A Field Examination of Two Measures of Work Motivation as Predictors of Leaders' Influence Tactics

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ABSTRACT. The authors tested 2 motivation measures, the Motivation Sources Inventory (MSI; J. E. Barbuto & R. W. Scholl, 1998) and the Job Choice Decision-Making Exercise (A. M. Harrell & M. J. Stahl, 1981) as predictors of leaders' influence tactics. The authors sampled 219 leader-member dyads from a variety of organizations and communities throughout the central United States. Results strongly favored the MSI as a predictor of influence tactics. Limitations of the study include low power of relationships, sample size as limited by the research design, and education levels of participants. Future researchers should use larger and more diverse samples and test other relevant antecedents of leaders' behaviors.

Key words: influence tactics, leadership, motivation sources

RESEARCHERS HAVE USED situational approaches, such as cognitive choice (Vroom & Yetton, 1973), cognitive schema (Graen & Cashman, 1975), and social learning (Bandura, 1986) to understand leaders' behavior. They have also used dispositional approaches, such as personality (Myers & McCaulley, 1985), motivation (McClelland, 1985), and ego development (Kegan, 1982; Kuhnert & Lewis, 1987).

Barbuto and Scholl (1999) contrasted dispositional with situational variables and found that dispositional variables were stronger predictors of leaders' influence tactics. In the preceding work, the authors called for research contrasting other measures and conceptualizations of dispositional variables as predictors of leader behavior. Barbuto, Fritz, and Marx (2000) followed with a test of two measures of work motivation for predicting transformational leadership; their results supported the motivation taxonomy developed and validated earlier (Barbuto & Scholl, 1998, 1999).

In this study, we examined two dispositional measures to predict leaders' influence tactics. We tested leaders' sources of motivation (Barbuto & Scholl, 1998; Leonard, Beauvais, & Scholl, 1999) against psychological needs (McClelland, 1961, 1985) such as power, affiliation, and achievement, as operationalized by Harrell and Stahl (1981).

Influence Tactics

Researchers have begun to examine the...