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Sample Essay on Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness

Example of Expository  essay, Sample Paper

1. Introduction.
2. Importance of effective leadership.
3. Concepts of leaders vs. managers.
3.1. Characteristic of leaders.
3.2. The role of managers.
4. Transformational leaders vs. transactional managers.
4.1. Transformational leadership style.
4.2. Transactional leadership style.
4.3. Difference between transactional and transformational approaches.
5. Leaders are transformational and
managers are transactional.

Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness Essay

1. Introduction.
Researchers have investigated leadership and management from different perspectives during many years. They developed some approaches to leadership. The task of this paper is to explore such approaches as transformational and transactional leadership styles and identify differences between them.  The other important theme of this research is to critically examine the statement that “leaders are transformational and managers are transactional”.

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2. Importance of effective leadership.
Managers all over the world recognize the essential role that effective leadership plays in organizational performance. Effective leadership is an imperceptible quality for many. Leaders are capable not only to differentiate the results of their companies, they also can differentiate the satisfaction levels of the people working within these companies.
According to the last national research, getting along with the boss is the number one factor that influences job happiness  (Blanchard 2004).  It is important for people working in organizations to think about their own experiences with managers to understand how essential the relationship of the leader-follower for organizational well-being, as well as how irreplaceable a good leader for satisfaction of a follower.
As a style, leadership is intended to make things happen in organizations. Thus, leadership is important in organizations because leaders are the people who can make thing happen. It means that without leaders it will be difficult for an organization to achieve their goals.

3. Concepts of leaders vs. managers.
Despite of the fact that leadership is similar to management, some researchers differentiate these themes as a way to underline distinctive nature of leadership and its importance for an organization. In turn, managers and leaders are considered to be essential figures to the success or failure of companies. The key differences between managers and leaders are well defined by Bennis and Nanus (1985):
There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important. To manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. Leading is influencing, guiding in direction, course, action, opinion. The distinction is crucial. Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing. The difference may be summarized as activities of vision and judgment—effectiveness versus activities of mastering routines—efficiency. (p.21)
This statement suggests that they're some distinctions between the tasks of managers and leaders.

 3.1. Characteristic of leaders.
Leadership is determined as a process of influencing individual and group behavior to receive some necessary results (Differences Between Management and Leadership). The abilities of a leader guarantee that the work of the organization is what it should be. Leaders are able to facilitate the definition of organizational purposes. They are initiators of the development of vision about their organization in the whole.
A leader must have at least one follower. Charlotte Beers so evidently determined the function of a leader in the organization: "to define what you do, why you exist, and how you judge success." (Hesselbein and Cohen 1999, p. 250) She notes that powerful leaders must have clear visions about their organizations and their purpose is not only to have clear vision, but also to involve and instill the same vision in other employees (Blair 2003).
The task of the leaders is to focus their attention and efforts on people because they have to encourage, influence, motivate, inspire, empathize, train, evaluate, and reward them to reach the desired results. Leaders are those people who can build organizations, create organizational cultures, and form our society.

3.2. The role of managers.
The successful manager is known as “someone who reaches necessary results by following the prescribed activities and by maintaining behaviors and products within prescribed limits” (Chapter 17: Leadership). The managers have such functions as planning, directing, organizing and controlling.
Managers are responsible for the coordination, procurement and distribution of human and material resources that are necessary for an organization (Ubben & Hughes, 1987). The abilities of a manager facilitate the work of an organization because they guarantee that all activities and actions are done in accordance with the rules and regulations of an organization.
The most important thing here is that effective leaders do a lot of managing work, and effective managers need to lead people. It means that management and leadership are both necessary for a business to successful. Excellent management skills are necessary to support a degree of order and sequence. Excellent leadership skills are necessary to make certain movement in a business.

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4. Transformational leaders vs. transactional managers.
The topic of leadership - its concept, the related processes and changes, the outcomes and results - has been discussed for many years. At the end of 70s and in the beginning of 80s, several new definitions and formulations appeared. Mainly they concerned the works of James MacGregor Burns (1978), Bernard Bass and his colleagues at SUNY Binghamton (1985), Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus (1985), and Warren Bennis (1989). Their contributions in leadership are very important because they make a clear difference between management and leadership and determined the effects and attributes of each of them. In result of their research transactional and transformational theories were developed.  Transactional and transformational approaches to leadership mean relationships that leaders adjust with members of their organizations. In addition, Burns (1978) describes managers as transactors and leaders as transformers.  Accordingly, such terms as transformational leader and leader and transactional leader and manager also appeared, and now they are synonymous and used alternately (Schein 2003). 

4.1. Transformational leadership style.
Pillai, Schriesheim, and Williams (1999) state that “Transformational leaders… motivate their followers to perform beyond expectations by activating followers' higher order needs, fostering a climate of trust, and inducing followers to transcend self-interest for the sake of the organization”. This model deals with the need of the follower to fully understand the meaning of his work and be satisfied with it (Reyes 2003). The leader authorizes the follower to be more initiative, creative, and in general surpass expectations of work. The relationship between leader and follower are based on a social exchange. The leader gives the opportunity for the follower to exceed his current state and achieve loftier purposes. The role of leader here is being as a coach or instructor to help the follower reach the goals. This model has been connected with “effectiveness, satisfaction, innovativeness, quality improvement and both subjective and objective ratings of performance” (Pillai, Schriesheim, and Williams 1999). In other words, this is the transformational leader who motivates his followers to go above and beyond the call of duty to reach new opportunities and heights.
Transformational leaders are exhilarating and charismatic, inspirational, influential, individually considerate and intellectually stimulating figures (Differences Between Management and Leadership).

4.2. Transactional leadership style.
Pillai, Schriesheim, and Williams (1999) note that, “Transactional leadership is based on an exchange process in which the leader provides rewards in return for the subordinate's effort and performance.” In this model, leaders can use some kind of reward or punishment to force his followers to finish their tasks. An ordinary pattern is the employer - employee relationship. The employer explains to employee what tasks he expects him to fulfill and then the employer will reward employee for his efforts. The relationship between leader and follower in this model is largely based on an economic exchange. It means that the employer is responsible for correcting or punishing the employee for poor work (Reyes 2003). In this type of leadership style, the leader usually only interferes when a certain problem appears or when performance of employee is poor.

4.3. Difference between transactional and
transformational approaches.
Mainly, the main difference of transformational leadership from transactional leadership (management) is that transformational leadership concentrates behavior of followers not on their own self-interest, but on the “greater good.” (Transformational & Transactional Leadership 2003).   Followers identify themselves with the vision and mission of the organization and try to enhance their own performance in the company. Successful transformational leadership considerably increases employee commitment, involvement, cohesion, and belief in oneself that is very useful for the organization (Bass, Avolio, Jung & Berson 2003).  This component is the most powerful in leadership in the successful entrepreneurial companies and it is empirically connected to financial performance.
If to summarize, the differences between transactional and transformational approaches are the following (CHAPTER 16:LEADERSHIP):
1. Transactional leaders are leaders who guide, inspire or motivate their followers in the direction of definite purposes by explaining requirements to followers’ role and tasks.
2. Transformational leaders are individually considerate and intellectually stimulated leaders who also possess charisma.
The most important fact is that transactional (management) and transformational (leadership) styles are both desired in practice.

5. Leaders are transformational and
managers are transactional.
As it is defined, the title of manager honorary, they have subordinates and their power over others is more than formal authority. It is necessary to admit that management style is transactional, because the manager explains the subordinate what to do, and the subordinates fulfill his tasks not because they are blind robots, but because they have been promised to get a reward (at minimum their salary) for completing the needed task. Transactional leaders are managers who focus their attention on process and short-term purposes. Research has confirmed that transactional approach can make the performance of employee better and it helps to meet the performance expectations of the leader (Leadership vs. Management).
As it is known, leaders do not have subordinates, especially when they are leading. Many organizational leaders do have subordinates, but it is connected with the fact that they are managers themselves. So, these leaders have charismatic, transformational style of leadership.  However, when they want to lead, they must give up their formal power, because to lead means to have followers or subordinates, and the following activity is usually a voluntary one.

This paper briefly reviewed main leadership concepts and confirmed that effective leadership in an organization is very important.
Research has shown that leadership and management are different concepts, but they are both essential for the success of any organization. The organizations and companies that completely understand the obvious, though distinct, role of leaders and managers, and maintain an environment where managers, leaders and employees can cooperate have the best possibility to succeed.


  • Avolio, Bruce J. & Bass, Bernard M. (2003), "Predicting Unit Performance by Assessing Transformational and Transactional Leadership," Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 88, no. 2.
  • Bass, B.M. (1985), Leadership and performance beyond expectations. NY: The Free Press.
  • Bennis, W. (1989), On becoming a leader. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Bennis, W. & Nanus, B. (1985), Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. NY: Harper and Row Publishers.
  • Blair, R. (April 2003), LEADERSHIP, [Online], Available from: <
  • Blanchard, K. (3 September 2004), What It Takes to Be a Good Leader, [Online], Available from:
  • Burns, J.M. (1978), Leadership. NY: Harper and Row Publishers.
  • CHAPTER 16. LEADERSHIP. [Online], Available from:
  • Chapter 17. Leadership. [Online], Available from:
  • Differences Between Management and Leadership. [Online]
  • Hesselbein, F., & Cohen, P. M. (1999), Leader to leader, New York: Jossey-Bass Books.
  • Leadership vs. Management. [Online], Available from:
  • Pillai, Rajnandini, Schriesheim, Chester A., & Williams, E. S. (1999), “Fairness perceptions and trust as mediators for transformational and transactional leadership: A two-sample study”, Journal of Management, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 897-933.
  • Reyes, N. (28 March 2003), Leadership paper. Types of Leaders and Their Characteristics. [Online], Available from:
  • Schein, E. H. (2003), DEC's "Other" Legacy THE DEVELOPMENT OF LEADERS. DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation, Berrett Kohler Publishers, Inc.
  • Transformational & Transactional Leadership. Behavior Predictive of Organizational performance. (2003), [Online], Available from:
  • Ubben, G.C. & Hughes, L.W. (1987), The principal: Creative leadership for effective schools, Boston: Allyn and Bacon.


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