Path-goal Theory

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The Northouse leadership textbook is an academic rich account of major theories and models concerning leadership with accessible examples that enable students to apply the knowledge of what they have learned in the real world. The chapters used in the book enables students to compare the various theories. The chapters consist three case studies with practical illustrations of the discussed theories (Northhouse, 2017). The book provides readers with the knowledge on leadership research in areas such as leadership responsibilities and ethics.

Peter Northouse in his leadership book, the chapter seven on Path-Goal Theory is based on specifying the specific styles, and behaviors leaders should subscribe to that will best suit their work and their relation with employees in order to achieve a common goal. Theron this case, the goal is to improve employees’ motivation, satisfaction and their empowerment for them to become productive members of the organization (Wade, 2016). Motivate employees to tend to perform better in their respective tasks. Leaders showing their appreciation through values tactics the may include promotion, compliments, rewards, and gifts among others.

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Path-goal model of leadership is one of the different forms of approaches that are found to be effective in the leadership path. The model provides a guide on the way to enhance employee’s performance and their satisfaction while basing on motivation. In the Theory and Practice book, the path-goal approach is illustrated as leaders who are involved in their path in leadership, and they portray behaviors including; (Wade, 2016).

  • Defining goals to make them understandable and clear to the employees.
  • Scribing the path to make it easy for followers and employees to accomplish the goal.
  • Eliminating hindrances and obstacles so that individuals may perform beyond expectations thus making it easier for them to achieve their objectives.
  • Providing workers with both emotional and technical support for them to perform excellently in their respective areas and feel motivated to achieve their goals. (Wade, 2016).
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The relationship between leaders and followers is essential for the success in any field that deals with leadership. According to Path Goal of Leadership, leaders should be available and easy to approach and access them by their followers. Their commitment helps in creating a good groundwork and a conducive working environment for productive work. It also creates transparency and commitment for workers to the goals to be achieved.

In cases where there are cases of authoritative leadership and a strict working environment, there is less transparency and subordinates are more likely to lie about their work progresses. The information retained due to fear may be crucial for the progress of the project. Employees will lie due to the fear of them not living up to the expected standards set to them by their leader. The outcome in this organization is that workers will be more secretive, less innovative and no good relationship between them and their superiors.

The Path Theory of I said to be based on the expectancy theory, that is, an individual is seen to act in a certain manner based on the expectations that their actions will be accompanied by. The performance of employees is based on the expected give results, which is the goal, and the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual. Therefore, the Path-Goal Theory can be best thought as a specific process in which leaders are adopting certain behavior patterns that are best curved to accommodate their worker’s needs. Leaders guide their employees through the “path” in the obtainment of their daily activities.

A successful leader should start by determining the employee and the working environmental characteristics. They should then select a type of leadership, and lastly, they are expected to focus their energy on determining the motivation factors that will contribute to the success of their workers (Clark, 2015). For instance, mark works behind a counter, and he is doing his best to gain as many sales as possible. They are paid in terms of commission according to the number of sales they make. Their manager has identified the goal, removed obstacles they may hinder sales. The manager conducts a regular orientation on the products they sell, motivates them and defines the company’s goals. The leadership technique, in this case, is considered to be authoritative in nature. Therefore, incentivizing workers is key to the success of the sales team. Jobs that pay in terms of commissions are more dependent on incentives, motivation and the employee’s committed-ness to work.

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Focusing on overcoming challenges in their work is to be kept under consideration. Strong obstacles require leaders to step in and help in selecting a path that works around it as soon as possible for employees to resume working towards the objectives. Most employees interpret the behavior of their leaders based on the structure of needs, affiliation, and their desire to control. If their leader display more structure then what they need, the employees become less motivated to work. Therefore, leaders are expected to be aware of their employees needs so as to know the best way to motivate them.

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  1. Clark, D. (2015, September 9). Path-Goal Leadership Theory.
  2. Northhouse, P. G. (2017). Leadership theory and practice. Sage publications , 520.
  3. Wade, W. A. (2016, July 2). Path-goal theory of leadership.
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