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Examining Leadership, Motivation And Teamwork Within A Large Multi-disciplinary Team Of Engineers

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The purpose of this paper is to highlight and critically evaluate the major theories on the psychology behind leadership, motivation and teamwork methodologies and how we can apply them in the management of multi-disciplinary engineering teams to obtain effective work output. The methods used in this paper included looking at the vast amount of psychology research papers and then engaging in a process of evaluation. The information on this paper is not to be blindly accepted as scientific facts, the subject being analysed is infinitely complex, therefore, it is prone to human bias reducing their validity. Some critical factors are missing in the estimations hence why they are called theories and can be proved to be inconsistent by modern researches.


Multi-disciplinary engineering teams refer to teams containing different types of engineers. Engineers from all backgrounds often work together to achieve a common goal. Engineers require to be motivated and understand the principles of working in teams. During the industrial revolution, organisations had to create ways to maximise productivity and meet demand.


The universal definition of leadership is the process of organisation and maximisation of people’s effort to achieve a goal, originating from social influence. There was a time many of us held the assumption that leaders were born and not raised, giving birth to the great man theory. This seems to be an inconsistent theory as individuals will receive steerage and become leaders themselves, plenty of researchers and psychologists understood this reality, thus over the years, this theory lost connectedness. The assumption that people are nurtured by their surroundings sounds more appealing since it is a fact that we can be influenced by others, this effect is stronger during an individual’s youth, we might observe that someone raised in a house of skilled scientists is additional seemingly to become one. In engineering organisations, everybody must be ready to create choices and come up with solutions while influencing others around with good decisions as well as delivering robust projects within strict deadlines. This helps engineers develop vital thinking and organisational skills essential for leadership and management at organisational levels. Leadership is not to be confused with management. Some may believe leaders and managers are the same, but the truth is they have differences. A leader gives people direction while a manager directs people, in other words, people will follow leaders and work for managers. Leaders are risk-taking while managers are risk-averse. Some will argue that leadership is good, and management is bad because managers often focus on the results rather than the passion for working the role. In my opinion, both are important. A decent manager ought to recognize the various management techniques and once to use them correctly. A good leader, in my opinion, should have the ability to inspire others to deliver what they know best to get the task done. Researchers thought that they had known the subsequent key leadership traits: drive, honesty and integrity, self-assurance, mental stability, and an understanding of the business. Those findings are very arguable because in general, the study of leadership in terms of traits has not been a productive approach to explaining leadership for the fact that humans are infinitely complex and plenty of different factors need to be taken under consideration. Ironically, it has been found that every leader does not possess all the traits mentioned in these theories, whereas several non-leaders possess several of them. Leading a multi-disciplinary team of engineers requires a contingent leader. Currently, there are three main leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. A democratic leader will value and consider each member input. In an autocratic environment, no input is required from the team members and decisions need to be made fast. Laissez-faire leadership will be mainly and strongly dependent on the members. A contingent leadership will focus on variables related to the environment that might determine which style of leadership is best suited for the situation. This highlights the contingency theory. According to this theory, no leadership style matches all situations. Effective leadership in organisations depends on many variables. Contingent leaders can assess the needs of their followers, take stock of the situation, and then adjust their behaviours accordingly. Success depends on several variables including the leadership style, qualities of the followers, and aspects of the situation. Participation is important in engineering teams; it helps members feel important and engaged in the activity taking place. It improves the relationship between participants, low and high rank. Relationship theories concentrate on the relationships between leaders and supporters. Transformational leaders empower and encourage people by allowing the members of the community to recognise the value and the higher good of the mission. These leaders are based on the success of the members of the community, but they still want people to understand their potential and integrate into big engineering organisations. Relationship activity refers to the degree to which the leader engages in two-way contact.

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An acceptable definition of motivation is when an individual must accomplish a personal goal, and this is often expressed through patterns of behaviour. What does it take to motivate members of an organisation? Seeing that money is not enough to extend productivity, will perhaps challenging employees with a good style of innovative projects guarantee motivation? There are two motivation concepts: intrinsic (such as recognition, curiosity and competition) and extrinsic motivating factors. Several models were designed to answer the questions, but before we get into that, there are sub-concepts to think about and these are: motive, motivation, and motivator. Motive relates to the inner mindset that triggers and regulates actions towards organisational goals. They appeal specifically to the desires of people. Motivation is indeed a method of encouraging behaviour by acknowledging the desires of workers and leveraging their motivations. The motivator is that the strategy getting used for motivation, like incentive pay, promotion, among many others. Great leadership understands that employees have their personal goals that require to be satisfied. The key factors are known the satisfy workers is named ‘hygiene factors’ in according to Herzberg. Herzberg conducted a widely publicised motivational survey of 200 accountants and engineers working by companies within the Pittsburgh region of u.s.a. Asking people to talk about two incidents at work. These factors include good working conditions, job security, salary, supervision, company policy etc. These are extrinsic to the duty and environment centred. These causes are mentioned as 'dissatisfaction' or 'hygienic causes' as they are important to the mental state of workers. These are often mentioned as maintenance variables since they are important to sustain a good standard of satisfaction. If they continue to be in an exceedingly working environment, they won't generate discontent. Their presence, however, does not inspire workers. These variables do not seem to be particularly motivating; however, their lack of presence will result in disappointment. These are the variables of the work sense Observing Herzberg’s theory, we are led to know that not all the requirements are driven. Different sets of needs play different roles within the general phase of inspiration and fulfilment within companies. The happy employee is inspired from inside to figure harder, and the frustrated employee is not self-motivated. Employment happiness is not a one-dimensional notion. Thus, removing causes that cause work frustration will contribute to stability, but cannot motivate it. The factors resulting in job satisfaction are separate and distinct from those who result in job satisfaction. the alternative of “satisfaction” is “no satisfaction”, and the opposite of “dissatisfaction” is “no dissatisfaction.” The work itself is the key to satisfaction and motivation. Herzberg argued that the secret to self-motivation was 'enriched employment.' Managers must also pay careful attention to the enhancement of work content. Herzberg’s theory has two stages within the process of motivating employees. First, managers must make sure that hygiene factors are not deficient. By providing hygiene factors at an appropriate level, managers do not stimulate motivation but merely make sure that employees are “not dissatisfied”. Employees whom managers try and satisfy through hygiene factors alone will usually just do enough to induce by. Hence, managers should proceed to stage two allowing employees to experience motivation through job enrichment that is through motivators like challenging work, responsibility etc. Herzberg argues that jobs should be redesigned to produce higher levels of motivational factors. Despite the seeming value and importance, Herzberg’s theory has also been criticized by behavioural scientists on several points: A problem with this theory is not being universally applicable. It is better applicable only to executives, technical and senior personnel. Researchers question Herzberg’s methods of investigation. These cared-for prejudices his results. the speculation is method-bound. The conclusions of this theory are supported a little sample which is not representative of an attribute. It decreases the motivational value of maintenance factors, i.e. wages, working environments, interpersonal relationships, etc. The excellence of maintenance and motivational factors is not rigid and conclusive. There could also be an appearance of two factors but, there is just one. It over-simplifies the connection between satisfaction and motivation similarly to between the sources of job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction. On the opposite hand, motivation may be a process while satisfaction is an outcome that happens after actual motivated behaviour has been exhibited. it is not a theory of motivation, because it stresses the importance and provides a proof of satisfaction instead of motivation. It fails to account for differences in individuals. It assumes that everyone employee will react similarly to motivational factors. Some people are motivated by a demanding task, while others are strongly motivated by money. It ignores situational variables. it is not held in high esteem by researchers within the field. Now, knowing that Herzberg theories do not have a contingent approach. We shall gravitate towards two other views on a way to motivate employees supported things. It was argued by Douglas McGregor that managers are grouped into two categories, X and Y. McGregor’s Theory Y: This opinion postulates that employees are naturally driven and willing to require responsibility. Appropriate management style is to consider building a productive working environment combined with constructive incentives and encouragement. McGregor’s Theory X: The common perception of the workforce is that workers are generally idle, self-centred and deficient in motivation. the desired management style is thus solid, top-down leadership. However, it does not encourage innovations, ` for this reason more organisations use theory Y.


Workplace attempts to cooperate on a project will improve the efficiency and innovation of workers. Teamwork may help to accelerate the execution of work, help managers appreciate the talents of their workers and guide potential work assignments. In some circumstances, group work can cause challenges, so it's visiting be better for workers to work independently. Group work is when two or more employees work cooperatively to complete a project. Often, individuals receive different roles within the group to supply accountability among its members. In some fields, creativity thrives when people share ideas freely and might like others’ input. When assembled thoughtfully, employee groups can produce quality work with positive collaboration and encouragement. Taking all of this into consideration, perhaps the simplest thanks to defining teamwork are: when a gaggle of individuals work together cohesively, towards a typical goal, creating a positive working atmosphere, and supporting one another to mix individual strengths to reinforce team performance. The quality of teamwork could also be measured by analysing six components of collaboration among team members, those are communication, coordination, the balance of member contributions, mutual support, effort and cohesion. Studies found that effective teamwork within the workplace happens when individuals flourish as they use and develop their Strengths. This can be a spotlight on individual strengths and identifying where an individual’s best contribution can be made. People close building relationships and as they work together well ends up ineffective teamwork. Then individual strengths and teamwork close in pursuit of meaningful goals performance starts to flow naturally and Results that are meaningful and rewarding to the team are achieved. Consider attitudes and dealing types. attempt to appoint people to a project that have common job habits and work arrangements. for instance, two workers working within the same workplace can have a more time-consuming planning meeting than members of a virtual unit. Creating a similarity group will improve cooperation and efficiency. Assign a task to everyone. A community will work smoothly when the roles of every member are transparent. When forming a squad, ensure that every member of the team is assigned a task that involves unique tasks. as an example, you may appoint someone to be the group coordinator who is answerable for putting in place a gathering schedule and ensuring that the team performs the assignments on time. Group work is often effective if we use it within the right scenarios and that we carefully select the team. An efficient team should be good at problem-solving. accomplishing tasks faster. Engaging in healthy competition. Developing strong relationships.


Raja, Tom and Christina are engineers working at an organisation developing a solar energy storage solution. The task is to optimise a counter-flow heat exchanger to achieve the desired steam outlet at a reasonable time. Raja is very motivated but lacks competence in problem-solving. Christina is a good problem-solver, effective communicator and organised but is self-sufficient. Tom is knowledgeable but unmotivated and lacks confidence. An effective leader recognises that they have to adapt their leadership style according to the team member abilities. According to contingency raja needs to be approached and reminded that he is being assessed and that if targets are not met, he risks facing disciplinary actions. The leader will not need to micromanage Christina, however, she can be suggested about the importance of teamwork in organisations. Its is great that Tom holds knowledge looking at his records. We must assess his needs and find the best way to motivate him.


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Examining Leadership, Motivation And Teamwork Within A Large Multi-disciplinary Team Of Engineers. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2023, from
“Examining Leadership, Motivation And Teamwork Within A Large Multi-disciplinary Team Of Engineers.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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