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Effective Leadership

Updated on January 25, 2012

Transactional Style of Leaderhip for Effective Management

This article takes us through transactional style of management. This style lies between authoritarian and democratic styles of leadership.

Transactional Managerial Style rests on the reasoning that both authoritarian and democratic styles need to be mixed in that none can work in all situations. This middle ground style therefore aims at striking a balance between the other two managerial styles. This is based on the premise that overemphasizing authoritarian style can frustrate the subordinates while too much democracy has a high likelihood of creating anarchy and complacency in an organization. A leader who subscribes to this style therefore applies authoritarian if the followers fail to comply with organizational rules or lack ingenuity and willingness to participate in decision making process. However, if they adhere to the organizational standards, the leader adopts democratic style to channel their efforts towards its goals.

In the context of school management, a head teacher exposing this style will thus use authoritarian methods to enforce school rules in a situation where parents are reluctant to support the school towards this end. The head teacher will however, shift to the democratic style if they become committed to the schools efforts to promote discipline. It can therefore be reasoned that this style of management has a high likelihood of enhancing discipline among students and consequently task accomplishment. This is true to the extent that the institutional head will make unilateral decisions on discipline matters if support from parents is not forthcoming. Similarly, he/she will make decisions single handed on say, how to manage a crisis like students’ unrest in order to restore order in the school. However, in a situation where parents show concern, the school head will apply democratic style as a means of promoting socially acceptable behaviour among the learners.


Virtue lies in the middle. As such, sound approach to any form of management or leadership rests upon striking balance between different methods/styles of leadership. Neither pure authoritarian nor pure democratic style of leadership can address all the issues related to management in general. Managers in a broader sense are therefore called upon to strike balance in their styles of leadership to ensure organizational effectiveness.


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