Leadership and Motivation Theories
Ali Azizi, Jawaria Bhat, Chad Charden, Viktoriya Romanovskaya, Joselynn Stewart, & Jaqualene Taylor
Management involves planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling, and a manager is someone who performs these functions (Carpenter, Bauer, and Erdogan, 2010). A supervisor has formal power by righteousness of his or her position or office. A supervisor could possibly be a powerful leader. A leader's capacity to impact others may be focused around a mixture of variables other than his or her formal power or position. Organizations depend on their employees to create products or provide services in an opportune manner. Employees need to be able to easily learn tasks and procedures required to carry out their roles, which helps organizations. Leaders inspire their followers by providing various forms of motivational incentives for exceptional job performance. Leadership and motivational theories are the building blocks which help guide the organizational structure to effectively achieve positive results.
Situational Leadership Theory
Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey’s Situational Leadership Theory simply put is an adaptable leadership theory. It conforms and adapts to the situation presented to the leader by their follower. Depending on the level of competency of the follower the leader may direct, coach, support or delegate the tasks at hand (Larsson and Vinberg, 2010). Concluding, successful leadership includes both universally applicable elements (task-oriented) and contingency elements (relation and change-oriented). The authors suggest additional research in leadership and quality, and in leadership and follower health outcomes (Larsson & Vinberg, 2010).
The case scenario of two employees of a local supermarket Alex and Stephanie and their managers Dan and Jonathan can be used as an excellent example for the proper and improper application of the situational leadership theory. Jonathan’s leadership style is in line with the adaptability of a situational leader. He assesses the competency level of his employees and assigns tasks accordingly. “Jonathan encourages his employees to notify him immediately when an item is running low and even empowers employees to reorder items from vendors. By doing this, Stephanie has quickly grasped how the supermarket operates.”(Case Study - Leadership Scenario, n.d.)
In contrast, Dan, who is Alex’s manager refrains from using his resources and using an adaptable style of leadership to complete the tasks at hand. Dan has assigned Alex to perform the same tasks on a daily basis, thus resulting in Alex becoming disgruntled and having less motivation at his job. In addition a coworker of Alex’s, Denise, who is a recent hire is being allowed to perform tasks at a higher competency level that Alex is also capable of performing. Unknowingly Dan has become the LPC for Alex which takes us to our next theory of leadership.
Fielder’s Contingency Theory
Fielder’s Contingency Theory is explained as an effective leadership that attributes its results to the interaction between leadership style and the elements of the environment in which the leader operates (Antoine, Patrich). Leadership style is a manager’s ability to effectively implement plans, lead his workers and act as a pivotal support of motivation. This guidance enacted is dependent upon an individual’s personal characteristics. The most prominent and popular leadership styles are described as a forward leader, influential, educational, intimidating, and democratic leader. To be effective as a manager under Fiedler’s Contingency Theory, their strengths must be highly applicable to the demands of the organizational environment.
According to the theory, a leader’s style is measured by a scale called Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) scale. A score is generated once the leadership style is measured. That score is then used as the high point of the