Behavioral Influences / Leadership / Performance Evaluation Essay
Expectancy theory is related to the motivation of the employees which is dependent upon the employees’ behavior and incentives given by the management. If the management is able to motivate its employees they will put in more effort while working, which means efficiency higher returns for the company. The three components of the expectancy theory are expectancy, valence and instrumentality (Vroom, 1964).
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All of these three variables are required if an employee needs to be motivated positively. The expectancy component is the belief that increase in efforts will accounts for better performance and vice versa. This means that a person is motivated if there is a positive relationship between efforts and performance given that he has proper training, resources and direction to perform the job. Expectancy is also affected by the confidence the employee has about on his capabilities. Valence component in the expectancy theory refers to the value people place on the expected outcome or rewards of their efforts. If a person is motivated mainly by money, he might not value free insurance given by the company. Valence is the intensity of the desire of a worker for extrinsic and intrinsic rewards such as promotion, fringe benefits, bonuses, overtime and satisfaction (Droar, 2003).
Instrumentality, the third component of expectancy theory is the confidence on the higher authorities that if the performance is well, the desired or promised reward will be received (Vroom, 1964). Instrumentality will be affected by the trust in people who make decisions of the outcomes and degree of business of the process of getting an outcome. Therefore the theory tells us that the relationship between the effort and performance is positive, which means that increase in effort will enhance performance (Vroom, 1964).
According to the theory the relationship between performance and rewards is also positive, which implies that better performance will result in more rewards.
In the given scenario, Supervisor A’s employees are facing difficulty in coping up with the new production process. The main reason for this is that the employees are not being compensated for their work. Those who achieve their goals are not given enough compensation therefore they feel unmotivated. When employees are not motivated, they do not put in enough effort to achieve their goals and hence their performance is not fine. The employees who have mastered the production process are not worried about accomplishing their goals because they know that even with added effort if they attain their goals, the compensation they will get is not worth the effort. Other employees, who have not mastered it, are not putting in enough effort because they think they are not capable of doing so. Therefore there is a dire need for motivation of the employees who are under Supervisor A. The supervisor should find out what resources, training or management of employees is needed to motivate the employees; this is the expectancy component of the expectancy theory. The supervisor should also find out what do the employees value, their bonuses and salaries should be increased according to their performance; this is the valence part of the expectancy theory. Supervisor also has to make sure that the perception of the employees about their supervisor’s promises is correct, they should be compensated as promised; this is the instrumentality component. In the scenario, the employees’ salaries are not being increased as promised by the supervisor; their bonuses after withholding tax are very small. Thus if the supervisor is able to fill the gaps in all of these three components, he will be able to motivate the employees to increase effort and hence performance and the goals will be achieved.
The leadership style of Leader B is transactional, Leader C is transformational and Executive has a “Level 5” leadership style. Transactional leadership focuses on setting specific goals for each team member and encourage them to meet the agreed upon goals (Bryant, 2003). In the scenario it is given that Leader B establishes clear goals by clarifying role and task requirements and continually guiding subordinates in the direction of these goals, and therefore it is a characteristic of transactional leadership. In transactional leadership, the team members are awarded when they are able to achieve their goals on time and punished when agreed upon goals are not achieved or are not achieved on time (Iain, 2007). In the scenario given, Leader B considers the team member to be personally at fault if the delegated task is not completed and issues punishments for failures. Transactional leadership recognizes accomplishments of individual subordinates and they are rewarded for achieving the objectives agreed upon (Iain, 2007). In the scenario given, Leader B believes in a clear chain of commands and in rewarding good performance and recognizing employee accomplishments. Leader B also rewards subordinates for their successes. Leader B’s transactional leadership style has been justified now by including the examples from the given text.
Transformational leadership depends more on personal relationship with subordinates and is supported by trust rather than committing to contracts (Jung & Avolio, 1999). In the scenario it is given that Leader C tried to remember his team members’ birthdays and makes an effort to work with them as their coach instead of their manager. Transformational leadership also tries to satisfy its followers’ self-interest and encourages the followers to replace these interests with the interests of the team. In the scenario, Leader C encourages the group to surpass their own self-interest for the betterment of the organization. This type of leadership also focuses on organizational change through stress on new values and different vision of the future which transcends the status quo (Gellis, 2001). Leader C in the scenario also believes that the group can have great success when they are passionate and enthusiastic about a vision. Transformational leaders motivate its followers to achieve their goals through nurturing their individual skills and capabilities (Barbuto, 2005). Leader C in the scenario sets high hopes for subordinates, instills individualism of employees for the benefit of organization and takes a rational problem-solving approach. The Level 5 leadership is described as being hesitant and unruly, shy and fearless and modest with a stern commitment to high standards (Jon Jenkins and Gerrit Visser, 2001). This type of leadership takes struggling organizations from being fine to great and produces other fine leaders within the organizations for future.
The Level 5 leadership takes responsibility for the failures and accredits other leaders for accomplishments (Jon Jenkins and Gerrit Visser, 2001). This leadership also establishes unique ideas, long-term vision and values for the organization. In the scenario, Executive A is clearly a level 5 leader as he shies away from attention and accredits others for achievements. He accepts responsibility for failures and poor results; and feels delighted to produce strong leadership within the organization. Therefore it is apparent that Executive A is a Level 5 leader as he took the struggling organization into hands and reshaped the stock prices and company profits into eye-catching ones and he also shares his long-term vision, ideas and values with other leaders of the company.
When the Executive A retires and if Leader B is appointed as the CEO, then most of the employees in the organization will start working for their own interest as they will be held responsible for their failures and accomplishments and will be compensated accordingly. Supervision of the employees will become an integral part of managers’ routine as they may use organization’s resources for their personal interests. Transactional leadership is successful in stable organizations because it helps to improve control over employees and reinforces constructive administrative actions through rewards and punishments. Therefore Leader B may find his style appropriate in the organization. Transformational leadership maintains employees’ performance through loyalty to organization, trust in the leader and changes in values and standards of the organization. Leader C has this style of leadership, and if appointed the CEO, the employees will surely have higher motivation and self-confidence; they will get chances and supervision to improve their skills and capabilities. Through self-realization of employees and personal relationships with them, Leader C will be able to make them feel an integral part of the organization and increase their performance beyond expectations.
Individuals often take one of the bases of power in an organization in which they are employed. There are five bases of power which act as a source of organization; they will be discussed one by one. The first one is Position in Hierarchy (Woldring, 2001), that is the rank of the individual in an organization. The higher the individual’s place in the organizational rank structure, the greater the power he will have. In the given scenario, Employee 1 is using position in hierarchy as the source of his power. He has worked in the marketing department for 12 years and he frequently comes to the office on weekends or stays late to make sure smooth running of tasks. The second base of power is Referent Power (Woldring, 2001); this is the personal relation of an individual with others who are higher in the organizational hierarchy. It only exists if the individual can actually reference the authenticity of relationship so that it can act as a basis of power. Employee 2 has this power as he negotiated with his manager to work four days a week and is the only person who is allowed to have a shorter work week. Third type of power is Reward Power (Raven, 1959); individuals who have a greater degree of control over resources of organization, have greater power. Individuals even lower in the organizational hierarchy can have greater controller over resources of the organization (Woldring, 2001). This power is based on the ability to give valuable reward to others who perform well (Raven, 1959). In the scenario given, Employee 1 has this power as he is controlling the resources of his department to get the large bonus at the year end, and he will spend this bonus on his vacations. The fourth base of power is Demonstrated Expertise (Woldring, 2001); an individual who has an exceptional capability or special knowledge that no other has in the organization. Only having expertise is not sufficient, others should know about the importance of this person’s expertise and its value. Employee 2 has this power as he is the only company employee who can prepare financial statements. The fifth and final source of power is Personality Power or Coercive Power (Woldring, 2001); the perceived personality of the individual is the power here. If the person has strong interpersonal skills, charming and attractive personality, then he will be able to influence others to conform to his ideas or demands (Raven, 1959). This is the case with Employee 3, who has been in the organization for just a year, but because of his personality power, he was able to change entire department’s beliefs.
Relationship between Bases of Power and Dependency:
The Bases of Power use the concept of Dependency. An employee can only use its base of power on another employee if the other one is dependent on him. As Emerson (1962, p. 32) argues that “power resides implicitly in the other‘s dependency” and that “the power of A over B is equal to, and based upon, the dependence of B upon A”. Therefore if a person B is dependent of another person A, only then the power of A exists. The level of power of person A depends upon the degree of dependence of person B on person A and the alternatives available to person B. If there is no dependence then power over another person does not exists. The accounting manager in the given scenario is the person who is dependent upon Employee 2 because of the Expertise power of Employee 2. Employee 2 is the only person in the organization who can prepare the financial statements and so the manager is dependent upon him to prepare it. Employee 1 is dependent upon marketing manager for the award he wants, that is why he stays late in the office to make sure of the completion and accuracy of the work and he often come to office on weekends. Employee 3 was selected as the leader of the team working on new project; all others related to the project are dependent upon him because of his Coercive power.
The first problem with the company’s current evaluation form is that the rating scales in the form mostly focus on relationships with other employees and on the personality; it is more of a personality test rather than performance and skills evaluation. Instead of evaluating the neatness of the workplace, relationships with peers, attitude with others and friendliness, the questions should be more specific to the performance and quality of work. Performance factors such as knowledge, skills, abilities, quality and timeliness of work, efforts of the employee, works habits, supervisory factors, cooperation, adaptability and effectiveness of communication should be evaluated. The second concern in the evaluation form is that the rating scales are not specific and measurable. The scale being used is to rate an attribute is not numeric or scalar, high, low-medium, medium are being used to score against the attribute. A better approach of scoring will be to use a scale with numeric scale, the highest described as “Superior” and lowest as “Unsatisfactory”. Another option of “Not Applicable” should also be present with all attributes. The use of measurable scale will ease the work for evaluator and he will be able to rate the employee’s attributes more accurately. The third concern in the evaluation form is that the performance factors are not specific. When the manager had to give rating on the engineer’s attitudes, he had to take in to account the engineer’s attitudes towards his job and tasks that he is assigned to do and also his attitudes towards co-workers and manager. The factors should be more specific so that the evaluator can give the ratings to specific attribute and every attribute is taken into account. In the scenario, the manager gave engineer a low rating in the attitude factor although his attitude towards work was very serious and he completed his tasks in a very well manner. He got a low rating because of his poor attitude towards the peers and manager.
The 360-degree approach to employee evaluation involves supervisor, peers, and subordinates into the evaluation of an individual. This approach has its own pros and cons. Many people participate in evaluating a person so it gives complete view of the performance of the person. The performance view is captured from the supervisor, peers and the subordinates, they respond as they see the person’s performance. It reduces the bias of the supervisor or the manager towards an employee. It the supervisor does not likes the attitude of appearance of the employee, and then he might rate the employee with a lower score. If the employee’s attitude with the supervisor is not favorable but the peers and subordinates like the attitude of the employee, then this can be captured in the evaluation process. Many people participate in the evaluation process, so the score becomes more reliable and more accurate. The supervisor may not have a personal relation with the employee and may not know him too well to rate his personality and attitude towards work. It is also possible that the employee have had some kind of incident with the supervisor in the past and since then the attitude towards the employee had become unfavorable. Then the supervisor would obviously rate him low in the performance factors. Most of the times in an organization, peers and co-workers know the employee better than the supervisor; so when the peers will evaluate the employee, they will be able to give the ratings more accurately and their ratings will be more reliable than any others. The attitude of a person towards his sub-ordinates is also very important, this attitude can be recorded when subordinates will take part in the evaluation process of the employee. And then after the evaluation, the employee can leverage his strengths according to others’ perception of his performance and personality. So, 360-degree approach to performance evaluation helps in evaluating the employee from many views and in recording reliable and more accurate information then the traditional forms of evaluations and is not only helpful to the management to make important decisions but also is useful to the person being evaluated .
There are some disadvantages too of including the supervisor, peers and subordinates in the evaluation process. One of the main disadvantages is that all the peers and subordinates may not like the personality of the employee being evaluated and may rate him very low based on his attitude and personality. The main purpose of evaluating an employee is to evaluate the performance and skills and attitude towards the work and tasks assigned to him. The co-workers and subordinates may have issues with employee being evaluated because of personality clash, and although his work is up to the mark and performance is well, but still the peers, supervisor and subordinates might give him low score on performance. There are a handful of employee performance evaluation methods; three of them are topdown, peer-to-peer and 360-degree. Top-down is the most commonly used in the organizations today. It involves the direct manager of the employee in the evaluation process and is only useful if the manager knows his employee well enough.