Transactional and Transformational Change Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1198 Words
Date:  2022-11-06

Transactional leadership is also known as management leadership refers to the leadership style that lays more emphasis on the transactions between the leaders and their subordinates. Transformational leadership, on the other hand, refers to the kind where leaders work hand in hand with the subordinates to achieve the desired changes and transformations in the organization. In transactional change, the goals and objectives of the organization are laid out by the leaders where they use rewards and punishment as a way of motivating their followers to work towards achieving them. To improve the current situations and effectively achieve the transformations desired, the leaders frame some steps that are used to control the activities in the organization (2018). Generally, the purpose of this type of change in an organization is to revamp the already existing environmental culture in the organization and enhance new policies and procedures. In transformational change, on the other hand, leaders use their influence and power to motivate their subordinates in working harder towards the benefit of the organization. In this type of change, the leaders seek to find the requirement for the change in the existing organizational culture, present the vision to the employees, incorporate the mission, and motivate the employees to implement the change with pure dedication and working together.

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In transactional change, it is mostly applied in developing companies or small organizations that are still in their early stages of development. This ensures that both the leaders and their employees work hand in hand all through to maintain the standard of the organization and upgrade it further. To have the employees put in the needed effort; this is where they use reward and other forms of motivation. For example, the manager might decide to reward the most hardworking employee with a trip, and this makes all the workers more anticipated to achieve the goals (Muenjohn and Armstrong, 2008). However, in transformational change, an organization which is already well -developed may opt to put in some changes in their organizational culture. This is mainly implemented to ensure that the performance of the organization is thriving at all levels. In such a case, the managers lay out the innovations needed, putting in the first place the benefit of the business rather than their interests and work with their subordinates to achieve those innovations in the given amount of time and at the same time, acquiring the desired changes.

In transactional change, leaders lay more stress on their relationship with the employees. This makes it hard to achieve the goals of the organization. For example, if the leader has an issue with one of their employees and subordinates, they tend to take it out on the rest of the team. Instead of focusing on the effects this will have on the organization, they dwell on their interests more. In transformational leadership, on the other hand, leaders stress more on the values, morals, and interests of the organization. They aim to change the running of the organization for the better and incorporate all employees regardless of the space they hold. This makes it better to have such changes in big organizations that are working towards improving their performance to fit in the competition world and emerge the best. The leaders give their best without expecting any personal benefits for the success of the business and their projects.

In transactional change, there is only one leader. The leader sets up all the rules that the members are required to follow and enhance at all times. In transformational change, however, there are many leaders, and each of them holds a certain area, and they all work together as leaders and their member. While the transactional change focuses more on improving the present conditions of an organization, transformational on the other hand works to change the current situation of an organization to a more improved and better performing one (The Transactional and Transformational Approaches to Leadership in Corporate Sector, 2017). Transformational change operates under four main components. These are charisma, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and personal attention. The leadership of the leaders is based on inspiring their followers and acting as role models which makes their workers more interested and challenged to take greater ownership of the work they present and at the same time, understand their strengths and weaknesses. They also ensure that the work they entitle to their employees improves their performance. Transactional changes, however, bring little compliance from their followers due to the use of directive and action-oriented leadership skills. To achieve the set goals, transactional leaders are willing to work within the already existing systems in the organization.

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the renowned activists in the world who fought to end racism in America. He worked to inspire many people all across the world to stand against injustices and through protests; he gathered support from different parts of the world. He led the masses that followed him and encouraged them to join his movement for the fight of their civil rights. He made it clear to everybody that the movement was not just about him and his reputation, and other prominent leaders, but it was solely for humanitarian purposes.

Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, fought to end apartheid in the country which had been widespread and he succeeded after a long struggle. Through his charismatic leadership skills, his compassion, and humanity made him a great leader across the globe. He had a special way of connecting with his people and together they worked towards their mission of ending apartheid in their society and envisioned a brighter future for all the black people in the world.

In transactional change, the leaders and the employees are uncomfortable with the change. A phrase that is commonly used is, "If it is not broke, do not fix it!" this shows that the leaders are willing to work with the existing system and is not entirely ready to embrace the intended change. They are not aiming to transform things in the organization. Leaders are passive, and they only react when things do not go as they had anticipated for them to happen. The structure and hierarchy of leadership make it hard to report problems and recommendations before it can reach the intended group.

Bill Gates is one of the leaders in the world who is known to have applied transactional leadership. The founder of Microsoft has been known to be a respectable and successful transactional leader by his employees and those who have interacted with him. He does not go easy on his employees until he is satisfied with their output. He is also known to every open with giving them a free hand to work as they want as long as they achieve their targets.


(2018). What is Transactional Leadership? How Structure Leads to Results. [online] St. Thomas University Online. Available at: [Accessed 21 Dec. 2018].

Muenjohn, D. and Armstrong, P. (2008). Evaluating the structural validity of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), capturing the leadership factors of transformational-transactional leadership. Contemporary Management Research, 4(1).

The Transactional and Transformational Approaches to Leadership in Corporate Sector. (2017). International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), 6(1), pp.2382-2386.

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