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Strеngths and Wеаknеssеs in Lеаdеrshiр Rеsеаrсh 3


Strеngths and Wеаknеssеs in Lеаdеrshiр Rеsеаrсh

Research into different leadership theories outlines their major strengths and weaknesses. This paper will explain three theories transformational, transactional and relational leadership and their strengths and limitations.

Transformational Leadership

Leaders under this theory challenge the status quo of a given industry by creatively changing things up. Transformational leadership is the ability to have a vision and a plan of implementation for growth and improvement. Some of the strengths of this theory include having creative leaders who can find enhanced methods of doing things, catering to a market niche, successfully influencing their juniors and the ability to effectively identify and cater to the needs and values of the organization. However, due to the substantial amount wielded by transformational leaders over other associates, there is a potential for abuse of power. Another weakness is that transformational leadership can lead to conflicts with people who are resistant to change as well as those people who are put off by excessive risk-taking (Niphadkar 2016, P.160). Transformational leadership is significant in an organization to determine its success in the industry. Therefore, managers must find means to minimize the weakness and influence others productively.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership is based solely on rewards and punishment. Relations between leaders and followers are mere transactions where the leaders outline duties and the followers effectively perform them to get a salary or any other kind of reward or punishment in case of failure (Fiore 2004, p.10). The main strength of transactional leadership is that the leaders always work within the existing systems to attain the set goal. Other strengths include rewarding the followers which acts as a motivational factor and maintaining the status quo. The weaknesses include passive leadership that uses punishment or reward, to gain compliance (Sultana, Darun, and Yao, 2015).

Relational Leadership

A relational leadership ethically and purposefully influences different people to bring about positive change in an organization. This leadership theory involves everyone in the leadership process to achieve the set goals. The approach has elements such as inclusivity, empowering and ethical for the purpose of influencing all the stakeholders to build into a shared vision (Day and Antonakis 2012, p. 292). There are a number of strengths associated with relational leadership. One, everyone in the organization is empowered because the theory promotes full involvement and development of different talents. Two, relational leadership understands and values the diverse input present in the organization (Uhl-Bien 2006, p. 659). Three, the strengths and skills of the team members are developed so that they can all contribute to the organizational goals. Last, the leadership in this theory is morally and ethically driven and thus, aligns with the values of the organization. The weakness of relational leadership is that there are too many actors with diverse view and this could lead to conflicts (Dugan 2016, p. 248).

Implications of the Evaluations in Understanding Leadership Practice

The main implication for the evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the leadership practices include understanding the behaviours of different types of leaders and why some insist on revolutionary changes while others maintain the status quo. The evaluation also helps corporate owners and boards decide on what type of leader is essential to their organization.

In concusion, every leadership theory has its strengths and weaknesses. However, leaders must always incorporate the strengths and work on limiting the weaknesses so as to successfully and positively influence the followers. Different organizations and industries require diverse types of leadership. Therefore, what may work for one industry will not necessarily work for another.


Day, D. V., & Antonakis, J. (2012). The nature of leadership. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE.

Dugan, J. P. (2016). Leadership theory. Place of publication not identified: John Wiley & Sons.

Fiore, D. J. (2004). Introduction to educational administration: Standards, theories, and practice. Larchmont, NY: Eye On Education.

Niphadkar, C. (2016). Building Organizational Leadership: Leadership through Learning and Effective Organizational Development Interventions. Notion Press.

Sultana, U.S., Darun, M.R., and Yao, L. (2015). Transactional or Transformational Leadership: Which Works Best For Now?. International Journal of Industrial Management (IJIM). 2289-9286.

Uhl-Bien, M. (2006). Relational leadership theory: Exploring the social processes of leadership and organizing. The leadership quarterly17(6), 654-676.