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Path-Goal Theory

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  • August 2010
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PATH GOAL THEORY OF LEADERSHIP

Leadership is the key issue in the development and advancement of groups, organizations, society and nations. The study of leadership plays a vital role in the behavioral and management sciences. It has also received a lot of attention, as well as is intensively explored even up to this day. This paper will be covering leadership proposed by Robert House which describes four styles of leadership, namely: (1) supportive leadership, (2) directive leadership, (3) participative leadership, and (4) achievement oriented leadership. This paper will be portraying the situations wherein each style would be appropriate, with the specific reference to the characteristics of the follower group and the nature of the task. Upon concluding this paper, the researcher will also be discussing the extent of the usefulness of path goal theory of leadership when utilized to determine which leadership style is to be used.

Introduction

It is said that leadership is the most well-known and important subjects under study in the behavioral and management studies (Baruch 1998). The study of leadership actually constitutes of various kind of researches. In addition, it has been the highlight of many papers in the academic and professional journals (Cited from Baruch 1998). Baruch (1998) adds that the theoretical framework of leadership has been developed throughout the century, beginning with the “trait theory” through theories focusing on the way leaders use and exploit power, then through theories exploring behavioral approaches, then finally those looking at contingencies, then finally those theories considering situational aspects. These theories have been quite considerably explored; as a result, various studies have been published, many of which are relevant too for the practitioners of the field.

Leadership: A Theoretical Framework

Many academics in the field of leadership have been trying to define leadership and its effects, as well...