Leadership and Motivational Theory

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A Question of Motivation
Florence Adepoju, Traci Howard, Ashley Jackson, & Nadia Syahmalina BMGT 364: Management and Organization Theory
Professor Steiger
September 23, 2012
The case study, A Question of Motivation, explores the various types of leadership styles that affect the motivation of the employee. Jonathan and Dan have two different managerial styles. Jonathan, a supervisor in the supermarket, varies the duties of his subordinates (Robbins & Judge). In contrast, Dan, the other supervisor in the case study, prefers consistent routine and station adherence with a focus on repetitiveness (Robbins et al). The depiction of Jonathan in the case study is that of a supervisor who is well liked and more hands off. As such, everyone at the supermarket wants to work for him (Robbins et al). Dan, on the other hand, is portrayed as caustic and a stickler for 30-minute lunch breaks (Robbins et al). The protagonist of the case study is Alex and his friend, Stephanie. Alex works underneath the supervision of Dan and Stephanie is Jonathan's employee. Alex is depicted as unhappy and frustrated, while Stephanie is spirited and motivated. Through Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Equity Theory, Hersey Blanchard Theory of Leadership, and the Path-Goal Theory of Leadership, this paper will analyze the management styles of Jonathan and Dan and how each style influences the motivation of their employees, Stephanie and Alex. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory that shows the relationship of an employee’s personal needs to the employee’s work, and how the employee’s personal needs are satisfied within their assigned work (Gawel, 1997). It includes five types of needs, which are presented in order of satisfaction: physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization (Certo & Certo, 2012). As these needs are examined, my conclusions will show how Stephanie’s needs are being met while Alex’s needs are not. 1. The first need is a person’s physiological one that includes basic needs like hunger, thirst, and shelter. Both Stephanie and Alex’s physiological needs are met by their ability to partake in lunch breaks, have a position that allows them flexible work hours, and ultimately being employed at the grocery store that provides them with an income. 2. The safety need can also be displayed for both Stephanie and Alex. They are both provided with physically safe working environments, and wages that manage to cover their food and housing. On the other hand, Alex’s emotional safety is in question. He has to deal with his manager, Dan’s, verbal abuse. This is displayed when Dan infers that Alex is lazy and dumb for taking a 30-minute lunch break. 3. Social needs are depicted as a person’s ability to be accepted among coworkers as well as customers, and their ability to acquire friendships (Certo & Certo, 2012). Stephanie’s has proved to do this through her friendship with Alex, her positive relationship with her manager, and the opportunity to interact with customers at the culinary center. Unfortunately, Alex has not been that lucky. He was able to become friends with Stephanie, but lacks acceptance and belongingness from Dan. Alex often notices he is given the same mundane tasks from day to day, while his coworker Denise works in different areas of the store and is paid more. This goes to show that Alex is not fully accepted at work. 4. Esteem needs are also an important factor in the hierarchy of needs concept. This can be shown through respect from others and self-respect. Jonathan gives Stephanie the respect she needs by assigning her to different duties each week and by giving her the chance to achieve a goal of selling 10 bottles of truffle oil. This in turn builds her self-esteem. Alex is not as lucky though. Dan often belittles him in front of others much like the situation that occurred on his lunch break. This...
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