Path Goal Theory Of Leadership

Topics: Leadership, Motivation / Pages: 5 (1016 words) / Published: Dec 12th, 2014

Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

Path-Goal Leadership Theory
The Path-Goal model is a theory based on specifying a leader 's style[1] or behavior that best fits the employee and work environment in order to achieve goals (House,
Mitchell, 1974). The goal is to increase an employee 's motivation, empowerment, and satisfaction so that they become productive members of the organization.
Path-Goal is based on Vroom 's (1964) expectancy theory[2] in which an individual will act in a certain way based on the expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual. The path-goal theory was first introduced by Martin Evans (1970) and then further developed by
House (1971).
The path-goal theory can best be thought of as a process in which leaders select specific behaviors that are best suited to the employees ' needs and the working environment so that they may best guide the employees through their path in the obtainment of their daily work activities (goals) (Northouse, 2013).
While Path-Goal Theory is not an exact process, it generally follows these basic steps as shown in the graphic below:
1. Determine the employee and environmental characteristics
2. Select a leadership style
3. Focus on motivational factors that will help the employee succeed




Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

Employee Characteristics
Employees interpret their leader 's behavior based on their needs, such as the degree of structure they need, affiliation, perceived level of ability, and desire for control. For example, if a leader provides more structure than what they need, they become less motivated. Thus a leader needs to understand their employees so they know how to best motivate them.

Task and Environmental Characteristics
Overcoming obstacles is a special focus of path-goal theory. If they become too strong, then the leader

References: Evans, M. G. (1970). The effects of supervisory behavior on the path-goal relationship. House, R. J. (1971). A Path-Goal Theory of Leader Effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly House, R. J., Mitchell, T. R. (1974). Path-goal theory of leadership. Journal of Contemporary Business House, R. J. (1996). Path-goal theory of leadership: Lessons, legacy, and a reformulated theory Northouse, P. (2013). Leadership Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc. Ridley, M. (2003). Nature Via Nurture[6]. New York: Harper Collins. Stogdill, R. M. (1974). Handbook of Leadership: A Survey of Theory and and Research[7]. Vroom, V., H. (1964). Work and motivation. New York: Wiley.

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