Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership is used in many organizations, especially results-oriented companies. In this case, transactional leadership has been used to instill fear in employees through both the active and passive approaches (Cameron, 2017). This can be seen once the company’s top brass through the passive management-by-exception conducts a performance review (Green, 2017). Once these reviews are conducted and mostly at random, it makes employees less prone to mistakes and slip-ups in the work area. This can be used mostly for persons who are normally late or have different problems in the work area. Once they are called in for an assessment, the negative impact of the assessment could lead to them changing their attitude and to become more productive (Green, 2017).

Transactional leadership as we have seen even with the parent-child approach can be rewards-oriented and this is the same for the workplace. This type of leadership would enable a child to be more active at home because it will become part of them when they understand that they are supposed to be responsible (Thompson, 2016). This is the same for the employee they will become hard workers and they will be able to become more productive if they are approached in this way. The tact might be negative but it could yield positive results and most times, it is known to work even in government.

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Transactional leadership is employed differently in the five stages of transactional leadership due to the different approaches at different stages (Logan, 2008). Transactional leadership can be used at the lower levels of the tribe in an organization. In this stage, most employees are uninspired and they are less productive than the upper stages of the tribe (Rosenbach, 2015). This will enable the leaders to be able to assert their authority and to make these employees more productive.

However, it could also be a good idea to blend transformational and transactional leadership. The reason for this would be to have a balance of the leadership approach; the employees at the lower stages of the tribe would perceive that there is favoritism in the company, especially if transformational leadership is being employed at the upper stages of the tribe (King, 2008). This would lead to some misunderstanding and that is why there should be a blend of both sets of leadership. Most of the times, the company cannot function without the persons at the lower stages of the tribe, which is integral to the company (King, 2008). However, they are the ones with most of the workload and this could lead to them needing more motivation than the upper stage of the tribe.

Certain recommendations should be explored and as said earlier there should be a blend of both transactional leadership and transformational leadership. This may seem confusing at first because the employees particularly those at the lower end of the tribe would not be able to tell the character of their leader (Taylor, 2015). However, with time, they will begin to understand that is what it takes to be a leader and it will help them to become better in their jobs. Another recommendation would be to form an interaction between the upper and lower levels of the tribe to form an understanding and to learn from each other.

It is also important that the people at the lower level of the tribe can understand that the people at the upper level were once at their level. Therefore, they likely went through the same type of leadership to motivate them and to make them better employees as they grow into the upper levels of the tribe (Logan, 2008). If the people at the upper levels do not exaggeratedly do this, it becomes much easier.

The action plan would involve forming a training program that would enable the various persons at the tribe to be much more understanding of these leadership approaches. At times having a workforce that is fearful of their leader is not advisable because it could end up messing up with their feeling and emotions by causing anxiety; for example, when an employee is called to the office they might think that they are being fired or being demoted (Thompson, 2016). Therefore, despite employing transactional leadership it would be good to smile and show respect to workers by engaging with them and trying to make them understand why one has to take up certain leadership approaches.


It is better to be feared than to be loved; these words by Niccolo Machiavelli have been sought out in leadership and more often than not it would be right to say that this has worked for many leaders. It could be called tyranny or dictatorship but it gets the job done and this is usually the target for many leaders. However, being able to adopt transformational and transactional leadership would be the best way to ensure that the leadership approach is more effective and it yields more fruit than taking both approaches individually.


Cameron, E.,  &  Green, M.  (2017). Transformational and transactional leadership. Essential leadership: develop your leadership qualities through theory and practice. Available in the Trident Online Library.

Logan, D., King, J., & Fischer-Wright, H. (2008). Tribal leadership: Leveraging natural groups to build a thriving organization. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Rosenbach, W. E., Taylor, R. L., & Youndt, M. A. (Eds), (2012).  Chapter 25 – The anti-leadership vaccine: Failure of confidence, Contemporary issues in leadership (7th ed.).Thompson, K.  (2016). Leadership is more personal than transactional. Available from Skillsoft Books (BusinessPro and ITPro) in the Trident Online Library. [Video File].

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