Graduation Year

Fall 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jay Conger

Rights Information

© 2013 Joshua Ho


A motivated workforce is crucial for the success of an organization. Increasing employee performance is a key ingredient to a successful organization. Effective leaders should therefore be able to motivate their subordinates. How can leaders use vision, empowerment, culture, and ethics to increase employee performance main subject of this thesis.

“Vision represents a leader's idealized goal that is shared with followers” (Johnson 2009). Strong visions are inspiring, and associated with higher organizational performance. Transformational leadership articulate an appealing vision of the future, challenge followers with high standards, and provide encouragement and meaning for their work (Johnson 2009).

Empowerment is an important element that leaders can utilize to increase employee performance in organizations. Empowerment refers to individuals’ self-motivating mechanisms and consists of meaning, competency, self-determination, and impact (Spreitzer, 1995). Employees who are empowered reported high job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and decreased turnover rates (Sparrowe, 1994; Koberg et al., 1999).

Ethical leaders are leaders with right values and strong character that set examples for others and withstand temptations (Freeman & Steward 2006). Ethical leadership behavior has been found promote employee attitudes and behaviors and increase task significance, resulting in improved employee performance (Piccolo et al., 2010).

“Organizational culture is defined as patterns of shared values and beliefs over time which produces behavioral norms that are adopted in solving problems” (Owens 1987; Schein, 1990). A strong organizational culture inspires, motivate, and enable employees to perform at a high level and work towards a common objective.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.