A Guide To Robert House Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

What is Path Goal Theory of Leadership?

The Path-Goal Theory was developed by Robert House in 1971. It’s supported by the expectation theory of motivation. Like our situational models, the Path-Goal theory attempts leadership effectiveness in several situations. The functions of a pacesetter are to clarify and set goals by providing guidance, support, and rewards.

The term path-goal springs from the assumption that effective leaders clarify the trail to assist their followers to get from where they’re to realize their work goal and make the journey along the trail easier by reducing roadblocks.

Path-Goal Theory of leadership states that effective leaders influence employees’ satisfaction and performance by making their need satisfaction contingent on effective job performance.

The leader has got to facilitate overall learning by helping followers better understand how their actions are linked to organizational rewards.

Employees make an optimum contribution to the organizational goals where they perceive that their personal satisfaction depends on their effective performance. He should provide guidance and support to get rid of difficulties in achieving the goals.

Leader Behavior or Styles in Path-Goal Theory

Path-Goal Theory identifies four sorts of leadership styles to motivate and satisfy employees.

Directive Behavior

The leader clarifies performance goals, the means to succeed in those goals, and therefore the standard against which performance are going to be judged. it’s equivalent to task-oriented and initiating structure behavior.

The leader focuses on planning, organizing, and coordinating the activities of subordinates. The leader tells subordinates what’s expected of them and provides specific guidance, schedules, rules, regulations, and standards.

Supportive Behavior

These behaviors provide psychological support for subordinates. The leader is friendly and approachable, makes the work more pleasant, treats employees equally, and shows concern for the status, needs, and well-being of employees. This style is analogous to the consideration in Ohio State Studies.

Participative Behavior

Participative leaders actively consult employees, invite their suggestions, and take these ideas into serious consideration before making a choice. The participative technique is one of the foremost important to form feel employees matter within the working process.

Achievement Oriented Behavior

The leader sets challenging goals, expect employees to perform at the very best level, continuously seeks improvement in employees’ performance, and shows the very best degree of confidence that employees will assume responsibility and attain challenging goals.

The aim of path-goal theory is to create the leader’s effectiveness. This will be shown in the following diagram:

path goal theory

Path-Goal Theory proposes two classes of situational variables, personal characteristics of group members and environmental conditions. An efficient leader is one who understands the characteristics of subordinates and environmental situations and who matches his behavior accordingly.

The idea subscribes to the notion that a pacesetter can enhance his behavioral patterns as demanded by the requirements of things. The behavior of a pacesetter depends on the character of things and therefore the characteristics of individuals.

Path-Goal Theory is more elaborate than Fielder’s Contingency Theory because it takes into consideration both the personality characteristics of subordinates also as situational variables. It not only suggests what sort of leader could also be effective during a given situation but also explains why the leader is effective.

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