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The role of the manager in staff motivation.


I'm writing an essay on the role of the manager in staff motivation.

Can anyone help me the role of a manager as opposed to an organisation's corporate culture in staff motivation?



3 Responses

  1. organisational culture is made by people

    Hi Jane

    It is the absolute duty of a manager to motivate his or her team… rely solely on the organisation’s culture is to fail totally as a manager.

    The organisations culture (the real one as opposed to what might be lauded in the company report or advertising) is the distillation, summation and embodiment of the attitudes of the people within the organisation.  In an organisation of 10 people that will be very heavily influenced by the CEO, in a larger organisation it is far more reliant on the middle managers, supervisors and staff.  Which is why you see so little real change in so many large organisations when a new and dynamic CEO is imported as a silver bullet to "change the corporate culture".

    If you want to change a corporate culture you need a critical mass of new attitudes and behaviours throughout the organisation.

    If you look at large organisations you will find motivated teams (where the manager is a good motivator) and demotivated teams (where the manager usually blames the corporate culture for what are actually his or her failures).

    Can I recommend the book "Shackleton’s Way"….it is a brilliant example of how to motivate people, even when in extreme situations, facing almost certain death and definitely abject failure.  His team were so motivated by the Endurance experience that several of them signed up again for his last expedition.

    and my final comment about Shackleton; no matter how bad the situation (and it was very, very bad) he NEVER resorted to bullying as a way of motivating his people.

    I hope this helps


    or for when you need motivation by cake

  2. Line Manager and motivation


    I am not so sure it is so easy to separate a manager’s actions from organisational culture in this way, as their actions will be heavily influenced by it.  However, probably your best line of enquiry is to use the psychological contract and its various influences as a basic framework since this model conceptualises multiple interacting influences and other models of motivation are more unitary. 

    To start you off have a look at the CIPD factsheeta and report

    A great resource in this area is the book by Neil Conway and Rob Briner of Birkbeck

    Understanding Psychological Contracts at Work Authors: Neil Conway and Rob B. Briner Price: Publisher: Oxford University Press Pages:

    Some of this can be read on Google books.  It is an excellent overview of this area and they are seem like nice people as well, if you check out their podcast:

    Then there is a chapter summarising the research into the ‘supervisors’ role in ‘managing’ the psychological contract here

    You could also link all of this to research into Vroom’s expectancy theory and the manager’s role in this area.

    That should give you some references into research and ideas to follow up.

    Good luck



  3. Love em or Lose em

    Hi Jane

    try googling ’employee engagement’ and you will get a lot of useful stuff for your essay. I would recommend a book ‘Love ’em or Lose ’em’ which will really capture the importance of the manager in motivating and retaining their staff.



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