Path-Goal Leadership Theory Literature Review

Topics: Leadership, Motivation, Organizational studies and human resource management Pages: 32 (9048 words) Published: April 1, 2013

No| Item| | Page No|
1.0 | Introduction| -| 1|
2.0 | Background of Path-Goal Theory| -| 3|
3.0 | Formulation & Development of Path-Goal Theory| -| 7| 4.0 | Basic Concept an Analysis of Path-Goal Theory| -| 18| 5.0 | Issues & Criticisms of Path-Goal Theory | -| 22| 6.0 | Impact of Path-Goal Theory| | 24|

7.0 | Related Examples| -| 25|
8.0 | Recommendation| -| 28|
9.0 | Conclusion| -| 30|
| References| -| 31|


Path Goal Theory also known as the path–goal theory of leader effectiveness or the path–goal model is a theory proposed by Martin Evans and Robert House, which is then developed by Robert House who is an Ohio State University graduate, in 1971 and revised it in 1996. This theory suggests how leaders of any organization can be effective towards their subordinates in order to achieve organizational goals. The theory also states that a leader's behavior is contingent to the satisfaction, motivation and performance of her or his subordinates. The revised version also argues that the leader engages in behaviors that complement subordinate's abilities and compensate for deficiencies. The path–goal model can be classified both as a contingency or as a transactional leadership theory.

This theory was first introduced in 1971 which was created based on Victor Vroom’s ‘Expectancy Theory of Motivation’. The name ‘Path-Goal’ itself shows that the leader should clarify their follower’s performance and remove any obstacle which comes between them and their goals. It is best when the leader focuses on each of the follower’s individual goals and helps them to improve their positive behavior towards achieving the organizational goal as a whole.

In 1996, a reformulated theory has been presented by Robert J. House from The Wharton School of Management which specifies leader behaviors that enhance subordinate empowerment and satisfaction and work unit and subordinate effectiveness. It addresses the effects of leaders on the motivation and abilities of immediate subordinates and the effects of leaders on work unit performance.

Path Goal theory states that successful leaders are the ones who can adjust their styles of leadership according to the situation which the company is undergoing. It means that a leader have to observe and diagnose the situations that acts either as an opportunity or threat towards the achievement of the organizational goal and then either strengthen the opportunity or eliminating the weaknesses by maximizing the performance of each subordinates. Robert House’s path goal theory had identified four leadership styles namely: directive leadership, supportive leadership, participative leadership and achievement-oriented leadership.

The path-goal theory developed by Robert House is also based on the expectancy theory of motivation. The manager’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 organization’s goal.

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 the leader behavior-outcome relationship. Environment is outside the control of followers-task structure, authority system, and work group. Environmental factors determine the type of leader behavior required if follower outcomes are to be maximized. Follower...
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