A Study on the Effects of Leader’s Motivating Language on Subordinate Performance and Job Satisfaction in the Commercial Banks of Bangladesh

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A Study on the Effects of Leader’s Motivating Language on Subordinate

Performance and Job Satisfaction in the Commercial Banks of Bangladesh

Historical Background/Literature Review:

Leadership plays a central part in understanding group behavior, for it’s the leader who usually provides the direction toward goal attainment. However, regardless of what the leader does, effectiveness depends on the action of the followers. Leadership shall begin from understanding the subordinates’ attitudes, and educate the subordinates to accept ones leadership from heart by integrating the inspiration and enlightenment bestowed from past leadership experience. In recent years, an increasing number of scholars focus on the study of the effect of communication pattern by the leaders on the subordinates attitudes and goal achievement. Some of those prominent studies are summarized hereafter starting with Sullivan’s break through theory of motivational language.

Three Roles of Language in Motivation Theory (Sullivan, 1988)

Motivating language theory predicts that intentional uses of leader speech can significantly enhance such critical employee attitudes and outcomes as job satisfaction, performance, and innovation (Mayfield, Mayfield, & Kopf, 1998). More specifically, this theory was conceptualized by Sullivan to combine the basic linguistics of managerial communication, designated by three core speech acts (Searle, 1969), to stimulate employee motivation, which will be subsequently expressed in worker behaviors that promote organizational goals.

These three forms of speech acts are the following:

1) Direction-giving (perlocutionary) language occurs when leaders clarify goals for subordinates and alleviate organizational uncertainty in the process. For example, a manager displays direction-giving language when s/he helps a subordinate prioritize the importance of each project within multiple assignments.

2) Empathetic (illocutionary) language is expressed when leaders speak with emotional understanding to subordinates. A manager employs empathetic language when s/he offers enthusiasm or encouragement to a direct report.

3) Meaning-making (locutionary) language happens when a leader transmits the rules of a particular organizational culture to a subordinate. For instance, a manager uses meaning-making speech when s/he gives a subordinate political suggestion for obtaining corporate buy-in on a project. It was observed that meaning-making language often is delivered indirectly in the form of stories, organizational folklore and metaphors (Cooke & Rousseau, 1988).

The third component of the motivating language (ML) model, meaning-making language, is expected to serve as a major guidepost in the navigation of organizational change and cultural orientation. This form of talk also distinguishes ML from most well-known leadership communication paradigms which tend to emphasize the two factors of task elucidation and compassion. Transformational leadership theory is an exception here since cultural transmission is one of its important hallmarks (Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1999; Bass, 1985; Robins, 2003).

Still, in many other ways, motivating language is well-steeped in predominant modern leadership theories. The more recent streams of research have focused on the relevance of leader communications in the nurture and maintenance of organizational commitment and trust (Conger, 1991; Fritz, 1999; Reina & Reina, 1999). Equally important, most of these models incorporate managerial communication behaviors as channels between leadership goals and their requisite influence on others. For example, showing the connection between employee performance and rewards are core elements of major leadership theories, including the University of Michigan, LMX, Path-Goal, Transformational, Primal, Expectancy, and Ohio State schools (Robins, 2003; Yukl, 1989).

The Benefits of Leader Communication on Part-Time Worker Outcomes: A Comparison between Part-Time and Full-Time Employees Using Motivating Language (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2006)

Motivating language is also firmly rooted in three primary assumptions. First, ML pertains only to one sender and message direction, leader-to- subordinate. Secondly, ML embodies the three basic speech acts from the science of linguistics (Searle, 1969; Sullivan, 1988). As a result, the theory is applicable to most forms of leader-to-subordinate speech. Thirdly, the positive employee attitudes and behaviors that are linked with use of motivating language will be much more likely to occur when all three forms of ML are integrated strategically into leader communication. This assumption has also been borne out by previous research that found significant and positive relationships between employee outcomes and multiple types of managerial messages (Pettit, Goris, & Vaught, 1997; Sullivan, 1988).

Motivating language has received promising research support as a valuable technique to improve employee attitudes and behaviors. The three components of ML have been adopted into a scale with reliabilities and validity that were strongly corroborated (Mayfield, Mayfield, & Kopf, 1995). Subsequent research has identified ML’s positive influence on employee job satisfaction, performance, and innovation. These outcomes can be expected to increase by 7%, 2%, and 2%, respectively when a leader uses an extra 10% of ML in her/his communication practices with direct reports (Mayfield, Mayfield, & Kopf, 1998).

These early findings encourage further research into motivating language’s capacity to positively impact part-time worker performance. Another helpful insight will come from examining the influence of ML on the job satisfaction levels of part-time workers. The management literature has bound significant and positive links between job satisfaction and such critical employee behaviors as absenteeism (Hackett & Guion, 1985; McShane, 1984; Scott & Taylor, 1985; Robins, 2003) and turnover (Robins, 2003), both of which have important cost implications for an organization’s bottom-line (Cascio W. F., 1998; Cascio W. , 2000; Robins, 2003).

The Role of Leader Motivating Language in Employee Absenteeism (Mayfield & Mayfield)

One study investigates the relationship between strategic leader language (as embodied in Motivating Language Theory) and employee absenteeism. With a structural equation model, two perspectives were measured for the impact of leader spoken language: employee attitudes towards absenteeism and actual attendance. Results suggest that leader language does in fact have a positive, significant relationship with work attendance. However, no similar effect was reported for employee attitudes towards absenteeism. Since employee absenteeism is avoidable (discretionary leave) and unavoidable (serious personal illness that demands bed rest or family member care, for example), the effects of strategic leader spoken communication will be evaluated from two perspectives, employee attitudes towards absenteeism and actual absenteeism.

The study’s model analysis leads to some predicted and unexpected results. True to theory, motivating language significantly reduced employee absenteeism. Yet for some unknown reason, employee attitudes towards absenteeism were not affected. The data imply that employee emotion did not have a meaningful relationship with leader use of motivating language, a finding that does not conform to theoretical expectations. These heterogeneous results make a valid contribution to research and practice in two major ways. First, motivating language has been supported in this study as a potential intervention for reduction of discretionary absenteeism. Secondly, advancement towards theory building and improved understanding of motivation has occurred, despite the fact that MLT’s effect did not unfold through attitudinal channels according to the model’s forecast.

The Effects of Leader Motivating Language Use on Worker Decision Making (Mayfield & Mayfield)

Another study examines the link between leader communication and worker decision making. Results show that leader communication (as measured by the motivating language scale) is significantly and positively related to worker decision making. Structural equation modeling results indicate an expected 2.5% improvement in worker decision making for every 10% increase in leader language use. These results can be useful to managers because motivating language theory is an easily understood and applied communication framework for improving employee decision making.

Study findings add to decision making literature due to its focus on the role of leader communication. Previous decision making work has tended to concentrate on individual characteristics, environmental factors, or technological support systems. Fewer studies have examined a leader’s role in the worker decision making process and none have specifically examined the role of leader communication behaviors. This oversight is unfortunate since improving a leader’s communication ability is frequently a desirable alternative to the daunting task of changing environmental factors. Also, worker training can be costly due to the time involved, lost productivity, and instruction expenses.

This study finding indicates a strong and significant link between leader communication and worker decision making. The structural equation model shows a good fit between the hypothesized model and the actual data. Statistical results show an expected 2.5% increase in worker decision making for every 10% increase in leader motivating language use. In addition, ML accounts for over 90% of the variance in worker decision making. These results hold promise for developing improved leader communication practices that foster better worker decision making. Equally important, these results contribute a useful communication framework to the leadership-decision making research stream.

The ML leader communication framework is multifaceted and interactive. ML concurrently offers a basis for diagnosis and evaluation to guide leaders in enhancing worker decision making. These interventions can be a cost effective way to improve worker decision making. Since leaders have many subordinates, an improvement to a leader’s ML use can create tremendous gains in positive organizational performance. However, further research is needed to determine the best implementation methods for any related leader training programs. In addition, more studies are needed on limiting and moderating factors in the ML-decision making relationship.

Validating the Motivating Language Scale among Australian Knowledge Workers (Luca & Gray, 2004)

One of the current study tested the Motivating Language Scale (MLS) (Mayfield, Mayfield, & Kopf, 1995) by investigating the use of motivating language by managers of Australian knowledge workers (N=369). Based on Sullivan’s Motivating Language Theory, Mayfield and others developed the MLS to measure a leader’s general oral communication skills and strategic use of spoken language to motivate workers. The instrument consisted of three factors, namely Direction Giving Language (Perlocutionary, 10 items), Relational Language (Illocutionary, 6 items), and Meaning Making Language (Locutionary, 8 items). Mayfield et al.’s initial evaluation of the scale indicated a strong and stable factor structure congruent with theory. However, they have called for further studies to validate the instrument (Mayfield, Mayfield, & Kopf, 1998). The original factor structure of the MLS was examined using one-factor, congeneric measurement models. Item trimming produced parsimonious models: Direction Giving Language (5 items), Relational Language (4 items), and Meaning Making Language (4 items). Fit statistics were used to estimate model fit for each construct. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients and inter-item correlations were calculated to test for convergent validity. The revised and more concise instrument should assist researchers and practitioners to investigate the use of motivating language in terms of worker performance and job satisfaction.

The Effects of Leader Communication on a Worker’s Intent to Stay: An Investigation Using Structural Equation Modeling (Mayfield & Mayfield)

Workers intent to stay in an organization is also a part of job satisfaction. Satisfied workers always tend to stay long time and unsatisfied workers. One study presents findings on the link between leader motivating language (ML) use and worker intent to stay. Structural equation modeling indicated that ML use significantly improves worker intent to stay—with a 10% increase in ML leading to an approximate 5% increase in worker intent to stay. Also, analysis showed that the full ML model better describes the data than any partial model based on a subset of the ML components, and this outcome helps advance researchers’ understanding of the ML theory. Results indicate that proper leader language use can substantially improve the critical organizational outcome of worker retention. As such, this study identifies potential new paths for requisite leader communication research, training, and development.

The Impacts of Motivating Language on Subordinates’ Attitudes and Performance: The Moderating Effect of Leader-Member Exchange (Sun)

Finally we can say that In recent years, an increasing number of scholars focus on the study of the role of language in leadership, specifically, as the means by which leaders express behavior to subordinates (Conger, 1991; Fairhurst, 1993; Fairhurst & Chandler, 1989; Jablin & Krone, 1994; Lamude, Daniels, & Grahm, 1988; Sharbrough, Simmons, & Cantrill, 2006; Sullivan, 1988) especially on the effects of motivating language (Sharbrough, Simmons, & Cantrill, 2006). Sullivan has provided a more comprehensive model on the understanding of the substantial influence produced through using motivating language by leaders on their subordinates. ML theory proposed predicts that strategic applications of leader oral communication have positive measurable effects on subordinate performance and job satisfaction (Mayfield & Mayfield, 1995). According to the theory of motivating language, Sullivan proposed that leaders’ effectiveness in using three types of motivating languages in accomplishing their tasks will have an impact on important organizational outcomes.

These motivating languages have a great impact on subordinates’ attitudes. Hackamn and Oldham measure intrinsic motivation based on phrases such as “when I have high performance, I feel confident to have established my own ideas”,” when I have poor performance, I feel terrible or unhappy” and etc (Hackman & Oldham, 1974). Hackman and Oldham termed “intrinsic motivation,” described as a “self-perpetuating cycle of positive work motivation driven by self-generated (rather than external) rewards for good work” (1980: 72). Hence, intrinsic motivation is an ongoing process of seeking and conquering challenges (Piccolo & Jason, 2006). Leaders influence followers by “mobilizing meaning, articulating and defining what has previously remained implicit or unsaid, by inventing images and meanings that provide a focus for new attention and by consolidating, confronting, or changing prevailing wisdom” (Smircich & Morgan, 1982). The leader’s “meaningful management” is similar to social information processing (SIP) proposed by (Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978). They argued that individuals rely on informational cues from their social contexts when making assessments about work environments. For example, when the employ evaluate their job, the leader is a central characteristic of their work context and serves as the relevant information point of information. Griffin proposed that personal job perception derives from five basic information sources: (1) technology (2) organizational structure (3) coworkers (4) characteristics of a job incumbent and (5) one’s immediate supervisor. Information cues from supervisors may have caused employees to perceive their tasks differently. The communication process conveyed by the supervisors in the organization may to a certain extent reflect the leadership styles and define the staff’s work and create “actual condition of work”. Hence, certain meanings that are conveyed may in turn influence the employee’s interpretation on the meaning of work and environment and propel work morale and efforts. As a result, the extent of motivating language used by the supervisor may influence the subordinate’s intrinsic motivation.

Job satisfaction has been a popular research topic in both academia and industrial field. Since Hoopock proposed the concept of job satisfaction, a number of scholars have extended the research of it (Hoppock, 1935). In early times, research conducted by Ohio State University indicated leadership style of high structure and high consideration may produce high job satisfaction. In addition, It was proposed that the subordinates are most satisfied when they perceived that their supervisors’ behavioral approach exhibit both consideration (relationship orientation) and the initiation of structure (task orientation). A leader’s task-oriented behavior is influenced by expectation from his boss whereas relationship-oriented behavior is associated with the subordinate’s expectation (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1975). If the supervisor only concerns with his task-oriented behavior and neglects relationship-oriented behavior, employee satisfaction and loyalty are likely to decrease (Sharbrough, Simmons, & Cantrill, 2006). According to theory of motivating language, meaning-making language is associated with consideration whereas directing-giving or uncertainty-reducing communication is associated with the initiation of structure from the behavioral theories of leadership. In addition, motivating language theory also encompasses empathetic form of communication missing from behavioral theories. Hence, the nature and extent of language used by the supervisor may have effect on the subordinate’s job satisfaction (Sharbrough, Simmons, & Cantrill, 2006).

Motivating Language and organizational commitment is also very much related. According to Buchanan, commitment is a person’s emotional preference to a given object; the aspects of such preference include: (1) identification: be proud of the organization and internalize the organizational goal. (2) Involvement: actively involved in organizational events. (3) Loyalty: combine organizational and personal affection and fulfill assigned obligation and responsibility (Bauchanan, 1974).

In addition, organizational commitment is the staff’s identification to the organization and organizational goals and their intention of long-term employment in the organization. It was proposed that organizational commitment is the extent to which an individual involves with and identifies with the organization (Porter, Steers, Mowday, & Boulian, 1978). Employee commitment to an organization has been defined in a variety of ways including an attitude or an orientation which links the identity of the person to the organization, a process by which the goals of the organization and those of the individual become congruent, an involvement with a particular organization, the perceived rewards associated with continued participation in an organization, the costs associated with leaving, and normative pressures to act in a way which meets organizational goals. Mowday, Porter and Steers who did much of the original research about organizational commitment, characterized it as a strong belief in and acceptance of the organization’s goals and values, a willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization, and a strong desire to maintain membership in an organization. The various definitions reflect three broad themes: commitment reflecting an affective orientation toward the organization; recognition of costs associated with leaving the organization; and moral obligation to remain with an organization. An employee’s liking for an organization is termed affective commitment and includes identification with and involvement in the organization. Employees with a strong affective commitment continue employment with the organization because they want to do so. Continuance commitment refers to an awareness of the costs associated with leaving the organization. Employees whose primary link to the organization is based on continuance commitment remain with their employer because they need to do so. Finally normative commitment reflects a feeling of obligation to continue employment. Employees with a high level of normative commitment feel that they ought to remain with the organization. In the literature of organizational commitment, the term “commitment” has been used in different ways and as a result of this; there are different definitions of it. Buchanan defines organizational commitment as one’s dedication of himself to the purposes and the values of an organization and one’s role (Bauchanan, 1974). It defines this term as one’s own investments in an organization and inclining to attitudes resulting in social qualities (Balay, 2000). Organizational commitment may have several different psychological bases. For that reason, researchers have tested organizational commitment in multi-dimensional ways. Among these, the most common one that has been widely used in this field is Meyer and Allen’s classification. They classified organizational commitment into three categories and they emphasized three different themes in the definition of the term occupational commitment: affective commitment to an organization, commitment related to the possible results case one leaves the organization, and commitment of one’s obligation of staying within an organization. They owed these three types of commitments as affective, continuance and normative.

Finally Job Performance refers to the overall evaluation of how well an individual is meeting the organization’s expectations in terms of job performance (Campbell, 1990). Although performance can be conceptualized at different levels of analysis (e.g. individual, work group, organization, etc.), the focus here is on the individual level. Performance can also be thought of in terms of whose standards of performance are employed (e.g. some objective reality, self-ratings, supervisor ratings, etc.). Ideally, these different perspectives would overlap, and the reality of whether an individual was a high or low performer would be most important. It was termed job performance as: all of the behaviors related to organizational goal, which can be measured based on an individual’s contribution to the organizational goal (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993). It was proposed that transformational leadership will not only enhance employee job performance but encourage the employees to improve organizational performance through organizational citizenship behaviors (Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983). Lastly, the conclusion of three meta-analytic analysis indicated that transformational leadership dimensions have displayed strong and consistent correlations with task performance across organizations. The communication process conveyed by the supervisors in the organization may to a certain extent reflect the dimensions of transformational leadership. As a result, the extent of motivating language used by the supervisor may influence the subordinate’s job performance.

Relationship between Superior-Subordinate Relationships Quality and Group Commitment: The Mediating Factor of Superior-Subordinate Communication

The early leader-member exchange (LMX) model is concerned with the hierarchical relationship between a superior and his/her subordinates. It speculates that because of time pressures, the leader can develop close or high quality relationships with only a few key subordinate(s) (the in-group), while sustaining a formal or low quality relationship with the rest (the out-group). This means that, since the leader is ultimately responsible for the whole group’s performance and productivity, he/she relies on formal authority, rules, policies and procedures to obtain ample performance from the out-group (Liden & Dienesch R. M., 1986). This style of leadership is usually the case in the command and control organizations. The early leader-member exchange (LMX) model is concerned with the hierarchical relationship between a superior and his/her subordinates. It speculates that because of time pressures, the leader can develop close or high quality relationships with only a few key subordinate(s) (the in-group), while sustaining a formal or low quality relationship with the rest (the out-group). This means that, since the leader is ultimately responsible for the whole group’s performance and productivity, he/she relies on formal authority, rules, policies and procedures to obtain ample performance from the out-group (Liden & Dienesch R. M., 1986). This style of leadership is usually the case in the command and control organizations.

The leader-member exchange (LMX) model of leadership provides an approach to understanding the superior-subordinate relationship. Since its initial introduction, it has become one of the most popular conceptualizations and operationalizations of dyadic exchange between superior and his/her subordinates. LMX has established itself as a legitimate model and operationalizations for organizational behavior research (Schriesheim, Castro, & Cogliser, 1999).

In proposing this model, Graen and his colleagues (Danserau, Graen, & Haga, 1975; Graen, 1976; Graen & Cashman, 1975) contested the traditional leadership approaches which assumed an Average Leadership Style (ALS) in leader behavior across subordinates. They proposed that researchers always concentrate on the behaviors of leaders and subordinates within a superior-subordinate dyad. Their work suggested that leaders do not have identical relationships across their subordinates in the work group, but develop unique dyadic relationships with each subordinate as a result of role making behavior. High quality LMX dyads exhibit a high degree of exchange in superior-subordinate relationships and are characterized by mutual liking, trust, respect, and reciprocal influence (Liden & Dienesch R. M., 1986). Subordinates in these dyads are often given more information by the superior and report greater job latitude. Lower quality LMX relationships are characterized by a more traditional “supervisor” relationships based on hierarchical differentiation and the formal rules of the employment contract (Danserau, Graen, & Haga, 1975). In terms of superior behaviors, the distinction between higher and lower quality exchange relationships is similar to that of between “leadership” and “supervisor” respectively. Leaders exercise influence without sorting to formal authority, whereas supervisors rely on the formal employment contract for their authority.

The most important communication links within any organization occur within superior-subordinate dyads. As the primary form of communication, a breakdown has fundamental implications for overall performance throughout the entire organization (Clampitt & Downs, 1994; Downs, Downs, Potvin, & Varona, 1995). Superior-subordinate communication has been broadly defined as an exchange of information and influence among organizational members, one of whom has an official authority to direct and evaluate the activities of the subordinates of the organization (Jablin, 1979).

The quality of the superior-subordinate relationship is of crucial importance to the employees as well as the organization because subordinates identify their immediate superior as the most preferred source of information about events in an organization (Lee J. , 1997). In addition, employees identify their immediate superior as the primary source for receiving information from the top management (Lee J. , 2001).

It was expanded superior-subordinate communication patterns beyond working interactions to include a component of social support in superior-subordinate interactions (Jablin & Krone, 1994). Social support is the communication between people who lend a hand, reassure, show concern for, and give encouragement between superior and subordinates (Meiners & Miller, 2004). This unique form of interaction reduces uncertainty, provides a sense of personal control, and creates a stronger bond between the superior and subordinates (Jablin & Krone, 1994; Lee & Jablin, 1995). In addition, social support can also serve as a defense to shield the negative consequences of stress brought on by organizational factors such as role ambiguity, work overload, and job uncertainty (Cohen, 1993). The most consistent finding in the social support research is that the immediate superior is the person most likely to provide this support and thus, reduce employees’ stress (Alexander, Helms, & Wilkins, 1989; Anderson & Tolson, 1991). In sum, communication is used as a process to obtain maximum resources from both superior and subordinates. This is affected through communication activities that include both work and social support interaction.

Communication within the superior-subordinate relationships has implications for the relationships between the persons and their peers working together on a group. Since co-workers are the most available and most frequent interactions sources in organization (Kramer, 1995; Kramer, 2004). For example, It was found that differences in the quality of a superior’s communication exchanges with his or her subordinates have an impact with their co-worker (Sias & Jablin, 1995). Coworkers are aware of the differential treatment and, in fact, talk about it. Furthermore, individuals in low versus high quality LMX relationships with their superior have more conversations about differential treatments with their peers. It was also found that co-worker conversations about differential treatment by their superiors serve to create and reinforce social perceptions about differential treatment in the work group (Sias, 1996; Sias & Jablin, 1995).

In term of communication impact on the group, It was argued that if the individual group members believe the preferential treatment to certain subordinate by superior is deserved, the entire group may benefit as they use that particular colleague to gain greater access and information from their superior (Kramer, 2004). On the other hand, if individual within a workgroup resent the preferential treatment receive by some of their colleagues form their superior seems underserved, the workgroup may suffer collectively as the distance themselves from the high LMX colleagues and their superior.


As stated earlier, ML is important because it links strategic leader communication with the key employee outcomes of performance and job satisfaction. These predictions lead to the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1: There is a significant and positive relationship between a leader’s use of motivating language and a subordinate’s performance.

Hypothesis 2: There is a significant and positive relationship between a leader’s use of motivating language and a subordinate’s job satisfaction.

Hypothesis 3: The latent motivating language variable is significantly reflected through the measures of direction giving, empathetic, and meaning-making language.

Sources of Information:

The sources of this report are mainly primary in nature. These data have been collected from the Bank Asia Ltd., Arab Bangladesh Bank Ltd., Dutch Bangla Bank Ltd., Dhaka Bank Ltd., Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. and One Bank Ltd.


This study is conducted to find out the relation between the motivating language (i.e. direction giving, meaning making, and empathetic language) with job satisfaction and performance in the context of banking sector of Bangladesh. The basis of this study is Sullivan’s Motivating Language Theory. The assumption of this theory is that there is a positive relation of leader motivating language on subordinate’s job satisfaction and performance.

Data Collection and Response Ratings:

For studying this co-relationship, six commercial bank of Bangladesh was selected. From each bank, one or more departments were included. From most of the departments, one manager and eight subordinates were taken as a unit. The departments were primarily chosen randomly. But as at least nine employees were only available in large departments, so the sampling was biased by department size.

At first questions were adapted and modified in order to make the survey fruitful and more understandable to the managers and subordinates. After identifying the potential departments of some prominent commercial banks, the respective departments’ managers were contacted for suitable appointment. In the first meeting, the employees and managers were briefly informed about the nature and goal of the study so that they could fill up the questionnaire effectively.

During the survey, the managers evaluated their employees’ performance. On the other side, employees answered the questions related with job satisfaction and different types of motivational language used by their manager. The managers rated subordinate’s performances on the specified subordinate’s criteria such as dependability, alertness, planning, know how, overall present performance and expected future performance. Manager rated each of the criteria in the scale of one to five where one, two, three, four and five respectively meant satisfactory, fair, good, very good and outstanding.

For subordinates, there were four options to evaluate. These options were satisfaction and leader’s three types of motivating language i.e. direction giving, meaning making and empathetic. The feedback of subordinate’s satisfaction had a total value of twenty six for these four options. The first three had maximum value of seven and the last one had the maximum value of five. Moreover, they gave their feedback on a scale of one to five. By answering multiple choice questions, they responded about their satisfaction as well as their reaction of leaders motivating languages.

There were eight questions related to the direction giving language. Maximum allocation for each question was five that made total score forty for direction giving language. Similarly, meaning making language had a total score of forty. Empathetic language had six questions which made total score of thirty. The score was converted from thirty to Forty by unitary process. All the values were put in SPSS (Statistical Tools for Social Sciences) after calculating the score of each variable.

There were three independent and two dependent variables. The independent variables were the three types of motivating language and the dependent variables were job satisfaction and performance. The data related with these five variables were analyzed by regression analysis of SPSS.

Data Processing Using SPSS (Statistical Tools for Social Sciences):

The number and types of statistical software packages that are available are increasing each year. SPSS is widely used in both academic and business fields. SPSS is also a versatile package that allows different types of analyses, data transformations and forms of output. The SPSS software package is being updated and improved continuously. With each major revision, a new version of that package comes.

The capability of SPSS is truly amazing. The package has provision to obtain statistics ranging from simple descriptive numbers to complex analyses of multivariate matrices. It can plot the data in histograms, scatter plots and other ways. It can combine, split and sort files. SPSS has options to modify existing variables and create new ones. In short, this software package has the ability to do anything with a set of data.

In this study, SPSS was chosen as it was good enough to serve the purposes. SPSS for Windows 16.0 was used in analyzing the data of this report.

Report Preview:

The origin, objective, scope and limitation are described in first chapter of the report. After that a summarized version of literature review is given in order to understand the historical background and previous works about this topic. The first chapter also describes the data sources of information. Methodology section tells about data collection procedures and rating techniques. At the end of the chapter, a clear review is written about SPSS software and its implication in the report.

In the second chapter, data analysis and results are elaborately described. Statistics of the collected data is given in order to clarify the analysis. Then with the help of Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient, analysis of correlation is shown which helps to forward the study to conduct regression analysis. In regression analysis, effect of motivating language on employees’ job satisfaction and job performance is measured. These measurements help to correlate the final relationship between motivating language and job satisfaction/job performance. Some graphs and tables are provided in this chapter in order to clarify the analysis.

In the third and last chapter, finding of the research and its practical implication is stated. The research’s actual limitation is also described here. These limitations help to understand some deviation of the data analysis and results. Finally some suggestions and directions for future studies are given in order to make future research about this topic more efficient and fruitful.

Data Analysis and Results

After collection of field data they were entered into the software ‘SPSS’. Data analysis was done using this software and results were collected and interpreted.

Descriptive Statistics:

Ninety six questionnaires were conveniently distributed to the research subjects who are officers of different banks. Eighty eight questionnaires were returned, of which one was determined as invalid, accounting a total of eighty seven valid questionnaires with a valid response rate of 91.7%. Sample of this study includes 72 males (82.8%) and 15 females (17.2%).

Input data were all numeric value. Each of the variable (direction-giving, meaning making and empathetic language) input was out of 40 which represent an employee’s evaluation of his supervisor’s use of motivation language. The distribution charts in Figure 1, Figure 2 and Figure 3 show the distribution of values for each language criteria.

Figure 1: Distribution of Values of Direction Giving Language

Source: Primary

Figure 2: Distribution of Values of Empathetic Language

Source: Primary

Figure 3: Distribution of Values of Meaning-making Language

Source: Primary

Job satisfaction and job performance was given input as numeric and out of 26 and 30 respectively. Figure 4 and Figure 5 show distribution of values for job satisfaction and job performance

Figure 4: Distribution of Values of Job Satisfaction

Source: Primary

Figure 5: Distribution of Values of Job Performance

Source: Primary

2.2 Analysis of Correlation (Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient):

The output in Table 1 was found from SPSS which shows correlation between different variables used for this study.

Table 1: Correlations Found from SPSS among Variables Used in the Study

Direction-giving Language Empathetic Language Meaning Language Job Satisfaction Job Performance
Direction Language Pearson Correlation 1 .615** .695** .258* -.019
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .016 .863
N 87 87 87 87 87
Empathetic Language Pearson Correlation .615** 1 .610** .164 .046
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .128 .672
N 87 87 87 87 87
Meaning Making Language Pearson Correlation .695** .610** 1 .177 -.063
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .101 .563
N 87 87 87 87 87
Job Satisfaction Pearson Correlation .258* .164 .177 1 -.051
Sig. (2-tailed) .016 .128 .101 .636
N 87 87 87 87 87
Job Performance Pearson Correlation -.019 .046 -.063 -.051 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .863 .672 .563 .636
N 87 87 87 87 87

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)

* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed)

Source: Primary

There was positive correlation between direction-giving language and job satisfaction and negative correlation was found between direction-giving language and job performance.

There was no significant correlation between empathetic language and job satisfaction. It is worth noting that positive (p<0.05) correlation was found between empathetic language and job performance.

The results of Pearson correlation analysis showed no significant correlation between meaning-making language and job satisfaction. But negative correlation was found between meaning-making language and job performance.

Job performance also showed negative correlation with job satisfaction

Regression Analysis:

The description of validation of research hypotheses using regression analysis is as the following:

Motivating Language and Job Satisfaction

The degree of using direction-giving language and empathetic language showed positive influence on the subordinates’ job satisfaction (the Beta =0.258 and 0.012, t value=1.646 and 0.083). When the supervisor established a more close relationship with the subordinates, the use of meaning-making language and empathetic language would especially promote the subordinates’ job satisfaction.

It is worth noting that the use of meaning-making language by the supervisor has no significant influence on the subordinates’ job satisfaction (the Beta = -0.010, t value=-.062).

Table 2 shows the regression analysis for all dependent and independent variables.

Table 2: Result of Regression Analysis

Dependent Variable Independent Variable Standardized Beta T-value Sign. Adjusted R2 F-value
Job Satisfaction Direction-giving


.258 1.646 .104 .033 1.981

Language (X3)

.012 .083 .934
Meaning Making Language -.010 -.062 .951
Job Performance Direction-giving

Language (X2)

-.001 -.009 .993 -.020 .431

Language (X3)

.135 .926 .357
Meaning Making Language -.114 -.901 .370

Source: Primary

Motivating Language and Job Performance

The degree of using empathetic language showed positive influence on the subordinates’ job performance (the Beta =.135, t value=.926). In other words, when the supervisor uses more motivating language (empathetic), the subordinates’ job performance is higher.

Research Findings and Discussion:

First of all the sample size used for this study is small (87) for regression analysis. Another thing is that the subjects of our study, i.e. the officers of private commercial banks are very much busy with their works. So, the analysis deviates from standard. As the description of validation of research hypotheses using regression analysis is as follows

Relationship between Motivating Language and Job Satisfaction

It was hypothesized that positive correlation may be in place between the use of motivating language and job satisfaction, and such hypothesis was partially supported in this study. Further analysis indicated that the use of direction-giving language and empathetic language by the supervisor proved to have positive correlation with the subordinates’ job satisfaction.

Following figures show the relationship between different languages and job satisfaction

Figure 6: Relation Found from Analysis among Different Motivating Languages and Job Satisfaction

Source: Primary

When the supervisor provides precise instruction of the subordinates’ missions and offer compliments and encouragements, the subordinates’ job satisfaction is likely to be higher. In other words, the use of direction-giving language and empathetic language by the supervisor may significantly enhance job satisfaction.

In addition, it is worth noting that, when the supervisor established a close relationship with the subordinates, the use of direction-giving language and empathetic language will result in a more significant positive influence on the enhancement of job satisfaction. When the supervisor provides precise instruction of the subordinates’ missions and offer compliments and encouragements, the subordinates’ job satisfaction is likely to be higher.

Relationship between Motivating Language and Job Performance

It was hypothesized that positive correlation may be in place between the use of motivating language and job performance, and such hypothesis was partially supported in this study. Further analysis indicated that the use of empathetic language by the supervisor proved to have positive correlation with the subordinates’ job performance. In other words, the use of direction-giving language and empathetic language by the supervisor may significantly enhance job performance.

Figure 7: Relation Found from Analysis among Different Motivating Languages and Job Performance

Source: Primary

In addition, it is worth noting that, when the supervisor established a close relationship with the subordinates, the use of empathetic language will result in a more significant positive influence on the enhancement of job performance.

Conclusion and Suggestions

From the results of the study all the research hypotheses are found to be partially supported. These research results will be concluded and the research limitations will be discussed.

Research Findings:

1. When the use of direction-giving language is more frequent, it is more likely to have positive influence on job satisfaction and job performance. This may be attributed to the characteristic of working in the private banks which are formal and standard in nature.

2. This study shows the effect of meaning-making language does not have significant influence on the subordinates’ job satisfaction and performance.

3. It is noted that the subordinates’ job performance and job satisfaction will be improved if the subordinates’ punishment is replaced with motivating language.

Practical Implication:

Previous studies tend to focus on the relationship between variables such as job satisfaction and job performance, however, research on the effects of motivating language is scarce. Hence, it is hoped that this study would validate the correlation between these variables and motivating language as well as provide the following suggestions to the supervisors:

1. It is noted that the use of motivating language by the supervisor will have positive influence on the subordinates’ job satisfaction and performance. Hence, the use of motivating language, rather than authoritative leadership style, will greatly enhance the job satisfaction and performance of the subordinates.

2. Motivating language itself appears to be most strongly affected by a leader’s direction-giving language and empathetic factors, and slightly less strongly represented by the meaning-making factor. One possible limitation in these findings is that meaning-making language use may be most prevalent during the early phase of the leader-worker relationship and times of cultural change. If so, we may not be fully capturing meaning-making language’s full strength. Future research should explore this relationship.

Research Limitation:

1. The measurement of job performance can be conducted by self-evaluation or by others (supervisor or coworker) and can be based on objective information such as annual performance reports. Past studies have suggested that self-evaluation may not be as rigid and may contained overstate information or may show tendency of self-abasement. Due to time and cost, and the difficulty of matching the samples with coworkers or acquiring performance report from the organization, the evaluation in this study was performed by the only direct supervisors.

2. The samples of this study are based on convenient sampling investigation of banking sector of Bangladesh and thus the results cannot be generalized into other sectors like professional firms, telecommunication etc.

3. For any regression analysis the standard sample size is 200 but we took only 88 samples which is very poor. For this reason the result of this study is not accurate and sometimes the results deviate from the hypothesis.

Suggestions for Subsequent Studies:

1. We only did the study in banking sector, but it can be done in other types of business related field also. Hence, future studies may focus on the comparison of different sectors in business of Bangladesh.

2. This study has focused only on the midlevel employees of different types of banks and subsequent studies may choose to entry level and also top level management’s job satisfaction and performance.

3. This study is considered only the satisfaction and performance upon leader motivating languages. Some hypotheses show that there are other factors like intrinsic motivation, organizational citizenship behavior, organizational commitment etc. which also depend upon motivating language of leader. It is suggested that further study may correlate all the dependent variables of leader motivating language.

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