Motivation derives from the term ‘mouere’ meanings to move. It implies taking action and the effort and energy required to do so. In order to get the best out of people at work, it is necessary to learn what draws people to do the things that they do and how can such energy be managed.
Professor Kakabadse and his colleagues argue that, ‘not only does the manager of the group have to consider the objectives to be achieved and the means and resources available to achieve them, but also he has to raise the level of motivation of each individual in the group’ (1987; 120).
Motivation is a complex subject, it concerns the individual’s needs, incentives, perceptions and their expectations. Mullins (1993) suggests that people’s behaviour is determined by what motivates them, and that their performance is a product of both ability and motivation
Performance = function (ability x motivation)
Performance = function (ability x motivation)
A manager in order to improve the work of the project or the organisation as a whole has to pay attention to the level of motivation of the members. This requires directing their energy and combined efforts towards achieving the goals of the project. Moreover, since motivation is influenced by many variables, managers have to understand and identify what the needs and expectations of the people are and how they can be motivated.
There are basically three approaches to motivation, these are concerned with
meeting the needs of people
providing the right incentives at work
identifying the people’s expected outcome from their effort and contribution at work
Professor Maslow believed that there are five levels of needs which are hierarchical in relation to one another. These are: Physiological, Security, Social, Self esteem and self - actualisation. Maslow believed that the ascending nature of these needs suggests that each level of needs must be reasonably satisfied before other levels are considered.
Evolving need requiring fairly constant attention
(eg challenging job)
(eg job title)
(eg compatible work group)
(eg job security)
(eg work conditions)
What are the needs of the individuals?
Each lower order need must be satisfied before the next higher order need assumes dominance
When an individual need becomes satisfied, it declines in importance and the need at the next level of the hierarchy increases in importance
When the individual moves up to the highest level need, satisfaction of this need increases in importance (self - actualisation)
The number and variety of needs increases as an individual’s psychological development takes place.
Hertzberg (1964) argued that, it is not only the needs of the individual which must be satisfied, other external influences must also be considered. Realistically, managers have in their possession only certain resources or abilities in order to provide incentives for their employees. Therefore it is important to select staff with needs which can be satisfied and whilst paying attention to the ‘motivators’ and at the same time attempt to reduce or minimise the dissatisfying factors at work.
It is suggested that there are two distinct groups of factors to which managers have to pay attention in order to sufficiently motivate their employees. These are:
Maintenance factors refer to the intrinsic aspects of the job. These factors, whilst they cannot act as the main motivators, they protect the individual from dissatisfaction. These include:
company policy and administration
interpersonal relations; and
physical working conditions
According to Professor Hertzberg, while it is true that not all people are motivated either extrinsically or intrinsically, research indicates that internal drives of the individual can play an important part in their motivation towards their work. These are:
Analoui (1997) supports this view and added that attention ought to be paid to both sets of factors simply because in different cultural and contextual settings, people may show preference for one or more of the factors. Managers have to realise
The importance and limitations of money as a motivator
The Manager can create the right conditions for staff to be motivated more effectively
Personal goals must be identified. They may include:
A need to feel sense of achievement
Recognition for good work
Advancement and promotion
Participation in decision making
Freedom to plan and organise own work
Challenge and personal growth
Do individuals exercise a choice of behaviour? Do they consider the optimal reward which might be obtained by following a particular course of action? Professors Vroom and Deci (1977) argue that, yes, individuals do weight up the probabilities of success when adopting alternative courses of action and then choose the behaviour which is likely to produce most options as well as ensuring the greatest reward.
These principles are;
People show preferences for different outcomes
People have certain expectations with regards to a particular action, outcome or incentive offered to them.
People can distinguish between successful and unsuccessful behaviours
Peoples’ behaviour is determined by their preferences and their expectations at the time of their decision for action.
What can you do as a manager to motivate your staff more effectively?
Try to identify and understand the needs and personal goals of your staff. Beware of your assumptions, which may be false and misleading.
Remember that money is not the only motivator. Many other rewards which you influence may be more effective than money in getting your staff to work harder.
Set your staff targets, which are realistic and achievable but also stretch ability. If possible involve subordinates in setting their own targets.
Always recognise achievement by praise or some other reward.
Do not alter targets without consulting with the staff concerned. If changes are necessary these should be agreed jointly.
Harness the strength of the group. Group pressures can affect motivation positively and negatively. Involving your staff as a group in making decisions will strengthen commitment.
Keep your staff informed about what is going on in the organisation.
(see the case study at the end of the chapter)
Many business and project failures can be traced back to ineffective leadership. Since a manager's performance is related to other individuals and group activities, it is, by and large, agreed that leadership is an aspect of a manager's job. Leadership in management may occur at all levels in an organisation and the quality of the manager's performance is directly related to his management of the performance of his/her subordinates. In this way leadership is viewed as a process of influencing people towards the achievement of a given goal. This enables us to identify three common features which most leaders (managers) share. These are as follows:
a) Leadership is a process
b) It occurs in a social context
c) It is concerned with the achievement of given, implied or unconscious goals and objectives
Leadership as a subject has been the concern from time immemorial. However, the most notable attempts can be traced back to 1900 and the assumption that leaders were born and therefore the qualities of leadership are intransmutable. Nowadays, it is believed that successful leaders possess knowledge and skills of the kind that enables them to diagnose people and tasks in a given situation and furthermore, they are able to modify their style appropriately to the specific needs of the situation in which they find themselves.
Although studies of leadership often create conflicting results, in order to gain a substantial understanding of leadership, three broad areas of concern are identifiable.
The Traditional Approach that attempts to provide acceptable explanations as to how an individual happens to become a leader, (e.g. Trait Theories).
The Behavioural Approach, which is more concerned with how leaders (managers) behave when involved in managing situations (e.g. Classical/Human Relation Approach); and
The Contingency Approach, (situational) which is concerned with understanding how different situations can be effectively managed by adopting different styles of leadership.
These studies initially were concerned with the characteristics of good leadership. It is usually implied that factors such as personal qualities (age, intelligence, experience) or personal traits (extroversion and dominance) play a determinant part in the making of the leaders. This characterises the ways in which charismatic leaders were viewed. As we move away from this position which stipulates the inherent and unique qualities of the individuals, the traditions in general, customs and ways of life, in particular, are viewed as determinant factors for leadership. In this way it is the normative procedure, which creates the need for a situation in which its occupant is a leader, (for example, a chief). Lastly, with the increased complexity of the organisation structures, it is believed that leaders are chosen by the nature of the role relative position with the hierarchical structure of the organisation. It is the accumulated body of rules and regulation which stipulates the presence of a hierarchy of roles and the organisation status of its occupants. Therefore, it is believed that what makes an individual a manager or a subordinate, is their relative importance of the position, which he or she may occupy in the hierarchy.
The advocators of this approach turned their attentions to the behavioural aspects of leadership. That is, how a leader behaves and, more importantly, how his/her behaviour is influenced by the underlying assumptions that he or she holds concerning the nature of people, organisations and work. Therefore, it was argued that the emphasis must be placed on the interaction between leaders and their subordinates. Subordinates work better for managers who use a certain style of leadership behaviour than they will for others who employ different styles.
Managerial Styles: Another significant contribution, is that of Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1973). They identified two styles, namely Authoritarian and Democratic, which were viewed by these authors as the two ends of the same continuum. They suggested that there is a range of styles available to the leaders (managers) and this can vary from task centred style to an almost participative (people centred) style.
These are as follows:
Manager tells: Authoritarian style, subordinate role is to follow.
Manager sells: Still in control and as decision-maker likes to attract the willingness and compliance of subordinates.
Manager tests: Still in charge, reasons the right to accept or refuse and provides an alternative.
Manager consults: Still reserves the right. Information from subordinate can be incorporated into the final solution.
Manager joins: Totally participative; do it together.
The manager tells sells tests consults joins
Authoritarian Continuum of leadership styles Democratic
Managerial Grid: Black and Mouton have also offered a range of styles which a manager can adopt. They identified two dimensions 'Concern for production' and 'Concern for people' which were arranged as two dimensions for a grid. Each dimension constituted a nine point scale. The five identified styles are as follows:
Styles of leadership
Concern for task
Concern for people
Low (1 )
Middle of the road
Country club management
Low (1 )
Improvised management (Apathetic)
High concern for people
Low concern for production (soft-line theory X)
(country club 1.9)
High concern for people
High concern for production(theory Y)
(team management 9.9)
Low concern for people
Low concern for production
Low concern for people
High concern for production (hard line theory X) (scientific management 9.1)
The contingency models of leadership are grounded on the assumption that different situations may call for different styles. This approach to leadership is in complete contrast with the traditional view which views the organisation as a closed system (see chapter one). Hersey and Ken Blanchard developed a model of situational leadership. They identified two dimensions - these are:
Task Behaviour: The extent to which a manager defines roles, diagnoses the way people should behave and the way things are done.
Relationship Behaviour: The extent to which a manager (leader) maintains and promotes relationships between himself and others.
They argue that there is no best style of leadership. A manager needs to work out which approach to use, which combination of task/relations behaviour is appropriate in a given situation. This model is very similar to that of Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1973) with the difference of added delegation.
Low Task behaviour High
Situational leadership: leadership styles developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard
To conclude it must be noted that although each manager may prefer a particular combination of styles, the effective manager is capable of adapting his/her style to the pressures of the situation.
Remember leadership is required because someone has to point the way and that same person has to ensure that everyone concerned gets there. Organisational effectiveness depends on the quality of leadership.
The overall aim of a leader is to achieve the task with the help of his group.
To meet this overall aim, the leader has three main objectives:
To gain the commitment and co-operation of his team.
To get the group into action to achieve agreed objectives.
To make the best use of the skills, energies and talents of the team.
A leader's aim is to get people to do what he wants by obtaining willing co-operation, not grudging submission. He must also build up the morale of his group, which will be high when the group is productive and the people in it work well together.
John Adam’s study 75 top of executives reveals that 12 qualities rated most valuable and necessary in order to become successful chief executives. These are:
Willingness to work hard
Understanding of others
Ability to spot opportunities
Ability to meet unpleasant situations
Ability to adapt quickly to change
Willingness to take risks
Factors Influencing Success
Professor Margerison studied chief executives in
Ability to work with people 78
Early responsibility for important tasks 75
A need to achieve results 75
Leadership experiences early in career 74
Wide experience in many functions before age of 35 68
Ability to do deals and negotiate 66
Willingness to take risks 63
Ability to have more ideas than colleagues 62
Having talents `stretched' by immediate bosses 60
Ability to change managerial style to suit occasion 58
Note: Rating out of 100
The leader must be perceived as `one of us'. He shares certain characteristics with the members of his group and is not perceived as an outsider.
The leader must be perceived as the `most of us'. He must incorporate to a special degree the norms and values which are central to the group. He can influence values by his visionary powers but he may fail as a leader if he moves too far away from them.
The leader must be perceived as the `best of us'. He has to demonstrate that he is an expert in the task facing the group, indeed that he is superior to his team in those abilities, which are relevant to the group task. He must prove that he can direct and harness this expertise in obtaining results.
The leader must fit the followers' expectations. He is more likely to gain the respect and co-operation of his followers if he behaves in a way which they expect of good leaders. These expectations will vary according to the group but will often include being straight, fair and firm as well as being considerate, friendly and approachable.
Because of the complexity involved leaders have to play many roles. These can be classified into two groups:
Primary functions which are essential to the process of leadership, namely:
The leader as visionary. He has a vision of the future and conveys his belief to his team.
The leader as executive. He determines the objectives of the group and directs and co-ordinates the group's activities in achieving them.
The leader as planner. He decides how the group should achieve its ends.
The leader as policy-maker. He participates in formulating policies in the shape of continuing guidelines on what the group does.
The leader as expert. He has the expertise and information required by the group.
The leader as controller of relationships in the group. He decides how the group should be organised and influences how people in the group work together.
The leader as purveyor of rewards and punishments. He has the power to apply rewards and punishments and thus exercise control over group members.
Accessory functions which are those a leader may assume or be assigned because of his leadership position, namely:
The leader as exemplar. He serves as a model of behaviour for the group members.
The leader as symbol of the group. He provides a focus for group unity.
The leader as father figure. He can become an object for identification or even submissiveness.
The leader as scapegoat. He may become the target for the aggressions of a frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned group.
If you want to be an effective leader you have to do six things:
Know your situation
Select management styles which are appropriate to the situation (these are discussed in the final section of this chapter)
Satisfy task needs
Satisfy team needs
Satisfy individual needs.
As a leader, you will start with certain natural abilities and by experience you will have developed certain skills. To improve your leadership qualities your first step is an analytical one - know yourself. Check each of the ten qualities and skills listed below and see how you measure up to them:
Ability to work with people
Ability to gain the respect and support of people
Ability to inspire others with your enthusiasm and vision
Willingness to work hard
Ability to change leadership style to suit occasion.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses under each heading. Analyse the occasions when you have succeeded or failed and why. Try to assess how you exercised these abilities or skills and answer these questions:
Was it directive?
Was it supportive?
Was it appropriate to the situation?
Did it work? And if so, why? And if not, why not?
Following this analysis if you know your strengths, you can develop them, and if you know what works in particular circumstances you have a good idea of the approach you should adopt in similar situations. If you are aware of your weaknesses, you can do your best to manage them, remembering.
Having got to know something about yourself as a leader - your strengths and weaknesses - you have to carry on using your analytical powers to understand the situation so that you can exploit your strengths, minimise your weaknesses and adopt the most appropriate management style. Your situational analysis should answer the following questions:
What needs to be done and why?
What results have to be achieved?
What problems have to be overcome?
Is the solution to these problems straightforward or is there a measure of ambiguity?
Is this a crisis situation?
What is the time-scale for completing the task?
What pressures are going to be exerted on me?
What is the composition of the team?
How well is the team organised?
Do the members of the team work well together?
What will they want to get out of this?
How am I to get this particular team's commitment?
How am I to get results by satisfying their needs?
How are they likely to respond to the various leadership styles or approaches I might adopt?
The individuals in the team
What are the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the team?
What sort of things are likely to motivate them?
How are they likely to respond individually to the various leadership techniques or styles I might adopt?
Finally, after above analysis, adopt a situational approach to leadership by using your analises of yourself, the task, the team and its individual members to decide on the most appropriate style or styles to adopt.
The managerial perspective to which managers prescribe their values, thoughts and beliefs, to large extent determines the degree to which they use “delegation” as a modern managerial tool. It is however important to remember that delegation is a difficult task. It is perhaps the hardest thing that managers have to do. The problem is getting the balance right between delegating too much or too little and between over- or under-supervision. When you give someone something to do you have to make sure that it gets done. And you have to do that without breathing down his neck, wasting your time and his, and getting in the way. There has to be trust as well as guidance and supervision.
Advantages of delegation It relieves you of routine and less critical
tasks It frees you for more important work -
planning, organising, motivating and controlling It extends your capacity to manage It reduces delay in decision-making - as
long as authority is delegated close to the point of action It allows decisions to be taken at the level
where the details are known It develops the capacity of staff to make
decisions, get things done and take responsibility.
Advantages of delegation
It relieves you of routine and less critical tasks
It frees you for more important work - planning, organising, motivating and controlling
It extends your capacity to manage
It reduces delay in decision-making - as long as authority is delegated close to the point of action
It allows decisions to be taken at the level where the details are known
It develops the capacity of staff to make decisions, get things done and take responsibility.
You delegate tasks that you don't need to do yourself: difficult, tedious or unrewarding tasks.
a) Routine and repetitive tasks which you cannot reasonably be expected to do yourself - as long as you use the time you have won productively.
b) Specialist tasks to those who have the skills and know-how to do them. You cannot do it all yourself. Nor can you be expected to know it all yourself. You have to know how to select and use expertise.
As a manager you must know what specialists can do for you and you should be knowledgeable enough about the subject to understand whether or not what they produce is worth having. Remember, if delegation is carried out properly it will in fact, make your life more difficult, but also more rewarding.
Ideally, the person you choose to do the work should have the knowledge, skills, motivation and time needed to get it done to your complete satisfaction. Frequently, however, you will have to use someone who has less than ideal experience, knowledge or skills. In these cases you should try to select an individual who has intelligence, natural aptitude and, above all, willingness to learn how to do the job with help and guidance. This is how people develop, and the development of your staff should be your conscious aim whenever you delegate.
The best way is to try people out first on smaller and less important tasks, increasingly giving them more scope so that they learn how far they can go and you can observe how they do it. If they get on well, their sense of responsibility and powers of judgement will increase and improve and you will be able to trust them with more demanding and responsible tasks.
When you delegate you should ensure that your subordinate understands:
Why the work needs to be done
What he is expected to do
The date by which he is expected to do it
The authority he has to make decisions
The problems he must refer back
The progress or completion reports he should submit
How you propose to guide and monitor him
The resources and help he will have to get the work done.
You can make a distinction between hard and soft delegation.
Hard delegation takes place when you tell someone exactly what to do, how to do it and when you want the results.
Soft delegation takes place when you agree generally what has to be achieved and leave your subordinate to get on with it. You should still agree limits of authority, define the decisions to be referred to you, say what exception reports you want, and indicate when and how you will review progress.
You should always delegate by the results you expect. Even if you do not need to specify exactly how the results should be achieved, it is a good idea when delegating a problem to ask your subordinate to tell you how he proposes to solve it. You then have the opportunity to provide guidance at the outset; guidance at a later stage may be seen as interference.
Your subordinate may need guidance on how the work should be done. The extent to which you spell it out will clearly depend on how much he already knows about how to do the work. You don't want to give directions in such laborious detail that you run the risk of stifling your subordinate's initiative. As long as you are sure he will get the job done without breaking the law, exceeding his or her budget, embarrassing you or seriously upsetting people, let him get on with it.
Delegation not only helps you to get your work done; it can be used to improve your subordinate's performance and therefore your trust in his ability to carry out more responsible work. Instruction, training and development are part of the process of delegation.
At first you may have to monitor a subordinate's performance carefully. But the sooner you can relax and watch progress informally the better. You will have set target dates, and you should keep a reminder of these in your diary so that you can ensure they are achieved. Don't allow your subordinates to become careless about meeting deadlines.
Without being oppressive, you should ensure that progress reports are made when required and that you discuss deviations from the original plan in good time. You will have clearly indicated to your subordinate the extent of his authority to act without further reference to you. He must therefore expect to be reprimanded if on any occasion he exceeds his brief or fails to keep you informed. You don't want any surprises and your subordinate must understand that you will not tolerate being kept in the dark.
Try to restrain yourself from undue interference in the way the work is being done. It is, after all, the results that count. Of course, you must step in if there is any danger of things going off the rails.
There is a delicate balance to be achieved between hedging someone around with restrictions, which may appear petty, and allowing him licence to do what he likes. You must use your knowledge of the subordinate and the circumstances to decide where the balance should be struck. The best delegators are those who have a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their staff and the situation in which they are working.
Effective delegation stretches [H1]the individual but does not break items
Deciding how to decide is an essential but often neglected stage in the decision - making process. The option you use will affect:
the quantity and quality of information on which the decision will be based;
the extent to which the decision is accepted by subordinates;
the degree of commitment displayed by subordinates in implementing the decision;
the speed with which the decision needs to be taken.
These five choices of style are open to managers for decision making (see section on Leadership)
I. The decision is made by you using only the information available to you at the time.
II. the decision is made by you after obtaining necessary information from your subordinates.
III.The decision is made by you after consulting subordinates individually to obtain ideas and suggestions.
IV.The decision is made by you after consulting your subordinates as a group to obtain ideas and suggestions.
V. You join with your subordinates and make a decision which has the support of the whole group.
The following case study demonstrates the problems invoked [H2]in adopting the wrong style of decision making and delegation. Read the case study and attempt to answer the questions which follow:
As soon as he arrived at work Paul called his
staff together and announced that the targets needed revising. Particularly
now they were using the computerised testing rig. He asked his subordinates
as a group to decide what the new targets should be and report back to him
with the new targets before 5 p.m. on Tuesday. They approached the task
enthusiastically, using lunch, tea breaks and even stayed over for an hour
on Monday evening. Paul called his staff together on Tuesday
afternoon and the decision was announced to him. Much to Paul's amazement
they had concluded that the targets were too high. They had decided to
reduce them by 20%. 'We appreciate that the new equipment has made testing
easier' said the group’s spokesman, 'but it's the assemblies - they’re
getting more and more complicated. By the time you've got used to one type,
the specification changes and you start all over again.' Paul knew that his boss would never accept the new
targets, but how could he overrule the decision after giving his staff the
authority to make it? 'How on earth do I get out of this without losing
face?' Paul asked himself. Source: Adair, J. (1993) Management Training Manual, Gower Which
decision-making style should Paul have used? What
mistakes did Paul make in attempting to involve his subordinates as a group
in making the decision? Having
allowed his staff to make the decision, what advice would you give Paul to
help him through his problem?
As soon as he arrived at work Paul called his staff together and announced that the targets needed revising. Particularly now they were using the computerised testing rig. He asked his subordinates as a group to decide what the new targets should be and report back to him with the new targets before 5 p.m. on Tuesday. They approached the task enthusiastically, using lunch, tea breaks and even stayed over for an hour on Monday evening.
Paul called his staff together on Tuesday afternoon and the decision was announced to him. Much to Paul's amazement they had concluded that the targets were too high. They had decided to reduce them by 20%. 'We appreciate that the new equipment has made testing easier' said the group’s spokesman, 'but it's the assemblies - they’re getting more and more complicated. By the time you've got used to one type, the specification changes and you start all over again.'
Paul knew that his boss would never accept the new targets, but how could he overrule the decision after giving his staff the authority to make it? 'How on earth do I get out of this without losing face?' Paul asked himself.
Source: Adair, J. (1993) Management Training Manual, Gower
Which decision-making style should Paul have used?
What mistakes did Paul make in attempting to involve his subordinates as a group in making the decision?
Having allowed his staff to make the decision, what advice would you give Paul to help him through his problem?
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