Transactional Leadership Theory


Transactional Leadership is based on the assumption that leaders and followers exchange something of value. Often, the leader is able to give a job (money) in exchange for the followers efforts. Transactional leaders believe that followers can be kept in line by punishment which can be the withdrawal of rewards.

This is the leadership model that the industrial model of education followed. Teachers gave students a set of expectations from how to sit to how many pages an assignment would be. If students followed the teachers’ instructions they were rewarded with a good mark. If they did not follow instructions, there was a punishment. School boards used the same leadership model with teachers, principals and superintendents of education with the reward of a pay check and the punishment of a pink slip. While educational organizations are moving away from this leadership model, many parents still believe that this is the model used in schools. This misconception creates confusion and cognitive dissonance in students who have been warned to expect failure instead of support and repeated opportunities to learn. While marks as a reward are part of the industrial learning paradigm, they continue as a validation of success in the learning process and perpetuate the transactional leadership model.



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