Sainsbury’s and Asda, the 2nd and the 3rd largest grocery stores in the UK intend to merge to consolidate their market share and create the largest grocery store in the UK. However, before occurrence of merger, it is paramount that the leadership of the two organizations understand leadership models, employment laws, and motivational approaches to operate effectively. Understanding these concepts will enable the leadership of the new formation to understand employees and the working environment. This paper explores the aforementioned concepts to understand their implications in Sainsbury’s and Asda merger.
A number of definitions, classifications, and theories about leadership have been discussed in the contemporary literature. Theories in leadership are significant in developing social research and understanding organizational behaviours. One of the earliest leadership concept is the Great-Man Theory, which holds that “leaders are born,” and that only individuals that possess heroic potentials can become leaders (Khan et al, 2016, p.1). The theory draws a distinction between an eventful and event-making person. The former is quintessentially complex in a historic situation, and lacks determination to its course. On the other hand, event-making persons possess exceptional level of intelligence and characters, which guide their actions (Swars 2016, p.29). However, critics of the theory argue that it is morally flawed and it does not provide room for democratization.
Another leadership model is the Trait theory. This theory accentuated particular characteristics that a leader should possess: emergent traits and effectiveness traits. Emergent traits are genetically acquired; they include attractiveness, intelligence, height, and self-confidence (Stanley 2017, p.33). On the hand, effectiveness traits are acquired through learning and experience, for example, being charismatic— a basic element of leadership.
According to contingency theory, there is no precise leadership style, and that leadership style adopted depends on the situation of followers. The theory maintains, “There is no single right way to lead” since internal and external environmental factors are dynamic, and as such, they necessitate leaders to adapt to certain conditions (Zumitzavan and Michie 2017, p.16). In essence, the continence theory argues that followers are the ones that define leadership. Transactional leadership theory underpins leader-follower relationship on “series of agreements between leaders and followers” (Khan et al., 2016, p.3). The theory is entrenched on reciprocity, in which leaders influence their followers and themselves. The theory provides for rewarding of followers upon accomplishing their objectives. The most accepted leadership model in contemporary organizations is transformational theory. The theory provides for involvement of followers in the organizational activities and decision-making process. Transformational leadership encourages motivation and inspiration of both leaders and followers, commitment, visionary, among the host of other organizational ethics (Khan et al., 2016, p.3).
Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory is regarded as one of the earliest and significant theory of motivation. Abraham H Maslow developed the theory in 1935, and underpinned it on the dynamism and realistic explanation of social behaviour (Singh and Behera 2016, p.43). The theory recognizes motivation as a driving force that stimulates an individual to accomplish certain goals in pursuit of satisfying given expectations in life. The theory also identifies the concept of need as a fundamental component in understanding an individual’s own behaviour as well as that of his/her colleagues. Needs refers to “internal state that makes certain outcomes to appear attractive” (Haque and Islam 2014, p.64). According to the theory, an unsatisfied need can engender tensions, which stimulate actions and— consequently— action can influence accomplishment of a given goal as well as relief of tension.
Maslow opined that needs are ever changing with time. Similarly, individuals change their goals and re-examine their activities in accordance to the changing needs. In essence, unsatisfying need is like a ‘magnet’ that attracts desire and willingness to satisfy the underlying needs (Singh and Bahera 2016, p.43). Once a given is satisfied, it is ‘demagnetised,’ after which it no longer considered as a substantive motivator. According to Maslow, five significant hierarchy needs exist within every individual (Latham, 2018, p.31). The first need is psychological, which includes sex, thirst, shelter, and other bodily needs. The second need is safety, which is security and protection from emotional and physical harm. At the third position is social— belongingness, friendship, and affection. The fourth need is esteem— autonomy, self-respect, attention, and recognition— and last need is self-actualization, which represents the drive to accomplish what one is capable of doing like growth and self-fulfilment. The first and the second needs are referred as “lower order needs” while the third, fourth, and fifth are referred as “higher order needs.” Ideally, higher order needs are requires internal satisfaction while lower order needs require external satisfaction (Latham 2018, p.74).
Needs not only initiate but also sustain forces of behaviour. Additionally, needs directly influence an individual’s actions and thoughts. The aim of individuals’ behaviour is to satisfy their set of needs at a given time. Moreover, there is a wants-objectives-behaviour chain that dictates that any method of conceptualizing motivation should first address human wants/needs (Mcreynolds 2012, p.56). The Need Hierarchy Theory arranges the needs in order of prepotency, which means that a person should fulfil a lower need before satisfying a higher need.
Psychological needs are quintessentially basic and recurring. They are powerful and cannot have to be satisfied, otherwise they divert attention from everything an individual is doing. Organizations plays a major in satisfying psychological needs through adequate compensation, provision of housing facilities, and subsidized lunch programs (Ryan and Deci 2017, p.52). Once psychological needs are addressed, higher level of needs will be source of motivation. Individuals tend to satisfy their security or safety needs by joining labour unions, as well as enrolling in insurance and pension programs. Usually, organizations satisfy security needs by supporting healthcare insurance plans and fringe benefits— in order to motivate employees. On social needs, organizations tend to address employees’ needs by allowing social interactions during tea breaks, sports, and other recreational programs (Ryan and Deci 2017, p.69). Satisfaction of social needs gives provides meaning to work life. After satisfying social needs, ego needs emerge as motivator. Ego needs may emanate from internal environment, for instance, when one is seeking self-respect through recognition. External recognition emerges from accomplishment or seeking appreciation for individual’s deeds. Organizations satisfy ego needs to motivate individuals’ competence, confidence, capability, and adequacy. These needs, unlike lower order needs, cannot be fully or are rarely satisfied. Self-actualization needs are at the highest level (Meyer 2016, p232). Organizations tend to motivate employees by satisfying self-actualization needs through training and development, offering career opportunities, and encouraging creativity and innovation (Byrne, 2015, p.107).
However, critics of hierarchy-motivational theory argue that the underlying need categories seem to overlap. In addition, there is no clear evidence of higher and lower needs. Besides, recent studies show that satisfaction of one need does not give rise diminishes the motivation of that need. Therefore, Maslow need classification is arbitrary and somewhat artificial. Nevertheless, the hierarchy model enables managers to motivate employees through a number of incentives (Latham 2018, p.81).
Process theories emphasizes on an individual’s behaviour in relation to the environment. There are different categories of Process-Motivation theories. However, this paper will focus on the Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. Vroom formulated expectation theory by relating it to the probability of actions from a given outcome. Expectancy in this context refers to a situation in which an individual makes a choice between alternatives that involves uncertain events. Hence, individuals’ behaviours are influenced by both their preferences among the outcomes and their perception towards the possibility of occurrence of the events. Coban (2013, p.108) defines expectancy as a “momentary belief concerning the likelihood that a particular act will be followed by a particular outcome.” Expectancy is accorded maximal strength outcome will follow subjective certainty, and minimal strength if outcome does not follow subjective certainty.
According to the Expectancy theory, motivation is likely in situations where there is “perceived and usable relationship between performance and outcome,” and outcome is considered as a satisfying need (Haque and Islam 2014, p.66). The theory identifies two factors that determine the amount of effort employees will put in their jobs. One of the factors is the value of rewards to the employee as well as the degree by which the underlying reward meet his/her needs for security, self-actualization, autonomy, and social esteem. Another factor is the probability that these rewards dependent on efforts— as perceived by employees— and their expectations concerning the relationship between reward and effort. Therefore, the greater the value of rewards and higher the probability of getting the reward based on the effort, the more the effort an employee will apply in a given circumstance. All motivational theories are underpinned on the assumption that aim of motivation is to stimulate employees to perform better. However, adequate motivation is not just offering employees with what one believe they is satisfactory, but to enable them achieve what they want (Latham 2018, p.101).
Expectancy theory emphasize on belief that is based on three relationships: efforts and performance, performance and outcomes, and outcomes and satisfaction (Nkomo 2011, p.201). The theory maintains that for organization to motivate employees effectively, they must believe that the effort will result to performance, performance will lead to outcomes, and outcome will enhance satisfaction. On effort-to-performance expectancy, if an individual perceive that his/her effort will lead to higher performance, the expectancy will be strong leading to occurrence of outcomes. However, if employees perceive that their efforts will not change the performance, the expectancy will be lower, which diminishes the probability that outcomes will occur. The second level is performance-to-outcome. If employees presume that high performers will receive pay rise, their expectancy is high, unlike when they believe that increments are independent of performance. The final stage is performance-to-satisfaction. When employees believe that outcomes lead to recognitions and promotions, employees will be more motivated.
According to behavioural scientists, Vroom’s expectancy theory is the most valid, comprehensible, and effective approach to motivation. However, the theory is difficult to apply since does not only require understanding but also ability to motivate employees to perform (Coban 2018, p. 109).
Redundancy refers to a situation in which, “an employee is dismissed from their employment because their employer no longer wishes the employee’s role to be done by anyone” (Covington and Seiner 2017, p.134). Ideally, redundancy can happen even if another employee is performing duties that were carried out by the dismissed employee, as long as the position of the former employee has been deleted. However, redundancy does not happen if an organization seconds employee to work in another company, or is still employed by the same organization to perform the same tasks. Some of the major causes of redundancy include merger or acquisition, restructuring of the firm, relocation of the firm, market changes, economic downturns, technological changes, and business downturns (Holland and Burnett, 2013, p.301)
According to the UK Employment Standards, industrial instruments like collective agreements, employee contracts, individual agreements, or awards may provide an employee to receive compensations when redundancy occurs (Lockton 2014, p.305). An employee can be entitled to redundancy pay when employer terminates his /her employment under the circumstance that the employer does not need anyone to undertake the employee’s job, or because the company is bankrupt. An employee that has been dismissed under the condition of redundancy has rights to unpaid wages, which includes superannuation, accrued annual leave payments, and payment for accrued long service leave— if the employee meets the threshold in terms of “period of continuous service” (Millington 2016, p.306)
However, casual employees, trainees, apprentices, probationary employees, and employees engaged in a specified task or period are not entitled to redundancy pay. Similarly, when there is transfer of business, the employee may not be entitled to redundancy pay if the new employer does not recognize services of the employee or if the employee rejects the job position offered by the new employee who recognizes the employee’s service.
TUPE employment laws apply when business is transferred to a new employer or when there is occurrence of service provision change (SPC) (Taylor and Emir 2015, p.448). SPC may occur when there is insourcing or outsourcing. The two conditions are however not mutually exclusive and therefore some transfers, like outsourcing, could be categorized as service provision change and business transfers.
To meet the specifications of business transfer, the fundamental requirement is a change in the identity of the employee. When there is business transfer, regulations do not affect share ownership since the company is still considered the employer When business transfer occurs but service provision change remains, “there must be transfer of economic entity that retains identity” (Taylor and Emir 2015, p.451). Ideally, undertaking an economic activity does not imply that charities are not covered or charitable organizations are covered by TUPE stipulations like commercial organizations.
In case of service provision change, TUPE Regulations bind when there is “an organized grouping of employees, which has as its principle purpose of undertaking activities concerned on behalf of the client” (Wynn-Evans 2016, p.142) However, there are certain conditions that TUPE will not apply to service provision change. One of such condition is when contractor changes but the client remains the same. TUPE does not apply if the same client performs the services. In addition, TUPE does not apply if the tasks being performed after the change are fragmented and not similar to those performed before the change. Another circumstance under which TUPE do not apply is when the clients want activities to be performed in light of single specific event in accordance to activities of short-term duration. Nevertheless, employees are entitled to pension rights even after TUPE transfer. In addition, early retirement benefits and redundancy are included in TUPE transfer. Similarly, auto-enrolment of employees has no effect on TUPE stipulations.
The paper has dissected a number of leadership theories in contemporary literature in order to conceptualize the concept of leadership. The Great-man theory argues that leadership is acquired naturally. Trait theory points out certain leadership features that a leader must possess. However, the two theories are morally flawed and provide do provide room for democratization. Contingency leadership theory attaches leadership to situation of followers. However, the model is not adequate to build an organization with stronger leadership traits. The most applied leadership theories in contemporary organizations are transactional and transformational leadership theory. While transactional theory provides room for achievable goals, clear structure, and motivation, it does not recognize accountability of employees and creativity. Transformational leadership is the most effective leadership theory. The theory vests on motivation, inspiration, commitment, innovation, and idealized influence. The second component of the paper was employment laws, in terms of redundancy and TUPE. The two concepts are significant in this concept because they provide in-depth analysis on what should happens to employees in event that there is merger or acquisition. Understanding the two concepts also enables the employer and employee to be knowledgeable of the employee’s rights in terms of benefits and compensation when they occur.
The paper has also analysed two organizational motivation theories. The significance of discussing these theories was to understand effectiveness of motivation towards organizational performance. The first theory was Maslow Needs Hierarchy Theory. The theory sits on a five-legged stool of individual needs that organization should satisfy to motivate employees: psychological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization. While the theory provides basis for motivation, the aforementioned steps may overlap. The second motivational model that the paper discussed is Vroom’s Expectation Theory, which is anchored on three steps: efforts-to-performance, performance-to-outcomes, and outcomes-to-satisfaction. Employers must understand and believe in these steps to motivate employees effectively.
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