Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011


Transformational-transactional leadership theory is one way in which the behaviors of leaders can be described and evaluated. Transformational leaders exhibit charisma and shared vision with their followers, stimulating others to produce exceptional work. Transactional leadership describes more of a “give and take” working relationship – rapport between leader and follower is established through exchange, such as a rewards system for meeting particular objectives. Meta-analyses reveal that transformational leadership is correlated to more positive outcomes than any other leadership style, and it also predicts better contextual performance, describing follower performance above and beyond what is delineated by job requirements alone. Finally, research has also shown that female managers typically outscore male managers on measures of transformational leadership, leading some to suggest the existence of a "female leadership advantage." However, stereotypes remain salient (since leadership is stereotypically a male domain) and give rise to pressures such as role incongruity and a double-bind effect that remain a challenge today.