Motivational theories in organization

Leadership styles are the ways and approaches used to provide direction and motivate people. Effective leaders combine all the types of leadership styles whereas bad leaders tend to rely on one style. The three major types of leadership styles are; Authoritarian or autocratic style of leadership whereby leaders determine what and how something is to be done without asking for advice from others.

It is used rarely especially on occasions where a leader has all the information required to solve a problem. Some employees view this type of leaders as ones leading by threats. They are also seen as leaders who are abusing their power and hence not motivational at all. However this style of leadership should not be confused with the unprofessional style commonly known as “bossing people around” (Gary, 2007).

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Participative or democratic style of leadership allows employees to take part in decision making together with their leader although the final authority to make decisions remains a leaders prerogative. Adopting this of leadership is a means of strength rather than weakness as it may be viewed by some other leaders.

It motivates employees because through shared decision making they feel that they are part of the team. It establishes a mutual kind of leadership where leaders benefit from the skills and knowledge of the employees while on the other hand employees feel that they have become part of the organization (Jones, 1987).

Delegative or free reign is the third leadership style where leaders allow their employees to make decisions. However, any decision made by the employees remains the responsibility of the leader. It is motivating to employees because they have the feeling that they have a duty to accomplish and this also builds trust and confidence between the leader and the employees.

Leaders should not use this style of leadership to run away from their responsibilities or when they want to blame others in the event that things go wrong. Other common leadership styles include servant leadership where leaders meet other people’s needs, and bureaucratic leadership which seeks to maintain things fair and well organized (Gary, 2007).

Motivation is the power that initiates, directs and holds goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes people to take action. There are different types of motivational theories. According to instinct motivational theories, individuals are motivated to behave in various ways that are inborn.

An example of this motivation is the seasonal migration of animals. It is disadvantageous in that it does not explain behavior but rather describes it. People are said to be motivated by external rewards such as payment according to incentive theories of motivation whereas in drive theories of motivation, they are motivated to take particular actions so that they can lower the amount of tension that is brought about by unmet needs (Jones, 1987).

Drive theory of motivation mostly explains behaviors that have a biological component. Such behaviors may not purely be motivated by physiological needs. For instance, a person may take a glass of water when he is not necessarily thirsty. In the work place, employees are motivated to work extra hard because of a desired reward contrary to drive theory where employees do not expect to be rewarded for their increased performance (Gary, 2007).

Hygiene factors (dissatisfiers) were those elements that Herzberg identified as the causes of job dissatisfaction. In this supermarket, dissatisfaction of employees could have been due to poor working conditions, low salaries and poor company policies and administration. New policies should be designed and a skillful administration put in place for effective implementation.

Employees’ salaries and wages should be enumerated to ensure that they are competitive and the working conditions for the supermarket improved. Motivators are those elements that create job satisfaction and encourage employees to work extra hard (King, 1989). The motivators (satisfiers) applicable in this supermarket are the work itself, recognition and achievement. The amount of work given to employees or rather their skills and abilities should conform to the amount of payment that they receive.

The supermarket’s senior staffs should have respect and recognition for the junior employees. They should encourage shared decision making and remain focused on achievements for both the organization and the employees. Herzberg’s two factor theory is likely to motivate the employees, create job security and provide opportunities for job growth and advancement if applied in this supermarket.


Gary, P 2007, Work motivation: history, theory, research and practice, 2nd edn, SAGE, California.

Jones, L 1987, ‘Jones 1987 theories’, Theories of Motivation, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 12-16.

King, N 1989, ‘King1989 clarification’, Clarification and evaluation of the two-factor theory of job satisfaction, vol. 74, no. 4, p. 18.


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