Path Goal Theory Of Leadership Essay Papers

Path-Goal Theory in Leadership Essay

2048 Words9 Pages

Leadership has been studied from a wide range of perspectives and thus it means different things to different people. Some people view leadership as the focus of group processes, some others view it from a personality or skills perspective, to some others leadership is an act or behavior, some school of thought describe leadership in terms of power relationship while some view leadership as a transformational process (Northouse, 2012). Looking at the various definitions of leadership, there are various terms that are important; including the fact that leadership is a process that involves influence and the attainment of a common goal, and usually occurs in the context of a group (Northouse, 2012). The path-goal theory is one of the…show more content…

Leadership has been studied from a wide range of perspectives and thus it means different things to different people. Some people view leadership as the focus of group processes, some others view it from a personality or skills perspective, to some others leadership is an act or behavior, some school of thought describe leadership in terms of power relationship while some view leadership as a transformational process (Northouse, 2012). Looking at the various definitions of leadership, there are various terms that are important; including the fact that leadership is a process that involves influence and the attainment of a common goal, and usually occurs in the context of a group (Northouse, 2012). The path-goal theory is one of the theories of leadership that emphasizes on the relationship between the style of the leader and the characteristics of the subordinates while taking in to consideration the setting at the work place (Northouse, 2012). The theory describes four different leadership styles; directive or instrumental, supportive, participative and achievement oriented. In the directive style of leadership, the leader guides his subordinates on what is expected of them and leads them on the right path towards achieving a goal (Silverthorne, 2001). In the supportive style the leader acts as a friend, is compassionate and pays attention to the needs of his followers and creates a caring environment for them (Silverthorne, 2001). A participative leader seeks and values

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The Path Goal Theory Of Leadership

The term path-goal is derived from the belief that effective leaders clarify the path to help their followers get from where they are to the achievement of their work goals and make the journey along the path easier by reducing roadblocks and pitfalls (Robbins 2001, p. 229).

The path-goal theory developed by Robert House is based on the expectancy theory of motivation. The leader's job is viewed as coaching or guiding workers to choose the best paths for reaching their goals. "Best" is judged by the accompanying achievement of organizational goals. It is based on the precepts of goal setting theory and argues that leaders will have to engage in different types of leadership behavior depending on the nature and demands of the particular situation. It's the leader's job to assist followers in attaining goals and to provide direction and support needed to ensure that their goals are compatible with the organizations.

A leader's behavior is acceptable to subordinates when viewed as a source of satisfaction and motivational when need satisfaction is contingent on performance, and the leader facilitates, coaches and rewards effective performance. Path goal theory identifies achievement-oriented, directive, participative and supportive leadership styles.

In achievement-oriented leadership: Achievement- oriented leader sets challenging goals for followers, expects them to perform at their highest level, and shows confidence in their ability to meet this expectation. This style is appropriate when the follower suffers from a lack of job challenge. Achievement-oriented leaders express confidence that subordinates can reach these goals.

In directive leadership: Directive leaders let followers know what is expected of them and tells them how to perform their tasks. This style is appropriate when the follower has an ambiguous job. Directive leaders let subordinates know what is expected of them.

Participative leadership: Involves leaders consulting with followers and asking for their suggestions before making a decision. This style is appropriate when the follower is using improper procedures or is making poor decisions. Participative leaders consult with subordinates about work-related matters and consider their opinions.

Supportive leadership: The leader is friendly and approachable. He or she shows concern for followers' psychological well being. This style is appropriate when the followers lack confidence. Supportive leaders are friendly and approachable.

Path-Goal theory assumes that leaders are flexible and that they can change their style, as situations require. The theory proposes two contingency variables (environment and follower characteristics) that moderate...

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