1. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one of the foundational elements of contemporary motivation theories. Based on Maslow’s needs hierarchy, Tom, Dick, and Harry exemplify three different motivations. Tom’s commitment to family relations and values, as well as his reliance on the values of hippie and self-sufficiency, implies that he is primarily concerned about satisfying his physiological and safety needs. Tom seems to lack self-actualization needs and strivings; it is also possible that family is the most important driver and object of Tom’s self-actualization decisions. In reality, however, these are the importance of family and children’s safety and the sense of belonging that drive Tom along his career path. In the meantime, Dick feels physiologically and physically satisfied. He lacks self-esteem needed to pursue a rapid career, but his self-actualization needs and motivations are centered on belonging to the company, being loyal to the company, and being identified as part of the team. Unlike Tom and Dick, in his motivations and self-actualization needs, Harry is limited to himself. While Tom is motivated by his family needs and Dick seeks loyalty and belonging to the company, Harry is what Maslow calls “consumed by a never-ending pursuit of excellence” (Datta, n.d.). He does not look beyond himself and does not seem to recognize that he also owes something to the company and his society. Financial wellbeing is his primary motivator and the reward Tom wants to have for his professional accomplishments.
2. Tom, Dick, and Harry exemplify different motivations; likewise, they are being dominated by different sets of core needs. Based on Herzberg’s two-factor theory, Tom is dominated by lower-level needs, which are also called ‘maintenance factors’. He is not driven or inspired by work itself but, rather, is motivated by the need to provide financing to his family. Dick, in turn, is clearly an example of intrinsic motivation. Even if he lacks independency and boldness when dealing with other people, he can successfully work as part of a team and successfully cope with the majority of his workplace tasks. Harry seems to be a kind of person who is driven by intrinsic needs for achievement and self-actualization. This, however, is an erroneous impression. Harry lacks intrinsic motivation. His core need is money which, according to Herzberg’s two-factor theory, is a maintenance factor. Herzberg notes that addressing maintenance factors can make employee better motivated, but it will not make them satisfied with what they are doing. This is why Harry can easily quit any job, if the material and fringe benefits provided do not meet his expectations.
3. McClelland proposes a set of motives that are the most important in motivating individuals at work. Needless to say, all three gentlemen are being driven by different motives. Tom seeks affiliation; he needs affiliation with his family and children, which is hardly possible if he does not provide financing and guarantees happiness and wellbeing of his family. Like Tom, Dick also seeks affiliation but of a different kind – affiliation with the company and its people. Unfortunately, Dick lacks independence and assertiveness to accomplish his goal but he has already proved himself loyal to the company’s goals and has responded well to most, if not all, company policies. All Harry wants is power – money is the way he chose for himself in his professional growth. Achievement and promotions interest Harry only to the extent which adds to his purse. Unfortunately, unreasonable quest for power and money can often lead to unethical behaviors and greed.
4. From the viewpoint of the Porter-Lawler expectancy theory, motivation to perform and achieve is essentially about what people expect to get from their jobs. Individuals usually expect that their actions will lead to a certain desired outcome; they also judge the value and individual importance of this outcome. Tom expects that his job will primarily benefit his family. Greater benefits, flexible time schedules to have more time for his family, and fringe benefits in the form of paid family vacations and Christmas presents could keep Tom motivated. In case of Dick, the latter clearly needs more training and skills to meet his workplace objectives. Teamwork, assertiveness and self-esteem training opportunities could not merely enhance Dick’s performance in the workplace but motivate him to achieve more in his work. Finally, with a strong personality and commitment to money, Harry expects that his work will give him drive, autonomy, and financial wellbeing. Therefore, the company can reward Harry, by giving him greater autonomy and decision-making freedom, followed by progressive rewards, as he is moving toward the company’s strategic goals.
5. Tom, Dick, and Harry will react differently to empowerment and participation in goal setting. Tom, on the one hand, may need empowerment and participation in goal-setting, to be able to balance his work and family obligations. On the other hand, given the lack of intrinsic motivation, Tom may not be able to utilize empowerment potential to the fullest and may need guidance while setting professional goals and meeting them. This is also the case of Dick, who lacks assertiveness and independence and may not be able to benefit from being empowered. Yet, giving Dick voice in goal-setting can help him to develop the skills he currently lacks. Harry is who will benefit from empowerment and goal-setting the most. He has self-efficacy required to set higher goals and achieve them (Locke & Latham, 2002). As long as Harry is empowered to set goals and, he will also be more successful than Dick and Harry in developing task strategies to achieve them for profit. However, leaders must exercise caution and set boundaries on Harry’s decision-making opportunities, to ensure that empowerment and goal-setting do not cross the boundaries of acceptable behaviors in the company.
6. Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model builds on the concept of maturity, which defines the degree to which individuals are ready to do the job. Both Tom and Dick will benefit from the ‘selling’ leadership style. Both gentlemen demonstrate from low (Tom) to moderate (Dick) professional maturity. Tom needs ‘selling’ behavioral support to understand how company decisions and strategic moves benefit his position within the company and, as a result, his financial wellbeing and family. In the meantime, Dick needs guidance to understand how exactly to accomplish his goals. He lacks autonomy and assertiveness to act independently. He seeks belonging and affiliation with the company and other team members. He also faces difficulties while dealing with the people outside the department. However, with his loyalty and commitment to the company, ‘selling’ will guide Dick through the most difficult situations. It is also possible that participation will let Dick develop assertiveness and self-esteem to enhance his workplace motivation. In case of Harry, participating leadership style is what can provide the desired balance of autonomy, decision-making, and control over the decisions Harry takes. Harry exhibits high levels of maturity, but using delegating leadership style is not the best choice for Harry. With his assertiveness and almost blind commitment to financial rewards, delegation can cause serious harm to the company and give Harry the power and freedom to cross the boundaries of appropriate behaviors for the sake of financial rewards.
7. Transactional and transformational leadership models are probably the two most popular contemporary leadership paradigms. Depending on their motivations, goals, and individual features, different people will respond to transformational and transactional leadership in entirely different ways. Tom and Dick are more likely than Harry to respond positively to transactional leadership. This is mainly because transactional leaders set clear standards of performance, create and clarify expectations, monitor subordinates’ performance and mistakes and take actions before damage is caused (Ismail et al, 2010). By contrast, Harry will, most probably, choose to follow a transformational leader, since the latter sets challenging goals, makes followers think creatively, and views the followers as having different abilities, needs, and aspirations (Ismail et al, 2010). However, because transformational leadership emphasizes moral and ethical consequences of each decision and action, Harry may find himself in a serious conflict with its philosophy. Simultaneously, it is through transformational leadership that the company can instill pride in Harry and encourage him to perform better (Ismail et al, 2010).
8. Servant leadership can potentially benefit all three gentlemen. All of them have their needs and want to have them satisfied. Servant leadership is built on the premise that caring for others is the critical ingredient of any society’s wellbeing (Humphreys, 2005). Apparently, Tom will accept servant leadership as an opportunity to meet his work-family balance needs. Dick will also welcome the implementation of servant leadership frameworks, as long as servant leaders will exhibit care and concern about his achievements and failures. The servant leadership model is all about stewardship, compassion, healing, and awareness (Humphreys, 2005). All these are what both Tom and Dick need in their work. Harry also has needs to be satisfied. Yet, servant leadership is not the best way to motivate and guide him. The fact is in that servant leaders nourish their followers to become whole and, eventually, transform into servant leaders as well (Humphreys, 2005). While Harry can use servant leaders to meet his goals, he himself cannot become a servant leader. As previously mentioned, Harry is being consumed by his own goals and individual ambitions, and servant leaders can hardly provide the support and guidance he needs to accomplish his professional and individual missions.
9. Depending on individual characteristics and motivators, Tom, Dick and Harry will need different types of power to guide them to the top of the professional ladder. For Tom, reward power is the best source of benefits. Tom should be influenced by providing something that is valuable to him or, more specifically, to his family and relationships with his family members. Tom does not want more than needed to provide for his family, and he is disinterested in most workplace/ organizational activities. However, he can grow motivated if he knows that his participation in workplace activities will eventually benefit his family. Unlike Tom, Dick will respond to a combination of expert and information power most positively. Information power will help Dick to answer the main questions related to his work and understand what is happening within the organization. Expert power will provide knowledge and skills to cope with his workplace tasks. Expert power will work best through training and education; it has already been noted that both can help Dick to develop better assertiveness and self-esteem and, consequentially, develop expertise and be promoted to a higher position. It is difficult to imagine that Harry will respond nicely to any kind of power. On the one hand, reward power is what Harry needs to ensure his achievements transform into monetary benefits. On the other hand, legitimate power is required to control and balance Harry’s actions. Certainly, Harry will have freedom and autonomy to set individual goals and develop task strategies to achieve them; but once he decides to cross the boundaries of appropriate conduct, legitimate power will make it easier to prevent professional misconduct for the sake of material benefits.