Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities
In Your School- Do all stakeholders subscribe to the belief that EVERYONE has something to learn and EVERYONE has something to teach? This blog can help you gain insight on how to facilitate this transformative mindset with your faculty!

Jun 18, 2009

Management Styles & Situational Leadership

I have been reading about different management styles lately...particularly, I'm interested in learning more about Alderfer's ERG Needs Theory and McClelland's Needs Theory (MNT). These theories can assist any organization in the analysis of human behavior and employee motivation. Clayton Alderfer’s Hierarchy of Motivational Needs, also known as ERG Theory for its categorization of needs into the three categories of existence, relatedness and growth, emerged from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The three levels of needs in the ERG Theory may be described as follows: existence needs represent physiological or biological needs; relatedness needs represent the need to be in relationships with others; and growth needs represent the desires for development within one’s self.

David McClelland’s Theory of Needs (MTN), is sometimes referred to as an acquired-needs theory, due to his explanation regarding needs formation. McClelland theorizes that needs emerge as a result of one’s experiences and environmental influences. McClelland categorizes human needs into the following three categories: achievement needs, affiliation needs, and power needs. Although it is believed that all people experience needs in each of these areas, the needs are not arranged in a hierarchical manner. The fulfillment of one level is not a prerequisite for moving to a different level.

Workplace Application:

As part of the instructional leadership team at my school, I find that I am very apt to utilize ERG when working with teachers. I wasn't even aware that I was doing so until I did this assignment. In my "world" of teacher leadership this is commonly referred to as situational leadership. This form of management involves having a strong sense of situational awareness regarding those who you are managing, as well as assessing what they need in order to motivate them. This theory suggests that leaders try to identify what motivates an employee while at the same time determining what the employee's needs are and then utilizing that information to manage them in the workplace. I typically use the following situational leadership formula for managing the teachers with which I work:

If they are low ability, but very motivated I assume the role of coach.

If they are high ability, but low motivation I assume the role of supporter.

If they are both low ability and low motivation I assume the role of director.

If they are both high ability and highly motivated I assume the role of delegator.

As I read about ERG, I made several connections to the situational leadership model. The teachers that are efficacious enough to simply delegate projects and assignments to are the ones that are motivated by growth opportunities because they are high achievers who strive to be innovative change agents themselves. They are intrinsically motivated. Often times, the ones who are in need of support also fall into this category if given enough guidance and adequate resources. The teachers that I coach would typically fall into the relatedness category because they are usually most motivated by feeling like they belong in the group (often times, this is the ONLY thing that motivates them). The ones to whom I give directives are definitely in the existence stage. They are simply trying to survive. I do take a hierarchical approach with them because I fell like they need to “crawl before they can walk.” I can also see close connections to McClelland's Theory of Needs as well. The star teachers are highly motivated by achievement and sometimes authority. Depending on a variety of variables, the teachers needing support and coaching can either be motivated by authority or affiliation. More likely than not, the ones who have the capabilities but who are not very motivated respond best to affiliation.

No comments:

Post a Comment