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Path-goal style

Discuss a contemporary leadership situation with which you are familiar. Your analysis should indicate what you would guess to be the path-goal leadership style of the leader in this situation and the task and subordinates' characteristics, supporting the position with specific examples and explaining whether the action taken was effective. You should also describe how path-goal leadership theory provides a useful way to understand the leadership shown in this example.

1,268 words, five references

Solution Preview

Before going into a contemporary situation of a leader who demonstrated path goal leadership, let us examine the various meanings and implications of what is known as "path goal leadership theory."

According to envision software.com (2010) path-goal leadership theory was proposed by the American psychologist Robert House. This brand of leadership contends that the leader must motivate subordinates by:
1) emphasizing the relationship between the subordinates' own needs and the organizational goals;
2) clarifying and facilitating the path subordinates must take to fulfill their own needs as well as the organization's needs; according to this site, House's theory also attempts to predict the effect that structuring behavior will have under different conditions. According to these authors, path-goal leadership theory is based on assumptions from Vroon's Expectency Theory, and, in regard to this, this model explains how behavior of the leader causes expectations and motivations in the subordinate that create effort and satisfaction; the rationale is that followers will perform better if they think they are capable, and if they perceive the work will get results and be worth the effort.

According to envisionsoftware.com (2010) in choosing which of the leadership behaviors to use, two variables influence the choice: the subordinate's characteristics, and the characteristics of the task; the leader behavior is contingent on these characteristics, making this a situational leadership theory; according to these authors, no one leadership behavior works for motivating every person and the leader supplies what is missing to motivate the follower; after this initial assessment of the follower and the task, the leader then helps the follower to define goals and then reach them in the most efficient way. According to this site, leaders may even adapt their styles with an individual during the completion of a task, if one part of the job needs a different motivation from another.

According to envisiionsoftware.com (2010) although it is a complex and sometimes confusing theory, it reminds leaders to continually think of their central purposes as a leader: to help define goals, clarifies paths to get there, remove obstacles that may exist, and provide support ...

Solution Summary

A path goal style is examined.

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