Traditional management theory defines bureaucratic organizational structure as hierarchical
and inflexible. This management approach, popularised by the Fordist method of production,
aimed to enforce routines and mechanise production processes. Bureaucratic leadership often
operated in a command-and-control style, relying on staff submission and obedience to strict
authority (Partington 1996). This impersonal style of leadership imposed psychological
defeat on its workers by enforcing rules and correcting deviation from routine (Gill, Levine &
Pitt 1998). Here, employees are often subjected to self-serving manipulation by managers
who seek to achieve their own goals, at the cost of their workers (Gill, Levine & Pitt 1998).
Transactional leadership theory exemplifies the main facets of bureaucratic leadership
practices because it is founded upon exchanges which occurs between leaders and their
followers (McClesky 2014). It aligns with bureaucratic notions as incentive to accomplish
objectives are only created through a mutually beneficial exchange of either rewards or
gratification between two individuals (Burns 1978). This functions as a stipulated construct
imposed upon all types of circumstances which proves to be ineffective due to the dynamic
business environment today (Beyer 1999).