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Motivation and Leadership in Social Work Management Essay

Motivation and leadership are very important components in social work management. Good managers should be aware not only of practical facets of that but also have a theoretical bases. That is why the work titled “Motivation and Leadership in Social Work Management” was written. The author of that composition is Elizabeth Fisher from Shippensburg Uniwersity in Pennsylvania. In that paper she is articulating some kinds of motivation or leadership theories and how they apply to social work.

First part of the lecture is dealing about motivation theories which are divided on: content theories of motivation and process theories of motivation. In the first group we can find Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which one of the most popular theories in this area. In Maslow’s opinion there are five levels od needs which are pshysiological (food, shelter), security (protection from loos of treats), social (affiliation and acceptance), ego (self-esteem, recognition) and self-actualization. He created a pyramid in which all that needs are cointaned. In that hierarchy pshysiological needs are on the bottom and self-actualization is lying on the highest level. Good manager should motivates workers by the need that corespond with the level that they are currently at. The point is that the

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need from lower level will be not motivating for them. For example if worker has good salary, house and a good car, pshysiological need will not attracted him unless his situation changes.

Another thesis regarding of motivation is Herzberg’s Two Factors of Motivator-Hygiene Theory. The basic promise of this theory is that there are two types od needs that motivate workers, ie. hygiene and motivator. Hygiene factors are realated to the work environment and include things like salary, benefits, policies, working conditions and realtionship. They are really important to prevent job dissatisfaction by the worker. Motivator factors are focused on personal growth and self-actualization. They are the best for promoting achievements and satifaction with work. They include accomplishments, recognition and responsibility. In Herzberg opinion there is nothing better for workers to achieve satisfaction with work. From that theory were rised two types of management. Job enrichmen includes providing as many factors as possible. The second one is job enlargement which is necessary when job enrichment is impossible and provides employees with as much variety as possible.

The last one theory in content theories of motivation group is McClelland’s Trichotomy of Needs. He claimed that people are motivated by three needs which are power, affiliation and achievement. Every of that needs have impact on worker but it depends on the personal character which need will have the strongly impact on employee. That is why the employer has to know which kind of need will be the most influencial for his worker and then try to provides a chance to fulfill this need. For example employee who are primarly motived by power will perform better when given opportunities for control and influence on others and often have outspoken personalities.

Now I want to describe two theses which are cointained in process theories of motiviaton begging from the Equity or Social Comprasion Theories of Motivation. We all know that workers are likely to look toward their peers to find out how they do their job. They want to compare each other and everybody wants to be the best. This comparing is the motivation factor. Really important is to practice open salary scales and performance structures which permit workers to compare and can be important in managing efectively. Social work menagers should be careful not to ignore the important influence od peers on employees performance. Weiner had an another point of view and he described different theory which is Goals and Objectives as Motivational Theory. He claimed that employees and organizations set goals that influence individual and organizational behaviour. The more there two goals intersect. the more likely the worker i to achieve for the the good of organization anf for himself.

Going by the second part of the referee I had posibillity to became aware of leadership theories in social work management. Elizabeth Fisher described several theories of leadership which I will talk over in this section. I am going to begin from the McGregor’s Theory X – Theory Y. He developed these ideas based on the assumption that manager’s styles depend on what they believe motivates human behaviour. A social work manager that people are motivated by the concepts of Theory X or Theory Y, and then the manager’s actions are in accordance. Theory X is telling that workers are averse to a job and they are naturally irresponsible. They are doing everything which is connecting in their own interest. The only way to get good achievements from them is to use coercive methods. Accordance to Theory Y work is natural for people and it is something that they want to do. Humans are generally more motivated by self-actualization need than reward or punishments. They have natural ability to be crative and productive.

Another system was developed by Renis Likert. It is a model of understanding leadership and the performance characteristisc of organizations. It is called Likert’s System 1 – System 4. Each system represents one of four types of organizations and depends of the performing scale. System 1 organizations are more inflexible and tradicional bureaucratic organizations. This is the type of the lowest producing organizations. System 2 leaders use selling techniques to engage workers. Managers consult with employees in System 3. The most satisfied employees are found in System 4 organizations. This one is representing the highest production and it is the most effective one. Every systems, especially System 1 should aspire to become one of the System 4 organization.

A consecutive theory is Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid. This is the model based on a grid with two axes. Two horizontal axis represents the degree to which managers are concerned with production and results. The vertical axes represents the degree to which managers are concerned for people. Managers score between 1 and 9 on each axis which produces are combination score. One represents the least concern and nine represents the maximum one. Thanks to this system managers can self-rate their performance in relation to ask and relationship behaviours. Employees can also a posibillity to rate the manager. All the reasults can be compared then. The best style would be 9,9 manager. This type of leader does nor assume that there i a conflick between organizational and worker needs.

Hersey and Blanchard worked out an another offer of the effective leadership which is Sitational Leadership. This one is not the result od genetic features or natural abilities. It calls on managers to use the most effective style, depending on the situation or employee. Really important is to get know and understand the levev of worker’s maturity which contains willigness and ability. Depends of that level manager chooses the best managerial style for the situation. The four styles include telling, selling, participating and delegating. The most mature workers are best managed with a delegatingg style. The least mature workers are best managed with a telling style.

One of the last systems is Atwatr and Bass’s Transformational Leadership. This one goes beyond the traditional transactional leadership style that emphasized exchanges among leaders and followers, the requirements and conditions for rewards, and agreements between leaders and followers. Atwaw and Bass claimed that transformational leaderhip is not connected with the idea that workers are motivated by rewards and punishment. Employees are motivated by factors which are principles to transformational leadership. It is known as the four I’s which include idealized influence, intelectual stimulation, individual consideration and inspiratinal motivation.

The last system I want o talk about is Learning Organizations Theory developed by Senge. This way of thinking is including five basic tenets. The most basic one includes system thinking. Social work is readily adaptable to this mode of thinking given its focu on systems thinking with cients and their environments at all level of practice. Another important factor is the personal mastery which means proficiency nad continual learning. A third component includes identyfying and assessing mental models. The mental models can be indentyfied at both the indyvidual and organizatinal levels. Building a shared vision is the another aspect of learning organization. It is really hard to put a vision which everybody would be able to share. Much easier is to put some indyvidual visions but that is not the point. The lat assumption in this model is team learning. It is really important to value every member of the team, not only whole group.

Every of this systems was tried to included to work management. Some of them was really successfull, but in most cases need more application and testing in the social work field. Anyway this paper is really helpfull for managements to find the best solution how to administer a workers.

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