innovation beyond their expectations

        Concerned with motivating and inspiring followers, ie unselfish

        Emphasises social exchange between leaders and followers

        Seeks to satisfy needs of their followers

        A high standard of followers are necessary and is key to leaders’ success

        Based on trust, similar values and agreement between leaders and followers

        Women usually take on transformational leadership style due to their feminine characteristics of compassion, socially sensitive and friendly

(sourced from:; Boerner, Eisenbeiss & Griesser, 2007, p. 15; Brymer & Gray, 2006, p. 13; Jogulu & Wood, 2006, p. 236)


Transactional Leadership

        Concerned with short-term goals

        Leader has full control

        Rewards and punishments are prevalent; follower always takes responsibility whether positive or negative

        “Economic exchange” for services

        Transactional leaders are aware of their followers’ needs, whether that be monetary rewards or praise

        Structure and directives are commonplace and preferred by followers

        Leaders will continually monitor followers’ performance; management by exception - active

        Leaders as a rule only interact with followers when problems arise; management by exception - passive

(sourced from:; Boerner, Eisenbeiss & Griesser, 2007, p. 15; Brymer & Gray, 2006, p. 13)



Which Is More Effective?


Research has shown that transformational leaders are more effective as they produce better results, get promoted more readily in addition to obtaining respect and loyalty from their followers (Sarros et al, 2001, p. 50). However, it should be noted that for transformational leaders to be successful and produce these better results, they almost entirely rely on high quality followers whose expertise will help achieve this. Therefore, an important aspect of transformational leadership would be to have the best possible followers working for them. Boerner, Eisenbeiss and Greisser (2007, p. 15) are of a different opinion and believe both are effective in their own ways, however, it is the outcome that ascertains what best suits. This highlights another theory; situational leadership whereby the situation determines the style leaders adopt. Interesting, Aarons (2006, p. 1162) is of the same view, however, states that they are not “mutually exclusive” and perhaps a combination of both transactional and transformational leadership is more beneficial, given the situation.


Brymer and Gray (2006, p. 13) believe that for a more effective result, the task should also be considered in leadership styles. For example, if the task at hand is long term then transformational leaders would be more effective as they have the ability to create long-term visions. In conclusion, the authors believe that given their findings, both transformational and transactional styles of  leadership are effective in their own rights, however, believe that used separately or in conjunction with each other, depending on the situation and task is principally the best way to go.

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