Activities & Competencies
Transactional leaders use conventional reward and punishment to gain compliance from their
followers. They have continuing, often unspoken interaction that take such forms as:
"Do as I say and you will get a raise."
"Meet this quota or you will get fired."
These are extrinsic motivators that bring only minimal compliance from followers. Some
followers will supply their own internal (intrinsic) motivation such as pride in their work, but
this is a matter of chance.
Transactional leaders accept the goals, structure and culture of the existing organization.
They must do so because this type of leadership is ineffective at bringing significant change.
Transactional leaders tend to be directive and sometimes dominating. They tend to be action
Some transactional leaders adopt this approach because they are unaware of the effect it has
on followers. Others may take pleasure in it.
Transactional Leadership is the lowest level. It works only where the
organizational problems are simple, clear and technical in nature.
Transactional leadership has often been associated with the military. However, successful
militaries have long known that it is ineffective.
Of course, every formal leader uses transactional leadership at times. In certain situations
it is necessary and effective.