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Path –Goal Theory

Developed by Robert
 House
A theory which describes:
 How leaders can motivate
  their followers to achieve
  group and organizational
  goals and the kinds of
  behaviors leaders can
  engage into motivate
  followers.
Path-Goal Theory: Brief Description

It is about how leaders motivate followers to
 accomplish designated goals
The stated goal of leadership is to enhance employee
 performance and employee satisfaction by focusing
 on employee motivation
Emphasizes the relationship between the leader’s
 style and characteristics of the followers and the work
 setting
The leader must use a style that best meets the
 followers motivational needs
Guidelines for Path-Goal Theory

Determine what outcomes subordinates are trying to
 obtain in the workplace
Reward subordinates for performing at a high level or
 achieving their work goals by giving them desired
 outcomes
Make sure subordinates believe that they can obtain
 their work goals and perform at a high level
Leadership Behaviors

Directive leadership
Supportive Leadership
Participative Leadership
Achievement-Oriented Leadership

Note: House assumes leaders are flexible, can display
 any behaviors depending on the situations
Subordinate Characteristics

Need for affiliation: prefer supportive leadership
Preferences for structure: prefer directive leadership
Desires of control: prefer participative leadership
Self-perceived level of task ability: prefer achievement
 orientated leadership
Path-Goal Theory
Path –Goal Variables and Predictions
Path-Goal Theory
Pros
Helps understand how leader behavior effects
 subordinates satisfaction and work performance
Deals directly with motivation – one of the only
 theories to address this
Provides a very practical model – make a clear path
 and follow it
Path-Goal Theory
Cons
This is a very complex theory that incorporates many
 aspects of leadership
Research only partially supports the theory
Fails to explain adequately the relationship between
 leader behavior and subordinate motivation
Treats leadership as a one way street, places a
 majority of the responsibility on the leader

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Path-Goal Theory: Motivating Followers

  • 1. Path –Goal Theory Developed by Robert House A theory which describes: How leaders can motivate their followers to achieve group and organizational goals and the kinds of behaviors leaders can engage into motivate followers.
  • 2. Path-Goal Theory: Brief Description It is about how leaders motivate followers to accomplish designated goals The stated goal of leadership is to enhance employee performance and employee satisfaction by focusing on employee motivation Emphasizes the relationship between the leader’s style and characteristics of the followers and the work setting The leader must use a style that best meets the followers motivational needs
  • 3. Guidelines for Path-Goal Theory Determine what outcomes subordinates are trying to obtain in the workplace Reward subordinates for performing at a high level or achieving their work goals by giving them desired outcomes Make sure subordinates believe that they can obtain their work goals and perform at a high level
  • 4. Leadership Behaviors Directive leadership Supportive Leadership Participative Leadership Achievement-Oriented Leadership Note: House assumes leaders are flexible, can display any behaviors depending on the situations
  • 5. Subordinate Characteristics Need for affiliation: prefer supportive leadership Preferences for structure: prefer directive leadership Desires of control: prefer participative leadership Self-perceived level of task ability: prefer achievement orientated leadership
  • 7.
  • 8. Path –Goal Variables and Predictions
  • 9. Path-Goal Theory Pros Helps understand how leader behavior effects subordinates satisfaction and work performance Deals directly with motivation – one of the only theories to address this Provides a very practical model – make a clear path and follow it
  • 10. Path-Goal Theory Cons This is a very complex theory that incorporates many aspects of leadership Research only partially supports the theory Fails to explain adequately the relationship between leader behavior and subordinate motivation Treats leadership as a one way street, places a majority of the responsibility on the leader