LEADERSHIP AND MOTIVATIONAL THEORIES
Motivation is a term coined from a Spanish word meaning to move. Motivation entail the psychological mechanism that rejuvenates the mind causing stimulation, direction, and persistence of involuntary actions that are targeted to the success of a particular undertaking (Blanchard et al, 1985). By definition motivation is the in- built willingness to exert the necessary effort toward an individual or organizational goal, powered by the efforts ability to satisfy a certain need. In this circumstance, a need is a certain drive that makes certain outcomes becomes attractive (Blanchard et al, 1985). There are several theories that try to explain motivation and its effects on a firm, management and its employees. It should be known that motivation is a very complex phenomenon. In management, most of these motivational theories are based on the analysis of individual needs that need to be satisfied for him or her to work at full employment.
Hierarchy of needs theory
In this theory, a need is defined as the physiological or psychological urge that an employee feels and has the itching to satisfy. These needs can create tension and influence an employee’s perception concerning work related behaviors. Basing on this assumption Maslow came up with a theory that purports that individuals are endowed with a number of needs. The theory also speculates that these multiple needs are arranged in a hierarchical way. For the success of any business, it is important for the organization to identify and takes care of these needs in their order of importance (Goleman et al, 2002).
Two factor theory
In the two-factor theory, only two factors that affect the performance of employees. The theory also offers a framework of understanding the environmental factors that contributes greatly to the working of individuals. One factor is hygiene’s factors. Even though these factors may not contribute to the motivation of employees directly, lack of them would lead to poor performance and dissatisfaction. These factors include salary, job security, working policies and organizational policies (Miller & Rolliner, 2002). The other factor is satisfiers or motivators factors. They include such things as recognition, responsibility, and growth opportunities.
There are several types of leadership styles that can be used depending on the type of work and level of expertise. It would be noted that skilled and unskilled laborers are treated differentially. It is easier to ask an unskilled worker to follow rules strictly than for a highly specialized worker who needs a certain degree of flexibility for innovation and invention in his line of work. Another case is the military, which requires loyalty and total adherence to the laid down rules and regulations. Due to these varying factors, there are several approaches in regards to leadership and management founded on different premises (Tillier, 2007). Some of the leadership style used includes:
The pacesetting leader
This leadership style requires all the employees to do as the leader does. It is assumed the leader is motivated and understands every aspect of his job to the latter. It works at optimum when the team is highly motivated and skilled and the group is working under tight schedule with quick results being expected.
This is where the leader points out to every employee the core goals and objectives of their task and leaves the means to accomplishing those objectives to the individual employee. In this form of leadership the sense and spirit of entrepreneurship is encouraged. More so the vibrant inspiration to work towards the organizational mission is also achieved. This form of leadership is successful when the leader and the members of the team works like equals in terms of expertise (Hiam, 2003).
The affiliate leader
In this style of leadership, the leader is more concerned with the team member’s emotional matters. The leader strives to bring about a strong bond that instills a sense of belonging to the organization.
The coaching leader
This is a form of leadership aims at identifying and nurturing talents. It can be summed in one term as a try this form of leadership. It main and long-term goal is to provide the necessary room for career growth. It works similarly to the transactional leadership style. It also focuses on individual capabilities and strength.
In view of the above arguments, the best leadership and motivational theory to use is determined with the kind of work to be done, the necessary expertise and the goals and objectives of a certain organization. In my opinion, the best leadership style that can be utilized is the coaching leadership. In this form of leadership, young talents are nurtured and maintained in line with long-term objectives of the firm. It is beneficial for both the firm and the individual employee as the latter enjoys a success and steady career and the former tailors and sharpens the employee’s skills to his goals and objectives.
Motivation being a complex and relative phenomenon, I would like to be associated with the Maslow theory. This is where each employee multiple needs are identified and taken care of in their order of importance. I do not discredit the other theories of motivation and leadership styles but in my opinion is these two can work best for any organization that wishes to affect positively both on its balance sheet and the employee’s career path.
Blanchard, K. H., Zigarmi, P., & Zigarmi, D. (1985). Leadership and the one minute manager: increasing effectiveness through situational leadership. New York: Morrow.
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. E., & McKee, A. (2002). Primal leadership: realizing the power of emotional intelligence. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.
Hiam, A. (2003). Motivational management inspiring your people for maximum performance. New York: AMACOM, American Management Association.
Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2002). Motivational interviewing: preparing people for change (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.
Tellier, J. P. (2007). Quantum learning & instructional leadership in practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.