Essays on Path-goal Leadership Theory Assignment

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Path-goal Leadership Theory" is a perfect example of a management assignment.   A number of leadership theories exist to provide insights into the different qualities and attributes that leaders do posses. One of the theories that fall in the category of contingency theories of leadership is the path-goal leadership theory developed by Robert House. The paper, therefore, deliberates on the different situations where leaders make attempts or apply path-goal leadership theory. Question 1 The theory defines the major role of a leader as defining the goals and laying down a path for the followers or the subordinates to facilitate completion of goal setting.

According to House (1971), manager job is viewed as guiding workers by selecting the best paths for the entity and subordinates to reach their set goals as well as organizational goals. Hence, leaders need to engage in different or exhibit different behaviors depending on the situation at hand and the demand of the situation. Role of leaders is to assist followers to attain their aims and goal through provision of a sense of direction and support for them to be compatible with the organization's goals (Gupta, 2009).

Therefore, followers accept behavior of a leader if they perceive or view it as acceptable and this becomes their source of satisfaction and motivation (House 1971). The level of satisfaction leads to improved performance. The leader coach, facilitate and rewards good performance. Therefore, the major focus that the theory stresses is that if subordinates are satisfied with the leadership style that meets their needs and expectations then they will be more likely to be motivated towards the goals of leadership. However, if the role and structure of tasks of subordinates are ambiguous, they are likely to feel stressed and dissatisfied hence, will disapprove the leader’ s style.

This means that leaders need to motivate subordinates and show them a sense of direction to avoid ambiguities in an organization. Leaders engage in those behaviors that complement the abilities and the deficiencies of the subordinates. A proponent of the theory House believed that leaders are flexible and therefore have the capacity to demonstrate all the four styles including, directive, achievement-oriented, participative and supportive leadership styles (House 1971). The reason why he believed this way is that a leader takes control of the organization to provide a sense of direction.

At the same time, a leader is supposed to set challenging goals and expect subordinates to perform higher to attain the same (Wofford & Liska 1993). In some instances, a leader is also required to consult and engage with the followers. He must ask for suggestions from the members before making decisions to achieve positive results. Furthermore, he also needs to support subordinates by showing psychological concerns to sub-ordinates.

Some of the subordinates go through stressful experiences and they need psychological support for them to gain energy and hope to commit themselves to the organization. Therefore concisely, House envisioned a situation whereby a leader needs to be an all-round person because of the diverse challenges and situations or circumstances that do occur in the organization. The fluidity of a leader will enable him to deal with challenges and different situations hence, motivate subordinates for them to contribute to an increased level of performance and productivity (Wofford & Liska 1993).



Dessler, G, & Valenzi, E 1977, ‘Initiation of Structure and Subordinate Satisfaction: A Path Analysis Test of Path-Goal Theory.’ Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 20 no. 2, pp. 251-259

Evans, M 1996, ‘R.J. House's `a path-goal theory of leader effectiveness.' Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 7 no. 3, pp. 305.

Hayyat Malik, S 2012, ‘A Study of Relationship between Leader Behaviors and Subordinate Job Expectancies: A Path-Goal Approach.’ Pakistan Journal of Commerce & Social Sciences, Vol. 6 no. 2, pp. 357-371.

House, R 1971, ‘A Path Goal Theory of Leader Effectiveness.’ Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 16 no. 3, pp. 321-339.

Gupta, A 2009, ‘Path-Goal leadership.’ Retrieved from; http://www.practical-

Jermier, J 1996, ‘The path-goal theory of leadership: A subtextual analysis. Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 7 no. 3, p. 311.

Indvik, J 1986, ‘Path-Goal Theory of Leadership: A Meta-Analysis., Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings, pp. 189-192.

Landrum, N, & Daily, C 2012, ‘ Corporate Accountability: A Path-Goal Perspective.’ International Journal of Business Insights & Transformation, Vol. 4, pp. 50-62.

Schriesheim, C, & Von Glinow, M 1977, ‘The Path-Goal Theory of Leadership: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis.’ Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 20 no. 3, pp. 398-405

Vecchio, R, Justin, J, & Pearce, C 2008, ‘The utility of transactional and transformational leadership for predicting performance and satisfaction within a path-goal theory framework.’ Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, Vol. 81 no. 1, pp. 71- 82.

Wofford, J & Liska, L 1993, ‘Path-Goal Theories of Leadership: A Meta-Analysis.’ Journal of Management, Vol. 19 no. 4, p. 587.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us