path of goal theory

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Path-Goal Theory (Robert House)
Summary

Study questions:
• What are the two primary goals of a leader/manager?
• Think of the most common categories of situations that might prevent workers from achieving these goals?
• For each category of goals, what can the leader do to remove the barrier and get the worker back on the path toward the goal?
• When might people prefer directive leadership (relate this to locus of control)
House proposes that the leader can affect the performance, satisfaction, and motivation of a group in different ways: • Offering rewards for achieving performance goals
• Clarifying paths towards these goals
• Removing obstacles to performance
A person may perform these by adopting a certain leadership style, based on the situation: •Directive leadership: Specific advice is given to the group and ground rules and structure are established. For example, clarifying expectations, specifying or assigning certain work tasks to be followed.
•Supportive leadership: Good relations are promoted with the group and sensitivity to subordinates' needs is shown.
•Participative leadership: Decision making is based on consultation with the group and information is shared with the group.
•Achievement-oriented leadership: Challenging goals are set and high performance is encouraged while confidence is shown in the groups' ability.

There is also evidence that more directive leadership is preferred by certain people under some circumstances as shown in the figure below:

•Self assessment: Locus of Control--

Supportive behavior increases satisfaction by the group, especially in stressful situations, while directive behavior is suited to uncertain and ambiguous situations. It is also proposed that leaders who have influence upon their superiors can increase group satisfaction and performance.

The figure below shows how environmental and subordinate contingency factors may moderate leadership

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