Transactional, transformational and transformative leadership theories


Sheilds, C. M. (2010). Transformative Leadership: Working for Equity in Diverse Contexts. Education administration quarterly, 46(4): 558-589.

This article builds on themes of social justice, diversity, inclusion, & equity by looking at transactional, transformational and transformative leadership theories. Transactional Leadership Theory begins with “a desired agreement or item” as leaders act to “ensure smooth & efficient organizational operation through transactions” (p. 564).  I can envision this kind of leadership ending up as being bad for the institution as the actors involved are only in it for themselves.

Transformational leadership theory begins with a “need for the organization to run smoothly and efficiently” as leaders “look for motive, develops common purpose, and focuses on organizational goals” (p. 564).  I think this is a very pragmatic view in which leaders look for common grounds to run an effective institution where staffs’ goals are aligned with the organizational group (department, school, board…

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