Transformational Transformational Leadership are found to be similar,

Leadership is the theory of leadership that goes well with Amabile’ philosophy:
“People will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the
interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself — not by external
pressures. (Amabile, ‘How to Kill Creativity’)

It is put in contrast with Transactional Leadership that is characterised
by reward-punishment type of motivation. (They are summarised in fig. 10 From Odumeru & Ogbona (2013)

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.) While Transactional Leadership (also known as
Micromanagement or Theory X) is the least admired leadership style, it is
probably the most practiced one. Why is that?

Since the late 1980s,
theories of transformational and charismatic leadership have been ascendant. Versions
of transformational leadership have been proposed by several theorists,
including Bass (1985, 1996).


concept of transformational leadership was introduced by James Macgregor Burns
in 1978 in his descriptive research on political leaders, but its usage has
spread into organisational psychology and management with further modifications
by B.M Bass and J.B Avalio (Jung & Sosik, 2002).


Douglas McGregor’s Theory
Y and Theory X can also be compared with these two leadership styles. Theory X
can be compared with Transactional Leadership where managers need to rule by
fear and consequences. In this style and theory, negative behaviour is punished
and employees are motivated through incentives. Theory Y and Transformational
Leadership are found to be similar, because the theory and style supports the
idea that managers work to encourage their workers. Leaders assume the best of
their employees. They believe them to be trusting, respectful, and
self-motivated. The leaders help to supply the followers with tool they need to



After almost sixty decades of MacGregor’s criticism of
the management style based on the “Theory X” (1960), it is still
widespread under a new label: micromanagement.



Let us remind
briefly the essence of MacGregor’s theory (1960). The “Theory X” is
based on the postulate that most people have an innate aversion to work and
strive to avoid it in every possible way. People work only because they have
to. This implies that employees should be treated as “donkeys”, with
“carrot and stick” to produce results. It is necessary to coerce and
control them and resort to threats and sanctions, as the expectation of reward
is not a sufficient incentive. Given that people are essentially immature,
devoid of ambition, unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their work,
they should be actively managed. The “Theory Y” is a completely
opposite view. Its basic premise is that human beings, by nature, have a psychological
need to exercise their psycho-physical and social skills in work. Moreover,
they like to have responsibility, as it allows them to express and realize
their personality and potentials (the innate and universal need for competence
or effectiveness mentioned before). The working man is an adult, able to take
an interest in what he does and to participate actively in the objectives and activities of
his organization, not only for economic, utilitarian reasons but also because
such participation coincides with his own hedonistic goals. The management
style which emerges from this understanding of the human’s nature is opposed to
the type of management characteristic of the traditional X organization.
However, it seems that this tradition is very resilient, as it continues to
live and flourish under the guise of new forms, despite the litany of its
shortcomings. “If
Micromanagement is such a Discredited and Flawed Management Style, Why do so
Many Practice it?” is the title of an internet article, and the subtitle
states that micromanagement is the least admired but most applied style of
management. Before we come back to the answers suggested in this article, we’ll
rely on the following insights of another author, Yves-Pierre Gomez. 14th International Scientific Conference on Economic
and Social Development

Belgrade, Serbia,
13-14 May 2016






Faculty of
Culture and Media

John Naisbitt
University, Serbia

[email protected]



Micromanagement: from the mentioned article:

The positive side of micromanagement is the
desire to see that the job is done right; while the dark side is that the
application of such stifling control often causes the job not to get done at


a management style that is so roundly vilified, it is amazing how prevalent the
practice is in business. Virtually everyone agrees that micromanaging is a
tactic with mostly downside results and few upside benefits. The problem is that at its core
micromanaging is designed to prevent bad things from happening, not stir the
innovation and creativity that causes good things to happen.
Micromanagement flourishes because most managers fear the bad more than they
strive for the good.

The best way to reduce the temptation to
micromanage is to develop an invisible hand style of supervision that allows
the manager to eliminate potential actions that can lead to bad things
happening. Once this is accomplished there will be less fear about the bad
happening and more reason to allow those charged with the task the freedom to
find the good.