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Personality, Motivational Needs and Leadership Effectiveness of Indian Managers: an Exploratory Study in an Organizational Setting


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People generally ask that, “Do managers need to possess specific personality traits to be effective in their job? Do managers have different motivational needs to be fulfilled for better performance? Do they need to be leader-managers for becoming effective change agents in organizations?” Management Researchers have tried to answer questions such as these so as to improve the practice of management in the organizational context. The proposed study attempts to investigate on these and related aspects of organizational management.

Self-monitoring is a personality trait referring to an individual’s tendency to observe and control his or her expressive behavior according to the interpersonal cues for situational appropriateness (Snyder, 1974). Self-monitoring has been conceptualized as the way people monitor and control their public appearance in social and interpersonal relationships (Snyder, 1987). The self-monitoring individual is particularly sensitive about expression and self-presentation of other people in social situations and uses these cues as guidelines for monitoring his or her own self-presentation.

David C. McClelland’s theory of motivation focuses on achievement, power and affiliation needs. According to him, individuals with a high need to achieve prefer job situations with personal responsibility, feedback and intermediate degree of risk. When these characteristics are available, high achievers will be strongly motivated. He found that high achievers differentiate themselves from others by their desire to do things better. The need for power is the desire to have impact, to be influential, and to control others. Power is a great motivator. Individuals with a high affiliation motive strive for friendship, prefer co-operative situations rather than competitive ones, and desire relationships that involve a high degree of mutual understanding. The needs for affiliation tend to be closely related to managerial success. The proposed study aims to empirically varify the application of this pioneering theory of work motivation.

Recent research indicates that self-monitoring personality makes good managers. The proposed study, therefore, seeks to measure self-monotoring personality of working managers. What motivates Indian Managers in terms of one of the pioneering need theories of motivation propounded by David C. Mcclelland is also the aim discovering their specific motivational needs. Managers are supposed to play a leadership role in their respective positions in an organization. The proposed study would, therefore, also measure their leadership styles and effectiveness in terms of the situational leadership model of Hersey and Blanchard. The study would make an attempt to see a possible relationship between personality, motivation and leadership effectiveness. The study would be ‘exploratory-cum-hypothesis testing’ and comparative in nature. It would be non-experimental in approach under which it could be categorized as a questionnaire-based case study. Besides, discovering a possible relationship between manager’s personality, motivational needs and leader effectiveness, it has also been planned to make necessary comparison. Certain theoretical based hypotheses would also be tested out.

The present doctorial dissertation consists of six chapters plus References and Bibliography and five appendices. Chapter 1 introduces the theme and the research problem is investigated. It also contain a brief introduction of the organizational setting in which the study has been carried out, i.e., Indian Railways. The last part of this chapter completely explains the research methodology adopted for the present thesis. Chapter 2 of the thesis consists of four parts. Part I discusses the meaning of human personality and its related aspects. Self-monitoring as one of the important personality traits has been measured and analyzed in Part II of this chapter. A great deal of discussion is presented regarding human motivation in Part III of this chapter. A brief introduction is also presented about need theory of David C. Mcclelland who has done a pioneering work on achievement motivation which is explained in Part IV of this chapter. Chapter 3 of this thesis has been developed exclusively on organizational leadership and it is based on the situational leadership model (SLM). Part I of this chapter explains briefly the meaning of organizational leadership. Part II of this chapter contains conceptual explanation of Situational Leadership Model on which measurement of leadership effectiveness is based. Part III of the chapter explains relevant concepts of the Situational Leadership Model. Chapter 4 of the thesis presents results and discussion giving general analysis of the collected data using percentages as a tool of analysis. The analysis is systematically presented using independent and dependent variables. Chapter 5 also presents results and discussions on the basis of formulated hypotheses that are tested in the chapter. A sysstematic presentation of testing of hypotheses is given in this chapter using decided independent and dependent variables. Testing of hypotheses has been done using the concept null hypotheses. Chapter 6 of the thesis sums up the research work. This particular chapter has been presented in three parts, explaining the background in Part I and major findings in Part II and results of hypotheses in Part III. It also contains a concluding note at the end of this chapter. Five apendices have also been given at the end of the thesis. Appendix I contains the questionnaire through which the data were collected. Appendix II contains Data of Responses. Appendix III shows how to determine personality and motivation of an individual. A full explanation has been presented in Appendix IV regarding how to determine the leadership styles and style effectiveness from the Lead-self questionnaire. Appendix V presents the rationale and analysis in support of the Lead-self instrument.


Contents –

1. Introduction
2. Understanding Personality and Motivational Needs
3. Leadership Effectiveness
4. Result and Discussion: General Analysis
5. Results and Discussion: Testing of Hypotheses
6. Summing Up
References and Bibliography
Appendices :
Appendix I : Questionnaire
Appendix II : Data of Responses
Appendix III : Scoring Method for Personality & Motivation
Appendix IV : Scoring Method for Leadership Effectiveness
Appendix V : Rationale and Analysis of Lead-self


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Amit Sharma


Himalaya pub