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Categories: LeadershipPsychology

EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF LEADERSHIP STYLE ON EMPLOYEES MOTIVATION IN TESCO COMPANY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.INTRODUCTION.In the present business environment, leadership styles have emerged as a key to achieving greater organizational success because of their direct effect on employee’s motivation (Gopal and Chowdhury, 2014). In an investigation into the impact of leadership style on employee’s motivation, Gouraki (2013) posits that human resources are one of the key components of organizational management, implying that employees motivation is crucial to achieving set organizational goals and objectives.

According to Gopal and Chowdhury (2014), leadership styles are factors that create and support high motivation levels among employees. However in the same vein Buble et al (2014) showed a direct correlation between leadership style and employee motivation by demonstrating that an appropriate leadership style results in the most motivated workforce. Therefore understanding the most appropriate an ideal leadership style is key to directing, influencing, changing and controlling the behaviours of employees in a positive direction.

This research study investigates the impact of leadership style on Employees motivation in Tesco Company in the United Kingdom.

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Tesco is one of the largest leading retail company. The management of Tesco adapted a democratic style of leadership which is also known as the participant leadership whereby the employee’s voices are heard during decision making. The leadership of Tesco motivates the employees and due to this, the organisation continues to provide good services to their customers. It should be noted that the management gives emphasis on the importance of appointing leaders in each department to handle organisational process .

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The reason why this topic is relevant is to help increase the awareness and knowledge about the effect of leadership styles which may have an impact on the employee’s motivation in the workplace.


The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of leadership style on employee’s motivation in Tesco company. In this regard the objectives this research intends to achieve are as follows;

To review the extant literature about leadership styles and employee motivation.

To identify the leadership styles commonly adopted in Tesco company

To provide an understanding of the association between leadership style and employees motivation.


Leadership Styles

There is a large volume of published studies describing the impact of leadership styles on Employee’s motivation. According to jiang(2014) leadership style refers to the way a leader manages a specific project or organization. In essence organizational success can only be achieved through a leader who is endowed with critical leadership qualities along with the positive impacts of their leadership as a whole, some aspects of leadership styles includes teambuilding, clear communication links and a clear role. Researchers agree that the concept of leadership is universal , however it has been argued that its adoption is usually driven by culture (Roebuck, 2014,Rowley and Ulrich, 2014). This view is supported by Moore (2007) has he maintains that transformational and transactional leadership theories , are based on the interaction of the leader and the subordinate.

Leaders play a vital role in making sure that the teams are incorporated with a high degree of organizational commitment and job performance (Guatam&Malla, 2013). It is more demanding for a leader to motivate employees as businesses continue to prosper. A number of studies have examined and confirmed the contributions of effective leadership in attaining competitive advantage for any kind of organization (Petrick et al., 1999).

Aishat et al (2015) points out that top management employs a specific leadership style to enable them to achieve the stated corporate goals. The top level of management carries out decisions that ascertain the levels of accomplishing appropriate leadership styles. In her review she investigated the link between the leadership styles of managers and the job performance of employees. Drawing on an extensive range of sources such as Ojokuku et al (2012), the authors found out that it is the transformational leadership style that is practiced most by managers in an organization.

Leadership Style Theory

In the 1970’s Transactional and Transformational were introduced by Burns(1978). A few years later there was an expansion of the theory in 1985 by Bass. This theoretical model includes three styles of leadership Transformational, Transactional and laissez faire.

Transactional and Transformational leadership style

In differentiating the transactional leadership style and the transformational leadership style Burns(1987) opines that transactional leadership refers to a type of leadership that is based on an exchange relationship between the leader and the follower, the five factors of transformational leadership style are Idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual simulation and individualized consideration. According to Burns he felt that this exchange could generate different economic, political or Psychological forms, of which he argued that such leadership does not bring the leader and follower tighter to pursue a higher course. According to Bass(1999) he maintains that transactional form of leadership style focus on the clarification of task requirements and the focus on contingent rewards.

Transformational leaders interact with their followers in such a way that both leader and followers raise each other to a higher level of motivation and morality (Burns, 1978). According to Bass(1985) Transformational leaders are those who motivate followers to do more than originally was expected. However there is a difference between the two theories and it was investigated by Carlson and Perrewe (1995) which states that “The main difference between these two theories was that Burns restricts this type of leadership only to leaders who appeal to positive moral values. On the other hand, Bass argues that a transformational leader is one who increases commitment regardless of the final effect on the follower.

Laissez- Faire Leadership Style.A laissez faire leader is viewed as inactive unlike the transactional and transformational leader which is seen as an active leader (Yammarino & Bass, 1990). Therefore, this type of leadership was considered to be an inappropriate way to lead (Hartlog et al., 1997)

Avery’s Leadership Model.Avery (2004) sought to account for both the modern and the traditional leadership styles. In the model she offered a proposal that conquered the ambiguity seen in transactional and transformational leadership styles. The model proposes four leadership styles which are organic, classical, visionary and transactional.

Classical leadership refers to the ancient styles rarely used in the 21st century in which an elite group or an individual commands other people into following a given objective with litte questions or objections to the one in command(Avery, 2004), According to avery this leadership style may be coercive as in commanding or benevolent. In contrast transactional leadership is the style in which a leader interacts with with followers.(Bass and Avolio, 1994).In essence what this means is that a followers co plete a given task and in return leaders promise a given reward or punishment for the successful or unsuccessful completion of the task or set objectives. However this arrangement is best for a short term goal as leaders rarely empower their followers. Unlike classical and transactional leadership, visionary leadership refers to the style in which the leader provides a clear map for the future of the organization (Avery, 2004; Bass, 1978; Burns, 1985). Here the leader is seen as a vision bearer and also referred to as a transformational leadership, the notion of this leadership is that followers are empowered and given a notable level of authority to accomplish their task. Comparatively, organic leadership is a style of leadership in which the role of leadership is distributed among many individuals rather than focused on a single leader (Avery 2004; Avolio et al, 2009).

Whils organizations have different styles of leadership to choose from, it is noteworthy that only one style can be used at a time because organizations structure their operations and remuneration along the chosen style. This effectively makes it an uphill task to alternate between leadership styles as an organization.

Avery’s Leadership Model: Why Adopt Avery’s Typology of Leadership

It has been in the practice of leadership literature to conceptualize leadership typologies . However a number of authors have proposed different categories governing leadership styles, for example Bass (1985) claimed that transformational leadership has four aspects while transactional has three aspect still other authors have claimed their typologies of leadership such as Drath(2001), who identified three;Personal, interpersonal and relational; Goleman et al . (2002) who identified six, and Avery(2004) who identified four.

Goleman et al (2001) identified a particular typology of leadership which states that it is necessary for a leader to choose amongst the six leadership approaches based on the situation in which the leader is operating. There are sceptisms in relation to an idea that people can analyse situations and determine what is necessary with regard to leadership style. However from a follower perspective the feeling that a leader is inconsistent and unpredictable can lead to problems arising(Yunker&Yunker,2002).

Moreover it must be noted that Bass (1985) typology bears the basis of most leadership studies, however there are some criticisms concerning this theory. On is its overemphasis on the value of one or two leadership style like visionary and transactional whilst not giving importance to the rest (Jing&Avery, 2008; Trottier et al ., 2008). By concurrently considering conventional and modern leadership style, Avery’s (2004)typology is able to integrate more approaches and theories into four leadership styles classical, vissionry, transactional and organic. The usefulness of Avery’s leadership styles is seen in the notion that no single best way of leading prevails but that various types of leadership represents social origins.

Employee Motivation.Employee motivation according to Lin(2001) is seen as the psychological factors which determine the behaviour of the employee in a given organisation. Agreeing with this definition Hafiza et al(2001) opines that employee motivation involves certain process which has a significant impact on the employees. According to Tella et al (2007), managing people at work is a vital part of the management process. Usually an effectively managed organization views an average worker as the main source of quality and productivity and does not place greater importance to capital investment than to people resource as the basis of improvement.

The Link Between Leadership Style And Employees Motivation.

As noted by Jing and Avery(2008) maintains that the purpose of leaders is to create, impact and influence on an organizations dimension and relationship with other stake holders. In the same vein Mahmood and Basharat (2012) state that communication of a leader is important has an effect on causing charisma to instil confidence and trust in the followers.

Similarly Almansour (2012) suggests that when broadening and heightening the interests of their subordinate’s leaders adopts transformational leadership which likewise functions as a way to draw awareness and acceptance of organizational tasks. This leadership style is characterised by leader-follower interactions which are required in accomplishing routine performance that the leader and the follower has agreed on. The author also furthers that transactional, transformational and situational leadership styles positively influence the direction of the organization.

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