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Path-Goal Theory

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Jordan Reams

on 11 March 2014

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Transcript of Path-Goal Theory

Path-Goal Theory
What is it all about?
Works of Evans (1970), House (1971), House and Dessler (1974), and House and Mitchell (1974)
The path-goal theory is about how leaders motivate followers to accomplish goals.
Underlying assumption-followers will be motivated if they:
think they are capable of performing their work
believe their work will result in a certain outcome and the payoffs are worthwhile
Motivation in generated when leaders:
increase the amount of payoffs followers receive
make goals clear and easy to accomplish
use the best leadership behavior that meets the needs of followers
Follower Characteristics
Task Characteristics
Task characteristics also have an impact on followers motivation and includes:
follower's task
formal authority system-rules and policies
primary group of followers
When the task is stated clearly, followers will find ways to accomplish goals and will not need leadership.
However when tasks are unclear, a leader will need to step in.
When group norms are weak, leaders need to assist to build relationships.
Followers = Subordinates
Directive Leadership
gives followers instructions about their task
what is expected
how it is to be done
time for when it is to be completed
sets clear standards of performance
makes the rules clear to followers
Supportive Leadership
is a friendly and approachable
attends to well-being of followers
goes out of their way to make work pleasant
treats followers as equals
gives them respect for their
Participative Leadership
invites followers to share in decision making
integrates their suggestions in decisions about how the group will progress
Achievement-Oriented Leadership
challenges followers to perform at highest level
establishes a high standard of excellence and seeks improvement
shows a high degree of confidence that followers are capable of achieving goals
Followers with a
strong need for affiliation
Followers with a
preference for structure
prefer directive leadership because it provides task clarity
desires for control also pay a role in leadership satisfaction

internal locus of control
prefer participative leadership because they believe they are in charge of events that occur
external locus of control
prefer directive leadership because it parallels their feelings that outside forces control circumstances
When followers have a
self-perceived level of task ability
the need directive leadership goes down making it redundant and excessive controlling can occur
What leadership behavior?
prefer supportive leader because friendly and concerned leadership is a source of satisfaction
These characteristics determine the degree to which followers find the behavior of their leader satisfying.
How does it all work together?
In short, when leaders use the leadership style that best suites followers motivation will occur.
Leaders need to help define goals and solve any obstacles
When this is accomplished.........
Hakuna Matata!!
House published a reformulated theory that included four more classes of leadership behavior. They include:
work facilitation
group-oriented decision process
work-group representation and networking
value based leadership behavior

it is very complex and incorporates many different aspects of leadership making it hard to interpret
has only received partial support from research studies
fails to explain the relationship between leadership behavior and follower motivation
learned helplessness can occur
provides a useful framework for understanding how various leadership behaviors affect follower's motivation
is the only theory that deals directly with motivation
provides a model that is practical
Multiple Choice
1. Which leadership behavior involves using the ideas of the followers?
a.) work facilitation
b.) participative
c.) directive
d.) internal locus of control

b. participative
Fill in the blank
2. The path-goal theory is about how leaders __________ followers to accomplish goals.

Short Answer
3. The path-goal theory encourages leaders to help followers to remove any obstacles that come their way. What is an obstacle that could arise in your job? As a leader, how would you help your followers to remove it?
An obstacle that could arise in my job would be missing too many interventions with my students because of wintery weather. As talent search advisor, we are required to see our students at least once a month. As a leader, I would advise my employees to make up the visits in one of two ways:
1. create a newsletter to mail to students covering the missed intervention lesson
2. work with the school to schedule a make up visit
Great Job!
Y'all did it!!
Just keep thinking,
just keep thinking!
Chapter 7
Jordan Reams
EDUC 523
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