Path Goal Theory of Leadership

Topics: Leadership, Organizational studies and human resource management, Path-goal theory Pages: 2 (553 words) Published: August 27, 2010
The path-goal theory, also known as the path-goal theory of leader effectiveness or the path-goal model, is a leadership theory in the field of organizational studies developed by Robert House, an Ohio State University graduate, in 1971 and revised in 1996. The theory states that a leader's behavior is contingent to the satisfaction, motivation and performance of his subordinates. The Path-Goal Theory of Leadership was developed to describe the way that leaders encourage and support their followers in achieving the goals they have been set by making the path that they should take clear and easy.

In particular, leaders:
* Clarify the path so subordinates know which way to go. * Remove roadblocks that are stopping them going there.
* Increasing the rewards along the route.

According to the Path-Goal theory of leadership, leaders are effective because of their affect on employees’ motivation and ability to perform. The theory is known as the Path-Goal theory because it describes how the leader influences the employees’ goals, and the paths to reach those goals. The Path-Goal theory is a useful framework for understanding the effect of a leader’s behavior on employee satisfaction and morale. The Path-Goal theory offers useful insights that would be helpful in guiding the behavior of managers in different situations. The Leader’s strategic function is to increase the employees’ motivation to perform. In other words, the function of the leader consists in increasing the benefits to the employees for reaching well defined goals, and removing the road blocks on the paths to these goals. House and Mitchell (1974) describe four styles of leadership: Supportive leadership

Considering the needs of the follower, showing concern for their welfare and creating a friendly working environment. This includes increasing the follower's self-esteem and making the job more interesting. This approach is best when the work is...

References: Bass, B.M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill 's Handbook of Leadership. New York: Free Press.
Likert, R. (1961). New patterns of management, NewYork: McGraw-Hill
Likert R. (1967). The human organization: Its management and value, NY: McGraw-Hill
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