Unlike agency theory, stewardship theory assumes that managers are stewards whose behaviors are aligned with the objectives of their principals. The theory argues and looks at a different form of motivation for managers drawn from organizational theory. Managers are viewed as loyal to the company and interested in achieving high performance. The dominant motive, which directs managers to accomplish their job, is their desire to perform excellently. Specifically, managers are conceived as being motivated by a need to achieve, to gain intrinsic satisfaction through successfully performing inherently challenging work, to exercise responsibility and authority, and thereby to gain recognition from peers and bosses. Therefore, there are non-financial motivators for managers.
The theory also argues that an organization requires a structure that allows harmonization to be achieved most efficiently between managers and owners. In the context of firm’s leadership, this situation is attained more readily if the CEO is also the chairman of the board. This leadership structure will assist them to attain superior performance to the extent that the CEO exercises complete authority over the corporation and that their role is unambiguous and unchallenged. In this situation, power and authority are concentrated in a single person. Hence, the expectations about corporate leadership will be clearer and more consistent both for subordinate managers and for other members of the corporate board. Thus, there is no room for uncertainty as to who has authority or responsibility over a particular matter. The organization will enjoy the benefits of unity of direction and of strong command and control.