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Explain the Merits of the Path-Goal Model of Motivation by Contrasting It with Other Theories of Motivation.

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  • December 2012
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Question: Explain the merits of the path-goal model of motivation by contrasting it with other theories of motivation.

The path-goal model of motivation refers to the works of Robert J House in 1971 and later revised in 1996. House theorized that leaders are directly responsible for motivating their subordinates, and ideally could motivate them towards achieving personal goals and ultimately the goals of the organisation. Motivation refers to the “cognitive decision-making process through which goal directed behaviour is initiated energized, directed and maintained.” (Huczynski & Buchanan, 2007) Robbins goes on to describe motivation as the “processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction and persistence of effort towards attaining a goal.” (2010) Many have theorized about motivation because of positive correlations between employee motivation and productivity. This essay sets out to identify the value of the path goal model in practical terms and how the Path goal model supplements the limitations of other motivational theories. According to Robbins, Path Goal theory states that “it is the leader’s job to assist followers in attaining their goals and to provide the necessary direction and support to ensure that their goals are compatible with the overall objectives of the group/organisation”. (2010) A view derived from House who theorized that path goal theory is “concerned with how formally appointed superiors affect the motivation and satisfaction of subordinates” (1996) Brooks goes on to describe it as “a situational and transactional model of leadership as well as a theory of motivation.” (2006) Mawhinney and Ford stated that is “concerned with expectancies and utilities, or what a subordinate thinks prior to behaving.” (1977) As a motivational theory, the Path goal model hinges on leadership and a clear chain of command within the organisation, for example between a sales representative and their manager. House identified four leader...