Leadership Styles and Employee Motivation

An Empirical Investigation in A Leading Oil Company in India

The study examined the effect of leadership style on employee motivation by investigating the influence of transformational leadership style and transactional leadership style on employee motivation.

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  1. Statement of the Problem

The influence of leadership style on staff motivation needs to be determined by studying the effects of transformational leadership and transactional leadership on employee motivation.

  1. Methodology

The survey technique was used. A questionnaire was utilized to elicit responses on leadership styles, employee motivation and respondents’ demographics.

  1. Significance of the Research

Motivation of personnel in an organization is the key to ensuring success in projects undertaken by the organization. Consequently, it is important to determine the degree to which leadership style impacts upon motivation.

  1. Limitation of the Study

The research was conducted for a particular segment of the industry and at a particular geographical area. It was also assumed that leadership and motivation factors were constant over a period of time.

  1. Literature Review
  2. Motivation

Kramer et al (2010) investigated the dependency of work attitude of nurses on good working conditions. White (2014) advocated offering sincere appreciation as a strategy to engender motivation in the worker. This would be in contrast to the familiar method of rewarding by offering tokens that could be counter-productive where employees construe such rewards as being impersonal.

  1. Leadership and the Work Environment

Hammerback et al (2015) have indicated that lower-paid workers believe that their employers do not care for them; and that workers are willing to increase their productivity if their nutrition and physical well-being could be enhanced. Jackson et al (2012) have found that at the managerial level, rewarding workers equitably for their additional efforts can be a catalyst towards their shouldering of more responsibilities. According to Stouten et al (2010), there is need for managers to promote ethics within the work environment so that employees are capable of handling duties ascribed to them without undue stresses or compromises. Sudja &Yuesti (2017) established the importance professional certifications in enhancing leadership and motivation among teachers in a school organization and articulated the role of the school organization in promoting an environment conducive to work. Thun &Bakker (2018) asserted that in ‘empowering leadership’, management strives for better performance among employees by utilizing job crafting to empower workers in accordance with their innate abilities and behavioral tendencies. Pescud et al (2015) articulated the concepts of a healthy work place and an unhealthy work place from the employee’s view-point; and determined the contribution of the employer in providing an environment conducive to work. The research was able to establish that managers are concerned with the welfare of their employees as a consequence of relationships developed during work and that this relationship actually promotes increased productivity.

In their research, Pawirosumarto et al (2017) discovered that leadership style is the number one motivator followed subsequently by organizational structure and working conditions.

  1. Transformational Leadership

Phaneuf et al (2016) investigated ‘transformation leadership’ as leadership style that engenders holistic growth in organizations and pointed out that transformational leadership thrives in an organizational setting where roles and functions are pre-defined.

  1. Transactional Leadership
  2. Findings

The factors that motivate staff include social status, self-actualization, remuneration good working environment and effective leadership style. The leader influences his subordinates by articulating his leadership style to the culture of the organization so that he could effectively provide adequate motivation to his subordinates. Subsequently, productivity in the organization could be increased.

  1. Recommendations

The leader could achieve growth for his organization by identifying his personal leadership style; and striving to fit his qualities and strengths to the underlying characteristics of his organization.

  1. Conclusion

Leadership style affects motivation when the leader aligns his personality to the culture of his organization and is able to motivate his subordinates in a manner that could ensure increased productivity for the firm.


Hammerback, K., Hannon, P. A., Harris, J. R., Clegg-Thorp, C., Kohn, M., &Parrish, A. (2015). Perspectives onWorkplace HealthPromotio namong Employees in Low-Wage Industries. American Journal of Health Promotion29(6), 384–392. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.130924-qual-495

Jackson, E. M., Rossi, M. E., Hoover, E. R., &Johnson, R. E. (2012 Relationships of leader reward behavior with employee behavior. Leadership & Organization Development Journal33(7), 646–661. doi: 10.1108/01437731211265232

Kramer, M., Schmalenberg, C., & Maguire, P. (2010). Nine Structures and Leadership Practices Essential for a Magnetic (Healthy) Work Environment. Nursing Administration Quarterly34(1), 4–17. doi: 10.1097/naq.0b013e3181c95ef4

Pawirosumarto, S., Sarjana, P. K., &Gunawan, R. (2017). The effect of work environment, leadership style, and organizational culture towards job satisfaction and its implication towards employee performance in Parador Hotels and Resorts, Indonesia. International Journal of Law and Management59(6), 1337–1358. doi: 10.1108/ijlma-10-2016-0085

Pescud, M., Teal, R., Shilton, T., Slevin, T., Ledger, M., Waterworth, P., &Rosenberg, M. (2015). Employers’ views on the promotion of work place health and wellbeing: a qualitative study. BMC PublicHealth15(1). doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2029-2

Phaneuf, J.-É., Boudrias, J.-S., Rousseau, V., &Brunelle, É. (2016). Personality and transformational leadership: The moderating effect of organizational context. Personality and Individual Differences102, 30–35. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.06.052

Stouten, J., Baillien, E., Broeck, A. V. D., Camps, J., Witte, H. D., &Euwema, M. (2010). Discouraging Bullying: The Role of Ethical Leadership and its Effects on the Work Environment. Journal of Business Ethics95(S1), 17–27. doi: 10.1007/s10551-011-0797-x

Sudja, I. N., &Yuesti, A. (2017). The Influences of EducationandTraining, Leadership, Work Environment, Teacher Certification On Discipline and Teacher’s Professionality In High School at Bali ProvinceScientific Research Journal (SCIRJ)V(IX), 102–108. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anik_Yuesti2/publication/321696338_The_Influences_of_Education_and_Training_Leadership_Work_Environment_Teacher_Certification_On_Discipline_and_Teacher’s_Professionality_In_High_School_at_Bali_Province/links/5a2b51c0aca2728e05de8c1b/The-Influences-of-Education-and-Training-Leadership-Work-Environment-Teacher-Certification-On-Discipline-and-Teachers-Professionality-In-High-School-at-Bali-Province.pdf

Thun, S., & Bakker, A. B. (2018). Empowering leadership and jobcrafting: The role of employee optimism. Stress and Health34(4), 573–581. doi: 10.1002/smi.2818

White, P. (2014). Improving staff morale through authentic appreciation.  Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal28(5), 17–20. doi: 10.1108/dlo-05-2014-0034


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