Path-Goal Theory Essay examples

3395 Words Aug 18th, 2010 14 Pages
PATH GOAL THEORY OF LEADERSHIP

Leadership is the key issue in the development and advancement of groups, organizations, society and nations. The study of leadership plays a vital role in the behavioral and management sciences. It has also received a lot of attention, as well as is intensively explored even up to this day. This paper will be covering leadership proposed by Robert House which describes four styles of leadership, namely: (1) supportive leadership, (2) directive leadership, (3) participative leadership, and (4) achievement oriented leadership. This paper will be portraying the situations wherein each style would be appropriate, with the specific reference to the characteristics of the follower group and the nature of the
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Nevertheless, it must be noted that although there have been various definitions of leadership that are quite not similar; there is a common and universal understanding of its nature.

The Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

The path-goal theory which has been formulated by Robert House is based on the tenets of the theory of expectancy that implies that subordinates will be motivated if they are capable of performing their work, if they believe that the payoffs for doing their work is worthwhile and if they believe that their efforts will result in a certain outcomes (Eberhard 2004). In the path goal theory of leadership, leaders facilitate their members define their goals and clarify their work as well as remove hindrances or obstacles and provide support.

Eberhard (2004) notes that subordinate characteristics have an association or desire for structure, desire for control and task ability. In addition, task ability is associated to task design, the authority system and the primary work group involved. Robert House’s path goal theory of leadership is theoretical and pragmatic as it works as the leader’s task is to facilitate subordinates achieve their goals by directing, guiding and coaching them along the journey of reaching their goals. Basing on the tasks and the characteristics of the leader’s subordinates, the path goal theory implies which style is most appropriate

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