Evans, Ben (2015) Follow the Leader: An empirical study analysing the relationship between the leadership styles of department managers and the motivational outcomes of employees within a retail home-improvement store. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Purpose: This paper addressed the lack of interaction between leadership and motivation in previous studies, particularly through mixed methods research. The aim of this study was therefore to determine the extent of the relationship between leadership and motivation within a home-improvement department store, which had yet to be explored through research.
Methodology: Within a single case study – B&Q – 59 questionnaires and 6 semi-structured interviews were undertaken on employees and department managers respectively. The purpose of this was to uncover the motivational outcomes of employees, which were complemented and explained by the factors contributing towards the leadership styles of department managers.
Findings: The research discovered that the underlying motivational issues of employees were related to formal managerial relations, limited goals, taskorientated job designs, and a lack of integration with B&Q. These emerging results guided interviews, which provided motivational explanations such as autocratic decision-making, resource constraints such as time, an emphasis on task-efficiency, and a reluctance to integrate social activities or participate with employees. A test of correlation supported the discussion section, which found that the leadership styles of department managers had a significant relationship with the motivational outcomes of employees.
Implications: The results of the study provide the impetus for B&Q’s department managers to realign their leadership approaches with the motives of employees. Findings also support the notion that, despite previous research, ‘successful’ leadership styles may not necessarily be the answer to motivational issues in specific contexts. A future study within the same store may use these findings to construct and exercise a leadership style, after which improvements in motivation can be assessed.

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