Motivation and Leadership

Motivation and Leadership


Motivational theories are not simply a study of human behaviour but they can act as guides for managers leading and motivating their teams. These theories try to establish people’s basic drivers which trigger their behaviour[1]. There is no one theory to summarise human behaviour.

“Certainly such understanding could lead to great power since it would allow the control of behaviour without visible and unpopular trappings of control.”[2]

There is however now a much better understanding of why we make certain decisions and what drives us to do these. Often these decisions are made on a subconscious level, or some may be made deliberately. Over the last few decades different theorists have made their contributions to understanding what drives us.

I have recently been appointed to be the new team leader of one of the studios in my medium sized architectural practice. I will be responsible for 15 professional members of staff. The team shares administrative support and the workload in the studio is appropriate to the number of staff. The overall atmosphere in the studio is friendly but has recently run a little stale. It is unlikely that there will be any additions to the team or any significant pay-rises in the near future. The senior partner has no specific concerns with this team but has asked me to raise the motivation and ambitions of the team. As this will be the first time that I will have managed a professional team I have decided to consult in some motivational theory.

Motivational Theory

In the following paragraphs I will analyse Herzberg’s two factor theory in light of my new job as a manager. The theory, as it implies divides our human drivers into two factors. One being a hygiene or maintenance factor, this usually entails conditions to do with work, for example company policy, salary, interpersonal relations, and the work environment. The other factor is a motivator or growth factor. These factors deal with the work itself,...

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