When Would Transactional Leadership Be Preferred? Transformational Leadership?

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Question – When would transactional leadership be preferred to transformational leadership? Transformational leadership is a highly regarded as a desirable and successful leadership style, as transformational leaders often inspire others to realize higher and greatest levels of organizational commitment (Mosley & Patrick, 2011). Though transformational leadership produces overall change for the better, as with any type of leadership, situational characteristics and desired outcomes should drive the leadership style (Phillips & Gully, 2014). When an exchange of reward-for-performance and / or goal achievement is the desired result, rather than fundamental change, transactional leadership would be the preferred leadership style to apply (Phillips & Gully, 2014). Because transactional leadership is more oriented toward expected outcomes and associated rewards are contingent on work accomplished, this leadership style prevails when directions are detailed, expected results are outlined, and some sort of punishment or discipline is realized if the results are not as they should be (Mosley & Patrick, 2011). Transactional leadership is much more focused on a means to and end or a give and take type relationship. It is extremely useful and successful when the purpose is to achieve results, whereas transformational leadership is less concerned or not concerned at all with results and the desired outcome is a development, empowerment, or betterment of the individual or group for the
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