Transformational and transactional leadership styles are models used by organizations to asses leadership styles. Transformational leadership style is based on social exchange and transactional style is based on economic exchange (Ismail, Mohamad, Mohamed, Rafiuddin, & Zhen, 2010). The style approach is an understanding of how leaders approach and manage their employees and subordinates. Assessing the style will help determine the leaders style of management (Northouse, 2013). The style approach is used as a method to determine how leaders combine the behaviors of task and relationship. Task behavior leaders use goals as a method of motivating group members. Relationship leaders use comfort as a tool to motivate (Northouse, 2013).
In building leadership trust, both transactional and transformational styles are important predictors (Ismail, Mohamad, Mohamed, Rafiuddin, & Zhen, 2010). Studies of leadership assessments have shown that using these leadership styles does have an impact on the leaders as well as the followers or employees. Leadership styles have been proven to be linked to employee performance, behavior, mood, attitude, and organization commitment. (Ismail, Mohamad, Mohamed, Rafiuddin, & Zhen, 2010; Strang, Kuhnert, 2009). If leaders have an understanding of the type of style they are, they will be mindful of their actions and behavior toward others. Assessments can be helpful for leaders to assess their actions and make improvements within their leadership style (Northouse, 2013). Knowing a leaders style can be useful for gaining insight into the challenges and complexities of leadership. Considering the results of the style assessment have been inconclusive across many different studies, the style approach has not produced a solid plan of action that can be used by leaders to produce a positive and thriving workforce (Northouse, 2013).
Both transactional and transformational leadership styles may lead employees to better trust their leaders. In a studied organization, Implementing assessments of leadership styles have been proven to be effective at increasing individual outcomes and trust in leadership. Leaders, trainers, and managers can use the style approach assessment as a way to instruct leaders and managers on how to be effective in the work area (Northouse, 2013). Leaders can use the assessment to create customized plans and development programs. Through the help of the style assessment, leaders can implement ways in which the employees can transfer over what they have learned into the workplace. If done properly, these techniques should foster positive growth within the organization by creating a quality bond between leaders and followers (Ismail, Mohamad, Mohamed, Rafiuddin, & Zhen, 2010)
I believe that the assessment can be just as helpful as a quarterly or weekly meeting with team members. In this sense, I don’t see this assessment any different than a normal question and answer meeting amongst team members and managers. If this assessment inspires and promotes conversation, then it can be deemed a good tool for building relationships within the workforce. However, I don’t believe the assessment is the key to building success of the leaders and followers. The successful relationship is likely due to the conversation, open communication, and self-awareness. If the leaders and followers do not have solid communication skills, then the assessment would not be effective. If they do have a relationship with good communication, then the assessment can produce positive results.
Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
Ismail, A., Mohamad, M.H., Mohamed, H.A., Rafiuddin, N.M., & Zhen, K.W.P. (2010). Transformational and transactional leadership styles as a predictor of individual outcomes, Theoretical and Applied Economics, 17(6), 89-104. Retrieved from www.ectap.ro
Strang, S. E., & Kuhnert, K. W. (2009). Personality and leadership developmental levels as predictors of leader performance. Leadership Quarterly, 20(3), 421–433. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com
Dr. Elijah Clark (November 20, 2014). Defining a Transaction & Transformational Leader [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://elijahclark.com/defining-transaction-transformational-leader/