Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

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Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

By | October 2011
Page 1 of 6
Path- Goal Theory of Leadership
Torey Shannon and

There are many theories that are considered relevant when it comes to interpersonal relationships and the roles of leaders in behavioral science. According to Robert House, the relevance of these theories to the overall success of the organization is skewed. Robert House is an American Psychologist who graduated from Ohio State University with a Ph.D. in Management. He formulated The Path-Goal Theory of Leader Effectiveness (House, 1971). This theory was formulated on the precepts of two previous theories, the Expectancy Theory of Motivation by Victor Vroom and the work of Martin G. Evans. Victor Vroom originated the first work place oriented theory on motivation in 1964. It stated that: employees tend to rationally evaluate the types of on the job/work behaviors and then select the best behaviors they believe will result in the most valued work related rewards and outcomes (Vroom, 1959). This theory, I believe, states the notion that employees will use their behaviors, values, and work ethic to put in more effort to complete a task with a reward or some desired outcome. These rewards can be a promotion, rise in pay or compensation, or personal satisfaction. In short, the results have to be attractive to the subordinate. Micheal Evans’ research suggests that the relationship with structure and employee satisfaction and motivation is contingent on the level that the subordinates need some type of clarification on the behaviors necessary of them to perform effectively. It further states: there is a unique relationship in the leader initiating structure and the expectancies of subordinate employees (Evans 1970). When the two are intertwined and a hypothesis is conceived, Robert Houses’ theory of Path-Goal of Leadership Effectiveness is made relevant. This paper will give the origin of the theory, define the theory, and describe and give example of the four types of leadership behavior styles and the...