An organization’s leader is a fundamental factor informing the success of an organization. From mercantilism to modern economic practices, labor has been recognized as a crucial factor of production (Barbuto, 2005). Modern human resource management practices underpin the importance of labor in the production process, by stressing the importance of acquisition and maintenance of quality labor in organizations. However, regardless of the depth of the quality of the labor force an organization possesses, the management of such stock of quality labor force informs the productivity of the organization. In this regard, the management style adopted the leadership of an organization directly affects not only the general productivity of the organization but also the welfare of the employees (Chou, 2013). Several leadership styles exist and are adopted by leaders in the management of organizations to inform productivity and development of such organizations. This paper seeks to explore transformational and transactional leadership by evaluating the leadership styles of two leaders in the contemporary society. In this regard, the late Nobel Peace Prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai and the former US president George W Bush leadership styles will be analyzed to provide a practical insight into the transformational and transaction leadership respectively.
o Transformation leadership refers to a leadership style that inspires change in a system and in individuals with a goal of transforming followers into leaders (Javed, 2012). According to Punam (2007), transformational leadership stimulates the followers’ morale, motivation, and performance through a range of mechanisms. Transformational leaders can inspire positive change in their followers by adopting various strategies that include; leading by example and being a role model for the followers, cultivating a sense of ownership and identity to the mission, optimizing the followers’ productivity through aligning the follower’s strengths with the particular jobs demands (Sahgal, 2007). The late Professor Wangari Maathai rose from a humble background defying the cultural constraints that denied girls access to formal education in the Kikuyu community in Kenya to become a world leader in environmental conservation. As an academician and a community leader, Wangari sought to fight what she perceived as political oppressions directed to the Kenyan people by the government of President Moi. When Kenya got independence from the British colonial masters, the national leadership of the country was tainted by mass corruption. Wangari rose to fight the massive corruption in the government especially the grabbing of public land. Through her green belt movement, she inspired her followers to own up the idea of environmental conservation that led to the planting of millions of trees in Kenya. The great work she inspired her followers to was recognized by the award of Nobel Peace prize making her a world leader. Transformational leadership is mainly developed under four elements; the inspirational motivation that refers to the extent by which the leader develops a vision that inspiring and appealing to the followers, idealized influence, intellectual stimulation, and individualized considerations. The information on the leadership style of Wangari Maathai will be obtained from online searches on credible websites and journals that have explored the life history and achievements of the leaders. Concepts of transformational leadership and servant leadership will find wide application in the analysis of the leader’s leadership style.
o Former US President George W Bush will be the other subject of analysis by this study regarding leadership styles. The major concepts of leadership that will be heavily applied in the analysis of this subject pertain to the concepts of transactional leadership. Max Weber first described the concept of transactional style in 1947 (Javed, 2012). This leadership style is mainly used by managers and focuses on managerial processes of organizing, controlling, and planning. The major strategy used by transactional leaders to inspire followers involves appeal followers’ self-interest through a system of reward and punishment. The major driving force of the transaction leadership style is the assumption of rationality on the followers (Barbuto, 2005). The style assumes that, reward and punishment are the major individual motivators, chain of command facilitates the effective working of a system, and the prime purpose of a subordinate is to follow the manager instructions. Numerous researches have highlighted the limitations of this leadership style, but the style has found wide application among managers and the political positions. Various terms and concepts in relation to this leadership will b explored. Some of the concepts and dimension to be explored include; the contingent reward that pertains to the methodological concept adopted by managers which links the organization’s objectives with rewards, and employees’ self-interest. Moreover, the concept of laissez-faire, which entails the act of providing an enabling environment with opportunities for subordinate to choose from, with the leader allocating responsibility and holding the subordinates accountable will be explored. Transactional leaders unlike transformational leaders do not always oversee the implementation of tasks but rather allocates duties and hold subordinates accountable for the outcomes (Barbuto, 2005). Transactional leaders mainly intervene in the event the set standards, and procedures are not met or the anticipated results are not realized. Information on the leadership styles of the George Bush will be obtained from the American archives, an in-depth online search of credible materials. Analysis of the leadership style and personal traits of the George Bush will enhance the understanding of transactional leadership style by evaluating practical case scenarios.
• Barbuto, J. E. (2005). Motivation and Transactional, Charismatic, and Transformational Leadership: A Test of Antecedents. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies , 24-40.
• Chou, H.-W. (2013). Transformational Leadership and Team Performance The Mediating Roles of Cognitive Trust and Collective Efficacy. Sage Journals , 1-10.
• Hamilton, M. (2008). The Interaction of Transactional and Transformational Leadership. Online Journal of Workforce Education and Development , 1-11.
• Javed, A. Q. (2012). Impact of Transactional and Laissez Faire Leadership Style on Motivation. International Journal of Business and Social Science , 258-265.
• Sahgal, P. (2007). Transformational Leaders: Their Socialization, Self-Concept, and Shaping Experiences. International Journal of Leadership Studies , 263-279 .
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