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Path Goal Theory in Public Health

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Path-Goal and Situational Theories of Leadership


A brief description of two strengths and two limitations of Path-Goal Theory as applied in the field of public health. Then, compare (similarities and differences) Path-Goal Theory to Situational Theory of leadership. Be specific. Finally, explain whether Path-Goal Theory is a valid theory of leadership. Justify your response.

• Nahavandi, A. (2012). The art and science of leadership (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
• House, R.J. (1971). A path goal theory of leader effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 16(3), 321-339. (This is a seminal article in the field that will serve as a foundation for additional resources.)
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
• Luna, B.A. (2009). An analysis of the nuances and practical applications of situational leadership in the management and administration of international health care organizations. International Journal of e-Business Management, 3(5), 18.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
• Sarin, S., & O'Connor, G.C. (2009). First among equals: The effect of team leader characteristics on the internal dynamics of cross-functional product development teams. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 26(2), 188-205.

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In public health there is a common goal to prevent disease and promote health. The pro of the path goal theory is that it defines health care goals and clarifies the path to be taken by healthcare practitioners and institutions. The cons of the path goal theory of leadership are that path goal theory is complex and counter intuitive. The second con is that the path goal theory has so many interrelated assumptions that it is difficult to use the theory in public health. The goal path theory says that the manager's job is viewed as guiding workers to choose the best paths to reach their ...

Solution Summary

The answer to this problem explains the application and suitability of Path Goal theory of leadership to public health. The references related to the answer are also included.

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Leadership Theories and Applications

1. Choose a minimum of three leadership theories - these could include Path Goal Theory, Contingency Theory, Transformational Leadership Theory, Member Leader Theory, Team Leadership Theory, and Psychodynamic Leadership Theory, to name a few. For each of your chosen theories, use at least two peer reviewed journal articles that discuss the attributes of the theory. Your sources should generally be no more than 5 years old.

2. Develop an introduction on the background of each of your theories and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of the theories.

3. Analyze all articles and describe the key themes that emerge across the three theories.

4. Based on your analysis of the literature, identify which leadership approach would be most successful within your chosen organization. You could identify a combination of two or three theories that would work best in your organization, but be sure to provide rationale as to why the combination would be most effective. Be sure to justify your choices.

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