Styles of leadership and their effects on motivation


Leadership style could influence the different level of motivation. However, throughout a lifetime, changing ambitions and leadership style influences a person’s motivation. Leader does not always go first but a clearly definition would figure out of an idea of the one who will lead, ie. Who is the leader? It is very difficult to separate out theories and concepts of Leadership and Motivation. The leader has to know how to motivate people and must look for ways to do this so as to maintain their role as a good leader. There are many theories of motivation and the leader could choose their own style of leadership in order to give the best result.


The term motivation theory is concerned with the operation that describes why and how human behavior is activated and directed. It is regarded as one of the most important areas of study in the field of organizational behavior.

There are four writers who consider the functions performed by management, it enables us to define management and explore how thinking has changed through time.

Frederick Taylor (1856 – 1917), he considered money to be the main motivator for workers therefore scientifically investigate how jobs are done through ‘work study’ .By using ‘piece rates’ to pay the workers and this kind of method was widely adopted as businesses saw the advantages of raising productivity levels and lower unit costs. The problems of using this scientific management are that it will have lack of skills required leading to loss of skills in the workforce and also power for the workers. As the duty is the same and the workers might start to found it is boring which will lead to a lower morale amongst the workforce. In addition, Taylor did not treat workers as people and he stated that money was highly important to them as many of them virtually lived on the breadline.

Elton Mayo (1880 – 1949) believed that workers are not just concerned with money but could have been better motivated by their social needs whilst at work. He introduced the Human Relation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile judgment and realizing that worker are enjoy interacting together. He set out an experiment to investigate how changing light and working conditions would affect productivity. At the end of the experiment, his results proved that greater communications and improved the relations could lead to an increased of productivity. It has also stated that social needs in the workplace must be recognized and the communication is vital and understanding of the informal needs of the workers.

Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) was a psychologist and he is tribute to motivation and management thinking was through the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ He suggests that we all have different needs but some needs are fairly central to us. The top of hierarchy of needs is Self Actualization and this means that the ability is to fulfill one’s potential. The second place would be Self esteem & Self respect and the third place is social needs (belonging). The fourth one in the hierarchy is Safety and Security (secure job) and the last one is Physiological (food & water, shelter, etc) Maslow believed that as you began to satisfy one set of needs you would start to have higher needs and satisfying that level of need became your motivator. All the needs are structured into a hierarchy and once a lower level of need has been fully met, a worker would be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy to be satisfied. A business should therefore offer different incentives to workers in order to help them fulfill each need in turn and progressing up the hierarchy. Managers should also recognize that workers are not all motivated in the same way and does not all move up the hierarchy at the same time. They may therefore have to offer a slightly different set of rewards from worker to worker.

Frederick Herzberg (1923-2000) argued that there were certain factors that a business could introduce which would directly motivate employees to work harder (Motivators). However there were also factors that would de-motivate an employee if not present but would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder (Hygiene factors). Motivator’s factor includes sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility and intrinsic rewards. Besides, Hygiene factor includes the company policy, supervision and working conditions. Therefore, motivators are to do with the job and Hygiene factors ‘surround’ the job. Herzberg has also come up with a policy called ‘job enrichment’ which making the job better, allowing workers to use their skills and abilities and also to plan and make decisions over their work. Job enrichment also included bringing variety into jobs through job rotation and job enlargement. Those that are critical of Herzberg felt it was just a way of making people do more in the cooperation.

“Tesco was voted Employer of the Year because its solutions were seen to be more holistic.” To assure that they have this and keep maintain it, Tesco have invested £12m this year in all training schemes which are pure Herzberg motivators. For example: They have open more lines of communication between managers and staff and a scheme whereby directors and senior managers spend a week on the shop floor listening ideas and suggestions from customers and staff.

When goals are eventually accomplished or milestones are reached, many people like to be able to get a reward or benefit. Some goals create by personal satisfaction upon completion naturally such as learning, growth, and self-esteem. Additional rewards such as salary increases, bonuses, and celebrations are also good reminders that individual are delighted of what they are doing. Rewards work so well as the motivating tools that worker will goes out their way to make sure they use it and develop these kinds of things that they are rewarded.

The work atmosphere in general has a lot to do with employee motivation. Typically managers that treat employees in a friendly manner are adopting to get more of a positive comment. You want to work at a company with individuals that enjoy their work and like their surroundings. Employees will compare themselves to others to make sure they are being treated in a way that they perceive as fair. If an employee thinks that they are not being treated fairly, they will have a lack of motivation to work hard. Everyone likes to have a little independence and to be useful while they are working. Certain control is always needed, but flexibility is appreciated. Employees and coworkers are also happy when they feel like they are fit it in a group and are able to be themselves. This would goes back to the basis needs that human strive to fulfill.


In order to be a leader, it is important to understand what motivates the employees around you. It is necessary to discover the fundamental needs that employees, coworkers, and bosses have. All people have a need for a basic income and necessities. Additionally, they need a deep social connection and friendships. People want to fit in somewhere and feel as if they belong. Another large category of human need is the need for growth and challenges. A worker would get attract to a job by high salary and may find their job dissatisfying if they are unable to have friendships and connect with other people at work. It is much easier to lead and motivate if you understand what people’s undeniable needs are.

Autocratic leadership style is the one in which the manager retains as much power and decision-making authority as possible. Employees are expected to obey orders without receiving any explanations. This motivation environment is produced by creating a structured set of rewards and punishments. This leadership style has been greatly criticized during the past 30 years. Some studies stated that organizations with many autocratic leaders would have higher turnover and absenteeism than other organizations. Autocratic leaders always rely on the threats and punishment to influence employee, they do not trust employee and not allowing them to make their own decision.

Yet, autocratic leadership is not all bad. Sometimes it is the most effective style to use when there is an effective supervision can be provided only through detailed orders and instructions, only limited time in which to make a decision, and the area was poorly managed. The autocratic leadership style should not be used when employees expect to have their opinions heard and when there is low employee morale, high turnover and absenteeism and work stoppage.

The democratic leadership style is to encourage employees to be a part of the decision making. The democratic manager keeps his or her employees informed about everything that would influence their work and shares decision making and problem solving responsibilities. This style requires the manager to be a leader who has the final decision, but will gathers information from staff members before making the decision.

Democratic leadership can always produce high quality and high quantity work for long periods of time. Many employees like the trust that they receive and respond with cooperation, team spirit, and high morale. To be a democratic leader, it needs to have a develop plans to help employees evaluate their own performance, allow employees to establish goals and encourages employees to grow on the job and be promoted. However, democratic style is not always suitable to all organization. In order to have the most effective is when used with highly skilled or experienced employees or when implementing operational changes or resolving individual or group problems. This leadership style could be used when the leader wants employees to share their decision-making and problem-solving duties. Also, the leader might wants to provide some opportunities for employees to develop a high sense of personal growth and job satisfaction which would increase their morale at work. Yet democratic leadership should not be used when there is not enough time to get everyone’s input and sometimes it is easier and cost-effective for the manager to make the final decision.

The laissez-faire leadership style is also known as the “hands-off¨ style. It is the one in which the manager provides little or no direction and gives employees as much freedom as possible. All authority or power is given to the workers and they must make decisions, determine goals, and resolve problems on their own. This is an effective style to use when employees have self-esteem in their work and it leads to a successfully done on their own. Furthermore, this leadership style should not be used when the manager cannot provide constant feedback to let employees know how successful they have done and also should not be used when the manager does not understand his or her responsibilities and is hoping the employees can cover for him or her.

Bureaucratic leadership is where the manager manages “by the book¨ everything must be done according to procedure or policy. If it isn’t covered by the book, the manager refers to the next level above him or her. This manager is more of a police officer than an employee’s leader. He or she executes the rules. This style will only be the most effective when employees need to understand certain policy or procedures, and when they are working with dangerous or fragile equipment that requires a definite set of procedures in order to get it operate. However, it is possibly to have a negative effect when employees lose their interest in their jobs and employees do only what is expected of them and no more after they done the duty.

Being a staff member for Tesco is not about just getting good wages but offering great opportunities to retain the employees motivate. Tesco give free shares to everyone who’s worked with the company for one year and these Tesco shares are held in trust for five years, and after that you can take them. Development programs specifically designed to help employees to gain the experience and skills that they need to move on to the next Tesco challenge. It aims to develop a combination of leadership, and operating skills through the job experiences and a clear process that is designed to provide clear comments.

Motivation and leadership

Leadership and motivational qualities are excellent to have not only amid management in a business, but among employees as well. Many individuals tend to have a propensity to be leaders, while some learn successful leadership behaviors and go on to be effective leaders. Leading is the ability to influence others in a group. Being a good leader, it got to takes a good understanding of what motivates others. Leaders want to influence things to continue or create some changes. Either way it will takes a person with certain skills to do the work.

In my opinion, it is extremely important for a leader to recognize and understand the motivational process.  This process is what inspires followers into desired actions.  Without motivation followers would presumably not act and they would have no reason to act.  Maslow in Kolb, Osland, & Rubin Book (2001) discusses several common motivating factors.  Some people are motivated by achievement and some by a need for power.  If a follower is motivated by achievement needs such as the need for endorsement, then rewarding this follower with power might not be very effective. Maslow in Ott (1996) discusses that man’s requirements is to meet needs in a hierarchical order.  Physiological needs are first, then safety needs, followed by ego needs, growth needs and, finally by self actualization needs.  Therefore, individual motivation comes from a wide variety of factors.  If the leader does not recognize the motivational needs of followers, the leader may be ineffective.  

An overly controlling style de-motivates and could results in poor delivery. Although intended to boost the performance level, but this style is perceived as lacking trust. Eventually individuals will lose their motivation to make decisions at one point, which leaders see as proof of poor performance and so the cycle is reinforced. Alternatively, leaders can treat individuals as good performers and use a more motivational style allowing greater deliberation. Praising outputs, asking opinions and giving interesting assignments, for example, in turn reinforce a motivational cycle.

People are motivated when they feel they are at the centre of things rather than outside and so leaders are told to be participative, not directive. As a rule, experienced team members need less direction and in our energetic, networked organizations, and individuals must be self-manageable. The aim of this is to motivate people to become self-directing business participants.


Both leadership styles have their advantages and disadvantages for the organization as a whole. On one hand, democratic decisions may benefit the work morale of team members and have a positive effect on the climate within a hierarchical organization. On the other hand, democratic decisions may result in ignoring more efficient but less socially accepted options and have a negative influence on the team results. Sometimes autocratic decisions may undermine work morale. However, by making an unpopular decision, leaders might be able to reach team goals in the most efficient way which benefits both leaders themselves as well as their subordinates.

In our experiment, we find that autocratic and democratic decisions appear to be equally profitable for both teams as a whole. Nevertheless, while leaders receive essentially the same payoff from autocratic and democratic decisions, ordinary players earn much more money from democratic style rather than from autocratic leadership decisions.

Increasingly however, development programs and leadership training courses are putting motivation centre-stage. We are all motivated by the people surround us and motivation is increasingly important in these uncertain times to help people perform at their maximum level.

Motivation theories, considered old hat by many leaders, have been around for more than 40 years. Recently these theories have slid off the leadership agenda through the belief that people should be totally self-motivating. Furthermore, the ability to increase people’s motivation is not always used in the right way. Leadership should not be based on lies, trickery, or manipulation. When leading other individuals it is important that they are all getting a benefit out of their own actions and it is very important to be honest and treating others well at all times.

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