Employee Motivation Assignment

Employee Motivation Employee motivation refers to the actions or behaviours portrayed by individuals at work place as a consequence of psychological forces. In his theory of hierarchy of needs, (Maslow, 2002) stated that the psychological needs have to be satisfied first before moving to the other levels of needs. Baruch (2004) stated that leadership is essential in facilitating effective communication. 1.1 Group communication and teamwork Teamwork is basically the working together and for team work to be successful, group communication has to be effective. Group communication is done through managers to employees or among the employees themselves. Communication can be in two forms; verbal and non verbal. Verbal involves the oral (word of mouth) and the written. Non verbal communication involves the facial expression, dress code etc. According to Baruch (2004), forms of communication in an organization are either internal or external. External communication is whereby stakeholders and investors are involved and annual reports among other things are used as a form of communication. Internal communication is within the organization and the form of communication used is internal memos, meetings etc 2.1 Leadership Leadership is the process of inspiring, influencing and guiding others to participate in a common effort (Baruch, 2004). A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal (Boles, Lawrence, and Johnson, 2005). To be effective, leadership cannot just be about inspiration and grand visions (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). 2.1.1 Leadership Theories and Styles The study of leadership has evolved as theories have been developed and refined by successive generations of researchers (Boles, Lawrence, and Johnson, 2005). Leadership theory is a discipline that focuses on finding out what makes successful leaders excel in what they do. Leadership style falls under the overall umbrella of leadership theory. Leadership style focuses specifically on the traits and behaviours of leaders (Baruch, 2004). While many different leadership theories have emerged, most can be classified as one of eight major theories: (Boles, Lawrence, and Johnson, 2005). 2.1.2 “Great Man” Theories: Great man theories assume that the capacity for leadership is inherent – that great leaders are born not made. These theories often portray great leaders as heroic, mythic and destined to rise to leadership when needed. The term “Great Man” was used because, at the time, leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality, especially in terms of military leadership (Babin & Boles, 1996). Leaders such as Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bomaparte and George Washington were said to have been blessed with an inborn ability to lead. This so called great-man approach to leadership eventually gave way to trait theory (Baruch, 2004). The leadership style that falls under this category is the charismatic leadership style (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). A charismatic leadership style: A charismatic leader tends to believe more in him or her than in their team. This can create a risk that a project, or even an entire organization, might collapse if the leader were to leave: In the eyes of their followers, success is tied up with the presence of the charismatic leader. As such, charismatic leadership carries great responsibility, and needs long-term commitment from the leader ((Baruch, 2004). 2.2.2 Trait Theories: This traditional concept is that effective leaders have personality traits which distinguish them from the common herd. Researchers analyzed physical and psychological traits, or qualities, such as high energy level, appearance, aggressiveness, self-reliance, persuasiveness and dominance in an effort to identify a set of traits that all successful leaders possessed. The list of traits was to be used as a prerequisite for promoting candidates to leadership positions. Only candidates possessing all the identified qualities would be given leadership positions. The trait approach has been popular, but controversial (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). 2.2.3 Behavioral Theories: Leadership research changed its paradigm from trait theory to focusing on how the leader actually behaved and what actually was done to achieve leadership effectiveness. Behavioural theories of leadership are based upon the belief that great leaders are made, not born (Baruch, 2004). Depending on participation and sharing in decision making, leadership styles have been classified by Tosi, Rizzo and Carroll, (1986) as: Autocratic leadership style: Leaders exclude subordinates from the process of decision making. They assign work without consulting subordinates or knowing their inclinations and desires. Democratic or participative leadership style: Leaders are effective and more productive because they consult subordinates on various matters and include them in the process of decision making. Tasks are assigned on the basis of interests and preferences of subordinates. Laissez-faire leadership style: Leaders have little or no self-confidence in their leadership ability, do not set goals for the group, and do not enhance group interaction and communication. In fact, the laissez-faire type of leader does little supervision. Consequently, the group has to make many on-the-job decisions. 2.2.4 Situational Theories: Both the trait and behavioral leadership theories were attempts to find the one best leadership style in all situations; thus they are called universal theories (Boles, Lawrence, and Johnson, 2005). However, the fundamental assumption regarding the situational theory to leadership is that successful leadership occurs when the leader’s style matches the situation. Situational leadership theorists stress the need for flexibility. They reject the notion of a universally applicable style. Fielders’s contingency theory and Path-Goal theory represent distinctly different approaches to the situational theory (Boles, Lawrence, and Johnson, 2005). 2.2.4.1 Fielders’s contingency theory Fiedler’s situational theory identifies effective leadership styles under changing situations. The basic idea is simple: Match the leader’s style with the situation most favorable for his or her success. These can be either relationship motivated or task motivated (Boles, Lawrence, and Johnson, 2005). Relationship-motivated leadership style: A leader is concerned with people and relies on good personal relations and group participation to accomplish tasks. The leader establishes mutual trust and respect and listens to employee’s needs. Leaders with this style perform most effectively in modest control situations which present mixed problems related to task, group members and authority. The relationship-motivated leader gets cooperation from the group by being sensitive, diplomatic and tactful (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). Task-motivated leadership style: Leaders prefer clear guidelines and standardized or patterned work methods to complete successfully the task they have accepted. These leaders provide clear directions and set performance standards. They have strong task orientation and perform best in high-control or low-control situations. The high-control situations are those where leaders get support from group members and the tasks are clearly specified. In addition, leaders have high authority, which enables them to use their powers of reward and punishment appropriately. Low-control situations, the opposite of high-control situations, are relatively difficult, challenging and straining (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). 2.2.4.2 Path-Goaltheory Path- goal theory gets its name from the assumption that effective leaders can enhance employee motivation by (1) clarifying the individual’s perception of the goals, (2) linking meaningful rewards to goal attainment, and (3) explaining how goals and desired rewards can be achieved. Path-goal theorists believe that leaders should motivate their followers by providing clear goals and meaningful incentives for reaching them (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). The following are the four styles of leadership related to this theory: Supportive leadership style: Considering the needs of the follower, showing concern for their welfare and creating a friendly working environment. This includes increasing the follower’s self-esteem and making the job more interesting. This approach is best when the work is stressful, boring or hazardous (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). Directive leadership style: Telling followers what needs to be done and giving appropriate guidance along the way. This includes giving them schedules of specific work to be done at specific times. Rewards may also be increased as needed and role ambiguity decreased (by telling them what they should be doing) (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). This may be used when the task is unstructured and complex and the followers are inexperienced. This increases the followers’ sense of security and control and hence is appropriate to the situation (Baruch, 2004). Participative leadership style: Consulting with followers and taking their ideas into account when making decisions and taking particular actions. This approach is best when the followers are expert and their advice is both needed and they expect to be able to give it (Baruch, 2004). Achievement-oriented leadership style: Setting challenging goals, both in work and in self-improvement (and often together). High standards are demonstrated and expected. The leader shows faith in the capabilities of the follower to succeed. This approach is best when the task is complex (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). 2.2.5 Participative Theories: According to Berkowitz and Schew, (2011), optimal performance can only be achieved if attention is paid to the human aspects of subordinates’ problems and behavioural aspects, such as motivating forces, communication processes, interaction-influence processes, decision making processes, goal setting processes, control processes, and performance characteristics. There are four main styles of leadership, in particular around decision-making and the degree to which people are involved in the decision. Based on these considerations, leadership styles could be either job cantered or employee cantered, and then further classified as follows: Job centred Exploitative-authoritative style of leadership: In this style, the leader has a low concern for people and uses such methods as threats and other fear-based methods to achieve conformance. Communication is almost entirely downwards and the psychologically distant concerns of people are ignored (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). Benevolent-authoritative style of leadership: When the leader adds concern for people to an authoritative position, a ‘benevolent dictatorship’ is formed. The leader now uses rewards to encourage appropriate performance and listens more to concerns lower down the organization, although what they hear is often rose-tinted, being limited to what their subordinates think that the boss wants to hear. Although there may be some delegation of decisions, almost all major decisions are still made centrally (Boles, Lawrence, & Johnson, 2005). Employee centered An employee-centered leadership style can either be consultative or participative. Consultative style of leadership: The upward flow of information here is still cautious and rose-tinted to some degree, although the leader is making genuine efforts to listen carefully to ideas. Nevertheless, major decisions are still largely centrally made (Boles, Lawrence, & Johnson, 2005). Participative style of leadership: At this level, the leader makes maximum use of participative methods, engaging people lower down the organization in decision-making. People across the organization are psychologically closer together and work well together at all levels (Baruch, 2004). 2.2.6 Transactional or Management Theories: Transactional theories, also known as management theories, focus on the role of supervision, organization and group performance. These theories base leadership on a system of rewards and punishments. Managerial theories are often used in business; when employees are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished. Transactional style of leadership: Leadership is viewed as a transaction or exchange between leaders and follower. The transactional leader recognizes followers’ needs and desires then clarifies how those needs and desires will be satisfied in exchange for meeting specified objectives or performing certain duties. Thus, followers receive rewards for job performance, whereas leaders benefit from completion of tasks (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). 2.2.7 Transformational or Relationship Theories: Transformational theories, also known as relationship theories, focus upon the connections formed between leaders and followers. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire people by helping group members see the importance and higher good of the task. These leaders are focused on the performance of group members, but also want each person to fulfil his or her potential. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral standards. Transformational style of leadership: It is characterized by the ability to bring about significant change in both the followers and the organization by tapping into followers’ higher ideals and motives. Transformational leaders have the ability to lead changes in existing organization’s strategy, structure, and culture and influence people to buy into a new vision and new possibilities (Berkowitz & Schewe, 2011). References Babin, B.J. and Boles, J.S. (1996). The effects of perceived co-worker involvement and supervisor support on service provider role stress, performance and job satisfaction, Journal of Retailing, Vol. 71 No.1, pp. 57-75. Baruch, Y. (2004). Transforming careers from linear to multidirectional career paths: organizational and individual perspectives, Career Development International, Vol. 9 No.1, pp.58-73 Berkowitz, E.N. and Schewe, C.D. (2011). Generational cohorts hold the key to understanding patients and health care providers: coming-of-age experiences influence health care behaviors for a lifetime, Health Marketing Quarterly, Vol. 28 No.2, pp. 190-204. Boles, J., Lawrence, E. and Johnson, J. (2005), reducing employee turnover through the use of pre employment application demographics, Hospitality Research Journal, Vol. 19 No.2,

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