Path Goal Theory

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Leadership, Motivation, Management
  • Pages : 8 (1980 words )
  • Download(s) : 738
  • Published : September 28, 2010
Open Document
Text Preview
Title: “Examine Robert Houses’ Path Goal Theory and its usefulness in today’s organizations” Subject: Organizational Behavior

Introduction (205 words)

Path Goal Theory is a theory proposed by Martin Evans and Robert House, which is then developed by Robert House himself which suggests how leaders of any organization can be effective towards their subordinates in order to achieve organizational goals. 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. 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.

Literature Review

Refer to Appendix 1 (542 words)
Reference: Organizational Behavior: leading and managing in Australia and New Zealand- 2nd Edition Title: Clearing the path to the goal.
Author: Stephen P. Robbins; Bruce Millett; Ron Cacioppe; Terry Waters-Marsh

Path Goal Theory is motivational in such a way that the leader guides, support and makes the followers become dependent and need satisfaction contingent on effective performance. Effective leaders are those who applies reinforcement to their followers, which means giving rewards for those who shows positive behavior and performance towards the achievement of the organizational goal. Thus, Robert House’s Path Goal Theory has identified four leadership behaviors to support how a leader can be effective and dependable for their subordinates.

The four leadership behaviors are:
1. Directive Leadership
2. Supportive Leadership
3. Participative Leadership
4. Achievement-Oriented Leadership

Other than the four leadership behaviors, there are two factors which can also affects the outcomes of an organization. The two factors are:
1. Environmental Contingency Factors – This is the task structure, formal authority system and work group. This factor is not controlled by the subordinates. This is important because it determines whether which Leadership behavior a leader should apply in order to maximize the performance of every subordinate and achieve the desired organizational goals. 2. Subordinate Contingency Factors – This is the Locus of Control, Experience and Perceived Ability. This factor is also the characteristics of each subordinates. This is the factor which determines how the environmental factors and leadership behavior are interpreted.

These are a few examples on which leadership style fits best with some situations: 1. Directive Leadership: This style of Leadership behavior is more appropriate when the given tasks are uncertain and/or stressful for the subordinates. It is not recommended for leaders to use this style towards an experienced and with high ability workers. Directive style leadership should not be applied when the formal authority relationships are clear and structured. This style of leadership will give more satisfaction for the employees just in case there are disagreements within groups. Managers/ leaders should also observe the locus of control of the subordinates, as when subordinates with external locus of...
tracking img