Principle of Management
a. Select a leadership theory e.g. Blake & Mouton’s Managerial Grid, House PathGoal Theory etc. and explain the selected theory
b. Describe the leadership style/behaviour of the leader of both companies (Mr LIM HOCK CHEE for Sheng Siong and MR SUNDAR PICHAI) using the selected theory
c. Explain the types of power the leader possess and give examples on how the leader can use his/her power to influence employee’s behaviours or organisation’s results.
d. Identify or suggest ways the leader/company can motivate its employees based on any motivational theory e.g. McClelland’s 3 Needs Theory or Maslow Hierarchy of Needs.
Philosophers, researchers and professors have studied, analyzed and categorized the leadership theories. These theories have always been the guiding light in identifying and adopting the suitable leadership traits, characteristics, qualities and behaviors. The drastic evolution of leadership theories have always defined and distinguished the leaders from each other.
The theory which emphasizes the most on motivation, inspiration and relationship building is ‘Transformational Leadership Theory’. For outstanding results and enhanced performances; an organization requires a team of mavens. Visionary, inspiring, daring and charismatic leaders create a motivated and enthusiastic team (Thamrin, 2012). Transformational leaders exhibit the chief four factors:
Inspirational Motivation: Transformational leaders guide the followers to face every challenge, accept every change and promote novelty and creativity. Their vision is so enthralling that they know what they want to derive from every interaction. They work along with the followers to foster the spirit of teamwork and commitment (Iqbal, 2015).
Intellectual Stimulation: Leaders try to encourage the team to think of various creative methods, techniques and processes and they never criticize the followers publicly for their flaws and faults. The leaders stimulate the thinking capacity of the entire team to develop an effective, upgraded and enhanced approach to achieve competitive edge over others.
Idealized Influence: The theory explains the influential behavior of the leaders. The leaders act as role models for their followers. Such leaders always win the trust and respect of their team members. They try to sacrifice their personal gains for the growth and progress of the team. They demonstrate high standards of ethical conduct. The use of power by such leaders is aimed at influencing the entire team to strive, act and perform for the common goals of the organization.
Individualized Consideration: Leaders act as mentors to each and every follower and reward them for creativity and innovation. They identify the strengths, skills and capabilities of every individual and empower them to utilize their fortes to make decisions.
Sheng Siong Group is one of the Singapore’s largest and renowned retailers with 37 supermarkets located all across the island. Mr. Lim Hock Chee; CEO of Sheng Siong is responsible for overseeing the operations, setting directions for growth areas and developing business strategies. He is the leader who follows transformational leadership style. He focuses on teamwork, innovation, high quality results and healthy relationships. He fosters close and direct communication along with approachable and open-door work environment. He strongly promotes cohesive working relationships across all levels, continuous innovation and entrepreneurial spirit (Shulman, 2010).
Employees enjoy relatively high degree of autonomy in their job scope; which implies that employees are encouraged to provide inputs, introduce new approaches, improve business processes and take risks. This is the reason why Sheng Siong managed to survive the SARS outbreak (Global financial crises, 2008). The organization does not believe in elevated controlling and curbing. Mr. Lim propagates the value and power of being respected and trusted by the employees as it stimulates them to strive hard to achieve organizational goals.
Mr. Lim has always tried to raise such leaders who have the ability and stance to conduct managerial roles such as; resolving a conflict, building-up cordial relationships with the stakeholders, representing the team or department at board meetings, allocation and allotment of roles/responsibilities, etc.
Google Inc., the innovation hub; practices a unique leadership style. Though, the employees are always charged and motivated by the leaders but Mr. Sundar Pichai believes that right and wise decisions are based on insights gleaned from thorough understanding of data, action plans, procedures and KPIs that a leader cannot ignore.
Mr. Pichai believes in demonstrating the abilities to swim against the tides. Just like an ideal transformational leader he encourages the employees to face the changes and the challenges. He has mastered the art of prioritizing which implies ability to delegate, automate or handle the work as needed. This is a perfect example to cite for a leader performing managerial roles. Mr. Pichai is known to have built, nurtured and mentored a great team by recognizing, appreciating and rewarding the team’s efforts (Martin, 2014).
The organization stands out when it comes to employee motivation. Google has been named as the ‘Best company to work for’ by Forbes magazine consecutively for the fifth time. The organization believes in motivating the employees intrinsically and extrinsically.
Nowadays, along with pay, promotion, perks and working environment; employees urge for sense of accomplishment, sense of responsibility, determination and competence. This is known as ‘cognitive evaluation theory of motivation’. Every organization must try to motivate employees with intrinsic as well as extrinsic determinants of motivation. The equilibrium between these two types of motivation nurtures the employees professionally and personally.
Just as Google strikes a perfect balance between flexibility and control; every organization should make sure that employees don’t get carried away with freedom and fun. The sincerity, loyalty and professionalism should be intact.
Sheng Siong and Google Inc. belong to two completely different industries with different business strategies and action plans but both the organizations follow transformational leadership style. Both the organizations believe in influencing and inspiring employees by practicing reward power and referent power. Google practices expert power too as it believes in thorough understanding and approval of every procedure, process, data and research conducted by the employees of every level. None of the organizations practice coercive and legitimate power (Leslie, 2009). The leadership behavior of both the companies encapsulates managerial roles.
Google believes in reasonable level of controlling of actions and attitude. This helps in maintaining the punctuality, discipline, sincerity, loyalty and focus of the employees; but Sheng Siong provides high-level autonomy to the employees; therefore it should try to motivate the employees to maintain the dignity of the organization by following the ethical code of conduct and mannerisms. Though, the employees are highly empowered to contribute and make decisions but leaders need to sustain the organizational culture, professionalism, earnestness and civility (Ballantyne, 2011).
Google has specifically adopted the cognitive evaluation theory of motivation; whereas Sheng Siong has always tried to develop its own motivational drivers according to the situations and circumstances. Therefore, Google should also cherry-pick few effective and productive determinants from all the motivational theories like reinforcement theory, acquired needs theory, Alderfer’s ERG theory, etc. But both the prestigious organizations should understand that neither sticking to one kind of motivational driver or motivational theory is effective in the long run nor frequently altering the motivational determinants turn out to be prolific.
Thamrin, H.M 2012, ‘The Influence of Transformational Leadership and Organizational Commitment on Job Satisfaction and Employee Performance’, Journal of leadership and management, vol. 3, issue no. 2, pp. 12-22.
Iqbal, N 2015, ‘Effect of Leadership Style on Employee Performance’, Business Management Review, vol. 5, issue no. 5, pp.146-190.
Shulman, L 2010, Interactional supervision, NASW Press, Washington DC.
Ballantyne, S 2011, ‘Leadership and decision-making’, Journal of management and marketing research, vol. 4, issue no. 3, pp. 1-6.
Martin, L 2014, The Google way of motivating employees, viewed 19 July 2016,
Leslie, J 2009, The leadership gap, viewed 26 May 2016.
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