Transformational/transactional leadership LO26759

From: Bruno Martins Soares (
Date: 06/03/01

Replying to LO26615 --

Replying to LO26615

Felicia and dear Orglearners,

I read Gene's interesting and complex answer to your question and it
inspired me to put forth a question of my own. A case study, more likely.

Felicia's question was:

>What are the key connections between transformational/transactional
>leader in organizational contexts? Does anyone have any ideas?

There's a case that has intrigued me since childhood, and that's the case
of Alexander the Great in Persia. At one point (please correct me if I'm
wrong), Alexander came across this mythical knot (it's called «Górdio» in
Portuguese, dunno in English) sitting in the middle of a square. Persians
believed that whom ever would untie the knot would rule Asia. Alexander
simply cut it.

Now, Alexander's act was quite clever, for even if the Persians would
think he'd cheated, no-one would ever have the opportunity to untie it
again, so the Persians would have the choice of believing or not, but they
couldn't deny the act and that the knot was no longer there. Anyway, he
went on to conquer most of Asia and Persia was under his rule until his

My questions:

1. In view of his action, was Alexander a transformational or a
transactional leader to the Persians?

2. In view of his action, was Alexander a transformational or a
transactional leader to his own Macedonian troops who didn't share the

3. What if most of Alexander's officers had already started to believe in
the myth? Was Alexander's action transformational or transactional?

4. a)Did Alexander himself believe in the myth?
   b)Does it make any difference?
   c)What would people think? That he did believe or that he didn't?
   d)Would THAT make any difference?
   e)If he didn't, was he simply managing the situation, or changing it?

5. Last but most tricky question: did Alexander's action have anything to
do with the fact that he indeed conquered Asia??? Why am I still today
telling the story? Was the myth real? Did it make a difference?

What are your thoughts about this one, my friends? What do you think,

Maybe this reply completly misses the point of your question, Felicia. If
so, please disregard.



"Bruno Martins Soares" <>

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