In order for a manager to manage a team effectively it is vital for them to have an understanding of various different concepts, the two concepts I believe to be most important are those regarding both motivation and leadership. It’s my opinion that these two areas are the most significant as they effect all members of the organisation and if a manager attempted to manage a team without a basic understanding of how to motivate and lead they may find employees becoming unhappy and the team unable to reach its full potential.
I also think that motivation and leadership are linked as a big part of leading a team involves being able to motivate them, also a leader must be motivated themselves in order to lead effectively. Throughout this essay I will go on to discuss in more detail the main theories for both motivation and leadership and will also explore in more depth the way that they are linked. To begin we should look at what motivation actually is, Taylor (2010) defines it as “A set of processes that arouse, direct & maintain human behaviour toward attaining a goal. In the context of an organisation the human behaviour referred to is concerning the behaviour of the employees and the goal that they are trying to attain is an objective or task set by management. The processes vary significantly, they can range from a salary to a sense of safety and will be explored in more detail throughout. Clearly from the definition we can see how important it is for a manager to understand motivational theory as they could then apply it to the workforce in order to achieve the goals they have set.
When understanding these theories it is important that managers are first made aware that there are two main contrasting approaches to motivation; namely the process theories and the content theories. Process theories focus on how people are motivated and how their behaviour is a result of rational thought processes. The main theories within the process approach are Adam’s equity theory, Vroom’s expectancy theory and Locke’s goal-setting theory. Adam’s theory regarding motivation is that workers can become unmotivated when they perceive other workers to receive a higher reward to effort ratio ompared to themselves, for example when there are two employees that work equally as hard and one gets a promotion, the other employee will see this as unfair and become unmotivated because of it. The way a manager could benefit from understanding this theory is best described by Chapman (2010), stating that “while improving one person’s terms and conditions can resolve that individual’s demands (for a while), if the change is perceived by other people to upset the Equity of their own situations then the solution can easily generate far more problems than it attempted to fix. Therefore they should try to be as fair as possible when rewarding employees in order to keep the team as a whole motivated. Vroom had a different outlook on motivation and created the expectancy theory, it is said by Anon (2010) that this theory assumes behaviour is a result of conscious choices among alternatives. The purpose of the choices is to maximise pleasure and to minimize pain. The theory has three factors that will affect motivation, these are; valence, which refers to how much the employee wants the rewards.
Expectancy, meaning how much they believe putting in effort will yield results and finally instrumentality, meaning the degree to which they believe completing the task will lead to a reward. Vroom suggested that these factors could be multiplied in the following equation, Motivation = Valence x Expectancy(Instrumentality) in order to calculate motivational force. Managers that understand this theory should try to make sure that employees believe that more effort will improve performance and that better performance will result in better rewards.
Managers should also take note that using the equation if any of the factors are zero then motivation will equal zero so it is important to keep each one at a reasonable level. The final process theory I will discuss is Locke’s goal setting theory. This theory is based around the idea that employees will have a higher level of motivation when they are set goals to complete, also he’s research indicated that goals that are more specific and challenging stimulate employees more than vague or easy ones. Managers can easily incorporate this idea into the work place in order to motivate employees simply by making the tasks they set more specific.
On the other hand there are the content theories, these theories focus on what people want and according to Barnet (2006) they regard motivation as the product of internal drives that encourage the individual to act in a way which satisfy’s their needs. The main theories to be aware of from this area of motivation are Maslow’s, Herzberg’s and McClelland’s. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is based around the idea that there are five needs which need to be met before a person can be fully motivated, but also, these needs are ordered and the lower level ones must be achieved first to enable the employee to reach their full potential.
The needs are as follows; physiological, these are the most basic needs such as food, water and shelter. Next is security which is to do with the employee feeling as though they are in a safe environment, not just from physical dangers but also emotional distress. The need for belonging which is regarding the desire for intimacy, friendship and love. Esteem needs which refers to an employees need to feel respected by peers and also have a level of self respect for themselves.
And finally self-actualisation needs which are to do with the employee reaching their full potential and is described by Maslow (1954) as “the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming. ” A manager wanting he’s employee’s to reach full potential could then use this theory to fulfil their most basic needs and work up the hierarchy. Another content theory is Herzberg’s motivator-hygiene theory. Herzberg’s idea is that in the work place there are certain factors know as motivators and hygiene factors.
The hygiene factors such as salary and job security do not encourage an employee to put more effort into their work, however, the absence of them would cause dissatisfaction amongst the employees. In order to get an employee to perform better the motivator factors must be present, these include things such as the work being challenging and getting recognition for completing tasks. The implications of this theory for management is that they will need to ensure all hygiene factors are present and fulfilled before they see the full impact of any present motivating factors, also managers would understand why simply increasing salary will ot always motivate employees. The final motivation theory I will discuss is McClelland’s theory of needs, the theory states that human behaviour and motivation is influenced by three needs, the need for power, affiliation and achievement. Employees motivated by power have a desire to lead and control situations but can come in two forms, the desire for personal power and institutional power, the latter being the preferred form for managers.
The need for affiliation is about wanting to be liked and accepted by others, people motivated by this are team player but not suited for management. Those motivated by achievement prefer work that is challenging to them and like to receive feedback once tasks have been completed. Managers can implement this theory into the work place by analysing employees to determine their personality and the degree to which they have these three needs, this will then give them an idea on what sort of jobs to give them to keep them most motivated.
Although having an understanding of these motivational theories will come in extremely useful to managers trying to get the best from their employees I would argue that understanding about the concept of leadership will be equally important in terms of running a team and being able to manage effectively. Leadership is defined by (HELLRIEGAL & SLOCUM, 2007 Pg 210) as “the process of developing ideas and a vision, living by the values that support those ideas and that vision, influencing others to embrace them in their own behaviours and making hard decisions about human and other resources. The main ideas surrounding leadership that I believe would be most important for a manager to understand are transactional and transformational leadership. Transactional leadership is a style of leadership in which the person in charge makes a series of transactions with subordinates in order to get the task they want done. The way it is enforced by a transactional leader is explained in more detail by (http://changingminds. org/disciplines/leadership/styles/transactional_leadership. htm) stating that the leader creates a clear structure with subordinates so they know what is expected off them and then rewards or punishes them ased on their efforts. This is a common style and can easily fit into most organisations, however, it has been criticised that when the salary is no longer a motivating factor this style of leadership fails. Having an understanding of this is important for managers so they can see the benefits and limitations it has and help them decide if it is an appropriate style to adopt for their situation. The opposing method of leadership to transactional is transformational leadership. Transformational leaders are known to be able to inspire those around them and have a vision that they’re passionate about achieving.
This type of leadership begins with a vision for the organization being developed and then the transformational leader buying into it. Once they are on board they then attempt to get their followers on board as well, they need a large amount of energy to do this and it is said by (ANON, 2010) that creating trust and maintaining their personal integrity is critical to convince others to follow them. These types of leaders attempt to get the best out of the group as a whole but also want each individual to reach their full potential.
By understanding this theory the manager can attempt to use it as it can be a very effective and can bring out the best in their team, however, this sort of leadership requires someone with high charisma and a lot of energy and if the manager realises they don’t have these characteristics they can make a judgement not to attempt to use this particular style. It is my opinion that these two opposing theories are the most important ones regarding leadership due to the limitations of usefulness in those such as the “great man” theories etc.
I also think they’re important to discuss as they are both clearly related to the way in which the leader is able to motivate subordinates and connect with motivation theories mentioned earlier. For example transactional leadership is criticised because it only attempts to use money to motivate employees and when the salary is no longer the most important thing for the employee this type of leadership is no longer appropriate. This ties in with Herzberg’s theory of motivation that states that there are motivating factors and hygiene factors.
In this theory salary is considered a hygiene factor and although it would dissatisfy if it wasn’t there it wont go on to encourage employees to do more which explains why transitional leadership doesn’t always get the best out of employees Transactional theory also shares similar ideas to Vroom’s expectancy model whereby he believed employees were motivated by three factors and that managers should ensure that they believe more effort will improve performance and that better performance will result in better rewards.
The idea of better performance resulting in better rewards is displayed by transactional leaders when they reward subordinates based on the results they have produced and also punish them when performance is low. Similarly Transformational leadership theory relates to some of the motivation theories, for example the way that the leaders want their employee‘s to reach their full potential. In order to reach the full potential they would benefit from using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model and satisfying each level until the employee reached self actualization.
Transformational managers could also use McCellands theory to determine the different personalities of the subordinates in order to see what the best way to motivate them is. In conclusion I believe I have demonstrated how both motivation and leadership theories can benefit managers in all organisation when it comes to getting the best performance from their teams. I also hope to have made clear my reasons as to why leadership and motivation are the most important concepts for managers to understand and also the way in which the both relate to each other. Bibliography
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CHAPMAN, Alan, 2010. Adam’s equity theory. [online] Available at: http://www. businessballs. com/adamsequitytheory. htm [Accessed 1 January 2011] HELLRIEGAL & SLOCUM, 2007, Organisational Behaviour, Thomson south western 2007, pg 210 MASLOW, Abraham, 1954. Motivation and personality. Harper and Row New York, New York 1954 pg 93 TAYLOR, Billie, 2010. Motivation, empowerment and job design. [lecture slide]. Slide 7. Available at: https://now. ntu. ac. uk/d2l/orgTools/ouHome/ouHome. asp? ou=99722 [Accessed 1 January 2011]