Wassmiah is a leader in a local hospital and works well in the environment. The hospital’s environment is characterized by well-defined individual roles where each employee knows what is expected of him or her. Employee conflicts are minimized as everyone understands his or her responsibility, and the coordination of all activities leads to goal attainment. There is no duplication of work. Wassmiah encourages people to perform well and rewards positive behavior to boost productivity. Most goals Wassmiah sets are short-term, making them easier to fulfill, less intimidating to achieve, and as a result, employees are interested in obtaining the various rewards. When a problem arises, Wassmiah directs the employees in what to do and is quick to point out if the employee does not deliver results. However, Wassmiah suspects that employees are not working when there is no supervision.
What style of leadership is most likely described in this case and why have you reached that conclusion? What are the advantages of this type of leadership and what examples from the case support your position? What are the disadvantages of this type of leadership and what examples from the case support your position? What are the implications for employee motivation with this type of leadership? What other styles of leadership might be complementary to that described in the case and why?
Transactional Leadership Model in Wassmiah Case
The approach to leadership that fits the description provided in Wassmiah’s case is the transactional leadership model. One characteristic of this style is the emphasis on extrinsic motivation. The given case describes Wassmiah as a leader who rewards employees with incentives to foster positive behavior. She also encourages employees to perform well while supervising them closely. Another aspect that sets her apart as a transactional leader is conformity to order and structure. Wassmiah maintains a formal workflow to direct self-motivated people in a structured workplace. Essentially, transactional leadership concentrates on the existing structure of the business, success measurements, and reward system. The role of a transactional leader revolves around exercising authority and supervising the workers to facilitate performance targets, both on individual and group levels. This essay attempts to demonstrate that Wassmiah’s leadership attributes lean towards a transactional approach. A transactional leadership style holds a strong emphasis on organization, supervision, and performance.
One of the most distinctive traits of a transactional leader involves the use of rewards and punishments to obtain compliance. Transactional leaders are extrinsic motivators, and unlike their transformational counterparts, they are not concerned about the wellbeing of their followers (Dartey-Baah, 2015). An ordinary transactional leader espouses and utilizes the structure, culture, and goals of the current organization. This is clearly evident in the scenario of WassMiah who uses the firm’s reward system to motivate employees towards achieving short-term goals. Wassmiah is directive and action-oriented. She regularly wants her followers to work within the existing system. Although she constantly negotiates with her followers, the goals remain within a structured model of work where every employee is expected to comply or lose their rewards. As a transactional leader, Wassmiah thinks “inside the box” when seeking solutions to problems.
Another trait that makes Wassmiah a transactional leader is her passiveness. Rather than using inspiration and personal appeal, she adopts behaviors that help establish the criteria for maintaining the status quo and rewarding followers (Afshari & Gibson, 2016). This approach is advantageous in that it is very practical and result-oriented. The practicality relates to the use of powerful motivators and clear order to drive performance. External rewards such as tangible perks can serve as significant motivators for employees and may drive performance in the short term. Indeed, Wassmiah assimilates short-term goals that can be easily attained with a rewards system. With regard to rewards, two factors of leadership that emerge in Wassmiah’s case are a contingent reward and management-by-exception (Northouse, 2018, p.171). The former offers rewards to employees for their effort and performance while the latter attempts to maintain the status quo and intervene when employees are not attaining their job goals. Moreover, Wassmiah’s transparency in the workplace sets clear expectations for the employees so that they are constantly aware of their roles and rules of authority. Her workforce is always informed when it comes to questions of organizational structure and leadership.
The benefits of transactional leadership are dependent on the context (Masa’deh, Obeidat, & Tarhini, 2016). Hence some benefits may not be realized in select situations. In Wassmiah’s case, benefits emerge when short-term goals are used, and workers have clearly defined roles, rewards, and penalties. Her style encourages productivity and offers an easy structure that is easy to understand. However, it limits the creativity of the workers, eliminates individuality from the production process, ignores empathy, and places more value on efficiency. Since a transactional leader is rigid and unyielding, she does not bend the rules to accommodate flexibility. This limits innovation owing to the fact that employees are expected to focus on assigned tasks. Even in situations where creativity applies, it is strongly regulated by company policies. Violation of policies normally leads to loss of reward and termination of workers. For this reason, a transactional leadership style is not applicable in flexible environments.
One major drawback of transactional leadership is the use of extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic rewards do not last in the long-term because they are short-term incentives (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). By constantly receiving extrinsic motivation, employees quickly become oriented to short-term rewards than the value of the work and long-term goals. Employees who become extensively attached to short-term incentives are likely to become exhausted and eventually quit their roles. Additionally, employees who are subjected to a rewards and punishment system may focus more on rewards than the goals of the company. Those who do not value the rewards may exhibit low performance, especially when not under supervision. The overall attitude of a workplace that utilizes a transactional approach to leadership can give the workforce the impression that is being paid to work in a specific fashion. The transactional nature of the rewards could also drive down their value in the eyes of employees. Some leadership styles that may complement a transactional leadership style include autocratic leadership, which uses authority to achieve results and efficiency, and bureaucratic leadership style, which expects followers to abide by rules and procedures.
In conclusion, the approach to leadership that fits the description provided in Wassmiah’s case is the transactional leadership model since she emphasizes organization, supervision, and performance. Traits that make her a transactional leader are the use of a rewards system, conformity to the status quo, and exercise of authority and direction with the intent of driving performance.