Leadership and motivation case study


Leadership and motivation assess human acts which people utilize when interacting with others. Thus, this analytical treatise attempts to explicitly review the leadership theories such as transformational and participatory leadership theories. Besides, the treatise reviews motivational theories such as the incentive and the arousal theories. These theories are related to leadership and motivation issues identified in the leadership and motivation case study.

Leadership theories

Transformational leadership theory

Transformational leadership provides an opportunity to motivate employees to give a desired output. When the management embraces the principles of transformational leadership, it becomes easy to convince employees to be flexible to change.

For instance, Jonathan, who is Stephanie’s supervisor, has embraced transformational leadership skills and has empowered Alex’s friend to explore her full potential. The main characteristics of transformational leadership include adaptability, empowerment, commitment, contribution, and critical problem solving skills (Biswas, 2011).

Stephanie states that Jonathan has created a self inspired team who does not need constant supervision, unlike Dan’s team. Jonathan’s ten years experience as a supervisor in the supermarket has equipped him with admirable skills of controlling group behavior and inspiring change. Stephanie is inspired to meet the target without feeling any pressure and she describes herself as happy (Robbins, Judge, and Hasham, 2012).

Leadership expectancy theory

Expectancy theory in leadership functionality in an organization influences the behavior of a person making decision away from personal prejudice, stereotype, or emotions. The expectancy theory offers the most ethically viable option for proactive leadership management of behavior. This theory identifies the aspects of effort-performance expectancy, valence expectancy, and performance-outcome expectancy (Drake, Wong, and Salter, 2007).

Unlike Dan, Jonathan has inspired positive expectation among his team. They are constantly changed from one department to another and really feel appreciated. Within a month, Stephanie has moved to four departments and she feels like a member of Jonathan’s work family. Alex, who belongs to Dan’s team, is not motivated and expects nothing, hence the sluggish attitude towards work (Robbins et al., 2012).

Motivational theories

Incentive theory

Incentive theory apprehends the perception that an individual holds in regards to performance reward. Thus, higher motivational expectation attracts better performance of such an individual in an organization. For instance, a quantifiable paradigm shift in perception can be linked to correlation between reward and performance in an organization. The incentive theory explores the weight an individual allocates to a reward in motivating performance (Drake et al., 2007).

Stephanie is expecting the seventy five dollars incentive for meeting her target of selling 10 bottles of truffle oil. On the other hand, Stephanie feels constantly threatened by the arrogant supervisor, who promoted employees such as Denise, who gets a pay rise of two dollars per hour for complementation her boss’ dressing style (Robbins et al., 2012).

Arousal theory

Arousal theory functions on communication culture to create structural goals which develop norms, expectations of specific behavior display, and appropriate guideline controlling interaction with one another. For instance, when the underlying command plans originate from the opinionated inclination of such an individual, the results would basically be aligned towards self contempt (Biswas, 2011).

Alex is aroused by her boss to develop a negative attitude towards her work, since Dan does not use professional language besides being too quick to criticize. Stephanie feels appreciated and is very happy with her boss for being professional, open minded and proactive towards his team (Robbins et al., 2012).


Biswas, S. (2011). Commitment, involvement, and satisfaction as predictors of employee performance. South Asian Journal of Management, 18(2), 92-107.

Drake, A. R., Wong, J., & Salter, S. B. (2007). Empowerment, motivation, and performance: examining the impact of feedback and incentives on non management employees. Behavioral Research in Accounting, 2(3), 1971-1989.

Robbins, S., Judge, T., & Hasham, E. (2012). Organizational Behavior (12 ed.). New York, NY: Pearson/Prentice Hall Publishing.