Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Theories of Leadership and Motivation

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 2309 words Published: 24th Feb 2017

Reference this


Leadership is the character which every organisation wants to see in their staff and the person who is self motivated and who can motivate the team members become a good manager. Leadership is nothing but inspiring the team leader is the one who does it, inspiration is nothing but motivation. So leadership and motivation is a chemistry which can take any difficult task to success. The leadership and motivation chemistry is mostly helpful in management sector whether it is in business or in the team; every individual posse’s leadership but the one who practices on the go become a perfect leader.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

The main aspect a leader consists is a vision for the certain purpose. When a task or project is taken over by a company the company searches for a leader who posses knowledge on the project and vision how to develop the project, make use of colleagues and give the organisation a profit on it. A leader tends to influence the task to be continued and change to be taken place to make the organisation profitable.

There are several theories on leadership by great leaders some of them say that “leadership is an action not position or person”. These theories help to prepare a perfect leader, all these theories are proposed and practiced by great leaders and managers but latest management considers a leader who follows his role.

Leadership theories:

Considering leadership reveals school of thought giving different leadership theories such as Great Man theory, trait theory, behaviourist theory, situational leadership theory, contingency theory, transactional theory and transformational theory.

Great man theory is the one proposed before twentieth century where it says that leaders are born with the talent and leader should be a man this lead to the next theory trait theory.

Trait theory:

The trait theory rose from the concepts of the ‘Great Man ‘approach. This theory leads to identify the important characteristics of a successful leader. The people who got the characters as defined by the traits approach are isolated or shortlisted and those are recruited as leaders. This type of approach was mostly implemented in military and still used in some of the area.

According to the trait theory the person who got the following skills is said to be a trait.

  • Ambitious and success oriented
  • Adaptable to all kinds of situations
  • Co operative to all the members in the organization
  • Highly active or energetic
  • Dominative
  • Good decision making ability
  • Self-confident
  • Adaptable to stress conditions and
  • Dependable.

These are the characters which make a person trait and they should posses some skills which are

  • Skills
  • Intelligent
  • Skilled conceptually
  • Creative
  • Fluent in speaking
  • Tactful
  • Self motivated and self belief
  • Skilled socially

When these kinds of skills and characters are identified in the person, the person is recruited in the team.

Behavioural theory:

The trait study doesn’t give any conclusive results and it was hard to measure some more critical issues such as honesty, integrity and loyalty. This leaded the attention to be diverted on to the behaviour theories. The behaviour theory focuses on human relationship and success performance as well.

According to behavioural theory the manager believes that the working environment should be like an entertainment place where the expenditure of mental and physical efforts is treated to be play and rest. The idea of manager is an average person not only learns to accept but also seek responsibility. The people will automatically learn to exercise self-control and self direction to achieve the goal or target. The organizational problems can become imaginative and creative.

Contingency theory model:

This theory illustrates that there are many ways for the manager to lead the team to get best outcome. According to the situation the manager can find a best way to get the best outcome.

Fiedler worked on contingency theory according to that he looked for three situations which define the condition of a managerial task.

  • Leader and team member relationship
  • Work structure or project structure
  • Position and power

The manager should maintain relation with their team members to get along and create confidence and make them feel free to think about the task and give their ideas to help the task to be finished. Project structure is the job highly structured or unstructured or in between. The power shows how much authority a manager does posses.

This theory rates the manager whether the manger is relationship oriented or task oriented. The task oriented managers gets success in such situations where there is good leader and team member relationship and structured projects or tasks doesn’t matter whether the position power is weak or strong. And get success when the project is unstructured and does have any sort of good vision by having a strong power and position. The variables which affect the task such as environmental variables are combined in a heavy some and differentiated as favourable and unfavourable situations. The task oriented management style depends on the favourable and unfavourable environment variables but the relationship management style stays in the middle by managing or changing the variables to accumulate with their style.

Both styles of managements got their sides to be good when all the performance and team work well in the tasks. There is no good or bad management in these two managements. Task motivated management style leaders do best when the team performs well and they are good in achieving good sales record and performance better than their competitor where as the relationship oriented leaders are helpful to gain positive customer service and build a positive image to the organisation.

Transactional and transformational leadership:

Transformational leadership “is a relationship of mutual simulation and elevation that converts the followers in to leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents”

Transformational leadership is communicating with the leaders and the team members to take them to higher level something like a leader can become a moral agent and the follower can become a leader.

Transactional leadership technique builds the person to finish the certain task such as job done for the time being.

Some of the differences between transactional and transformational leadership are

Transactional style of leadership builds a man to complete a certain task where as transformational styles builds a member to become a leader.

This focuses on task completion and tactical style of management where as transformational leadership focus on strategies and missions.

These are some theories of the leadership which shows how a leader act on different situations and how different leaders behave to get success in the organization.

Motivation in Management:

Theories of motivation:

The theories of motivation can be divided into 3 broad categories.

Reinforcement theories – emphasize the means through which the process of controlling an individual’s behavior by manipulating its consequences takes place


Content theories – focus primarily on individual needs – the physiological or psychological deficiencies that we feel a compulsion to reduce or eliminate.

Process theories – focus on the thought or cognitive processes that take place within the minds of people and that control their behavior.

Early Theories of Motivation:

  • Hierarchy of Needs Theory
  • Theory X and Theory Y
  • Motivation-Hygiene Theory

Contemporary Theories of Motivation:

  • ERG Theory
  • McClelland’s Theory of Needs
  • Cognitive Evaluation Theory
  • Task Characteristics Theories
  • Goal-Setting Theory
  • Equity Theory

Hierarchy of Needs Theory:

Abraham Maslow hypothesized that within every human being there exists a hierarchy of five needs:

  1. Physiological.
  2. Safety.
  3. Social.
  4. Esteem.
  5. Self-actualization.

Maslow then categorized these 5 needs into lower-order needs and higher-order needs.Lower-order needs are needs that are satisfied externally: physiological and safety needs.Higher-order needs are needs that are satisfied internally (within the person): social, esteem, and self-actualization needs.

Theory X and Theory Y of Douglas McGrogor:

McGregor concluded that a manager’s vision of the nature of human beings is based on a certain blend of assumptions and that he or she tends to mold his or her actions toward subordinates according to these assumptions:

  • Employees naturally dislike work and, whenever possible, will attempt to avoid it
  • Since employees dislike work, they must be coerced, controlled, or threatened with punishment to achieve goals
  • Employees will avoid responsibilities and seek formal direction whenever possible

Motivation-hygiene Theory:

According to Herzberg, the factors leading to job satisfaction are dividing and distinct from those that leads to job dissatisfaction. Hygiene factors include factors such as: company policy and administration, supervision, interpersonal relations, working conditions, and salary. Motivator factors include factors such as: attainment, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and growth.

Hygiene Factors

  • Company rule and management;
  • Supervision;
  • association with supervisor;
  • Work circumstances;
  • Salary;
  • Relationship with peers;
  • Personal life;
  • association with subordinates;
  • Status;
  • Safety

Motivator Factors:

  • attainment
  • credit;
  • Work itself;
  • Responsibility;
  • progression;
  • Growth

Contemporary Theories of Motivation:

ERG Theory:

ERG Theory proposed by Clayton Alderfer of Yale University: Alderfer fights that there are three groups of core needs:

  1. Existence
  2. Relatedness
  3. Growth

Existence group is worried with providing our basic material existence requirements. Relatedness group is the desire we have for maintaining important interpersonal relationships

McClelland’s Theory of Needs:

McClelland’s theory of needs focuses on three needs:

  1. Achievement
  2. Power
  3. Affiliation

Cognitive Evaluation Theory:

Allocating extrinsic rewards for behaviour that had been previously intrinsically rewarded tends to decrease the overall level of motivation. (This concept was proposed in the late 1960s.)The interdependence of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards is a real phenomenon

Task Characteristics Theories:

These theories seek to identify task characteristics of jobs, how these characteristics are combined to form different jobs, and their relationship to employee motivation, satisfaction, and performance.

Goal-setting theory:

Specific and difficult goals lead to higher performance. Feedback leads to higher performance than non-feedback. In addition to feedback, 2 other factors have been found to influence the goals-performance relationship. These are:

  1. Goal commitment.
  2. Sufficient self-efficacy.

Equity Theory:

Individuals make comparisons of their job inputs and outcomes relatives to those of others and then act in response so as to remove any inequities’. Stacy Adams proposed that this negative tension state provides the motivation to do something to correct it.

There are 4 referent comparisons that employee can use:

  1. Self-inside.
  2. Self-outside.
  3. Other – inside.
  4. Other – outside.


The change in the leadership theories time by time says that the leader should posses certain characters which lead the organisational success whether to believe in maintaining a relationship or to go on tactically the manager or the leader should act to the situation and get success at the end. Depending on the companies motive the leader should react or behave with the team members to achieve the target. Usually maintaining a good relation helps to make the team members life easy and manage the work happily. The team members become more innovative and achieve targets easily where as with tactical style leadership may create some sort of pressure on the team members, there is no guarantee that in every situation relational ship management is successful. the leader should adapt himself for the situation and act according to a particular situation. We have discussed above only a collection of the motivation theories and thoughts of the various proponents of management .In some of the theories and opinion presented, however, one can observe some ‘glimpses’ of the person and how, perhaps, he or she could be motivated. This is satisfying in itself. But, as noted earlier, practice has been in advance of theory in this field, so let us now move to the realistic side of management of human behaviour and motivation in the workplace.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: