Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

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And welcome to todays lesson. Where were looking at the path goal theory theory of leadership. Now the model basically proposes that a leader should change their leadership depending on their situation.
So. The leader will adopt their style or the path as the theory calls it based on their circumstances with the aim of achieving an objective or a goal as its known in the theory. Now robert house originally developed path goal theory in 1971.
And the theory belongs to a group of leadership models called contingency models and all contingency models share one thing in common they state that you should change your style of leadership contingent on the situation you face now path goal theory can be quite complicated to understand as theres many different parts to it. But an excellent place to start is to realize that the theory is built upon something called the expectancy theory of motivation. And youll understand path goal theory.
Much more clearly if you understand expectancy theory. So lets take a quick moment to summarize that theory now ill also include a link to that theory below this video. If you want to learn more but in a nutshell expectancy theory.
Says that an employee will be motivated to work hard when firstly they believe they can hit the targets. Their manager has set secondly. They know they will receive a reward if they hit those targets and thirdly.
They want or they actually value the reward on offer. So lets take a look at path goal theory. Now just like expectancy theory path goal theory states how to go about motivating your team to achieve their objectives and according to the theory.
And were starting in the green box on the diagram you should motivate your team by firstly. Ensuring goals are clear and that desirable rewards are available secondly by making the path to the goal clear thirdly by removing sicles and roadblocks that the subordinate might encounter on route to the goal and fourthly by sir by providing support coaching and guidance now so far this all sounds very much like expectancy theory. So whats the difference well.
The difference is that path goal theory states not only that leaders should focus on these motivational factors. But that they should use a specific leadership style based on the situation they find themselves in and you can see this here. In the diagram.
Only a leader will select a leadership sar dependent on these two combinations of factors firstly subordinate characteristics and then secondly the environmental factors so according to the model there are four styles of leadership directive. Supportive participative and achievement oriented and depending on the particular situation. One or more of these styles will be the one that most motivates a subordinate that is under certain circumstances.
It may be best to use more than one of these styles at the same time. But lets take a look at each in turn so firstly directive directive leaders tell their subordinates. Its precisely what they want them to do how they should do it and the deadline for completing the task.
The leader makes unambiguous rules and regulations. Which must be followed by the subordinate next. We have supportive supportive leaders create a warm and friendly environment and show concern for their for theirs for their severe.
Support friendly and approachable and they do their best to make work pleasant for their followers next. We have participative now these leaders have a collaborator and they involve subordinates in decision making by welcoming their ideas and their input. And they consider this information before making any final decision and finally we have achievement oriented.
Now these leaders challenge their support. Its to strive for excellence. Continually and this type of leader establishes.
A high baseline for performance and expects continuous improvement from that baseline now achievement oriented leaders display confidence in their subordinates to achieve the high standards and goals that they have set now the next part of the model is subordinate characteristics. What are your subordinates like and how well your leadership style works is always going to depend on your subordinates. Now essentially the effectiveness of each leadership style will be contingent on the characteristics of your subordinates.
Now. The model identifies four different subordinate characteristics that you can see here need for affiliation preference for structure desire for control and self perceived level of task ability. Now what the model says is that good leaders will create congruence between their leadership style and their subordinates characteristics leaders need to pick the style thats most likely to boost performance.
So lets examine each of these characteristics in turn. So. The first is need for affiliation and this describes subordinates.
Who need to belong within a group so subordinates with a strong need to belong prefer. Working with supportive leaders. As this makes them feel.
More. A part of the team now conversely achievement oriented leadership may work better. Where subordinates have a low need for affiliation next.
We have preference for a structure. Now this describe. A subordinates preference for structure and rigidity in their working practices and relationships now subordinates.
Who prefer more structure will obviously be more suited towards directive leadership next. We have desire for control and desire for control refers to whether a subordinate has an internal or external. Whats called lucas of control.
And ill put a link to an article about locus of control below this video as well. But essentially subordinates with an internal locus of control. Believe they have control over the events which happen to them.
Where are subordinates with an external locus of control. They primarily think events happen to them. Now.
If you have an internal locus of control. Youre going to prefer a participative leadership style and thats because it makes those type of subordinates. Feel that they are a vital part of the decision making process and conversely then subordinates with an external locus of control prefer a more directive style of leadership.

the researcher who consistently studied path-goal theory from the 1970s to 1990s is-0
the researcher who consistently studied path-goal theory from the 1970s to 1990s is-0

So finally we come on to the self perceived level of task ability and this refers to how good as subordinate believes. They are at performing a task now the less good they believe they are are performing a certain task the more theyre going to prefer a directive style of leadership. So the next part of the theory concerns the environment and the environment is another factor to take into account when determining your leadership style and it consists of three parts.
So firstly task structure then formal authority systems and finally primary work group now. The real key to understanding the environment is to realize that according to path goal theory. Leaders shouldnt duplicate the environmental factors that are already present within an organization.
So for example. If formal authority systems are robust and rigid. Then managers should avoid a directive leadership style.
So managers should look to boost low performer performance by providing. What is not already present in the environment. So lets take a look at each of these factors.
So task structure refers to how structure tasks are if a tasks are highly structured. Then leaders should avoid a directive leadership style and conversely unstructured tasks may create the need for a more directive leadership style next we have formal authority systems and these refer to the policies. The controls and the rules of the organization now these instruct employees on what to do and what not to do in different situations.
If the formal authority structure is clear then leaders should really avoid a directive. Telling style of leadership on the other hand. If formal authority structure isnt that clear then a directive or telling leadership style can be very beneficial.
So the final element is primary workgroup and this refers to the level of support. The subordinate receives from the people around them the people they work alongside and if a subordinate doesnt receive much support from their colleagues. Then a supportive leadership style can be very appropriate.
So obviously. Its quite a complex theory. So lets try and bring it all together and we can use this table to do that this table provides a summary of how to adjust your leadership style based on the different subordinates preferences and the environmental factors.
You described so lets take a simple example looking at the supportive row. Here we can see that if youre. Following.
Follower characteristics are that they need a human touch and that the task characteristics are that maybe theyre made mundane or repetitive. Then a supportive style of leadership works really well now one thing to be aware of is the difference between path goal theory. And whats called situational leadership and again if you need to know more about suitable situational leadership.
Ill put a link below this video. But if youre using situational leadership. You adjust your leadership style according to the level of development of your subordinates path goal theory is a little different to situational leadership.
Because you adapt your style based on the motivational needs of your team not their level of development. So lets take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of the theory. So firstly in terms of advantages path goal theory provides a framework for leaders to understand how their style influences.
The motivation of their subordinates. Its unique in that it links motivational theory to leadership theory. It highlights that the role of leaders is to guide and help their subordinates to achieve now in terms of disadvantages.
I mean. Its obviously pretty complex. I really hope youre following along.
But i im aware. Its a pretty complex subtopic and with so many variables. Involved studies are unable to cooperate that the theory works in the real world.
Sometimes a particular situation will require more than one style of leadership which is pretty confusing and in the leaders subordinate relation subordinate relationship particle theory places almost all of the responsibility on the shoulders of the leader thus. Theres a risk that subordinates become dependent in some way on the leader and fail to develop to the next level. So as its such a complicated theory.
Lets take a look at an example now in this example. Imagine that youre the manager of a small team and one of your team members will call him bob has constantly failed to hit his targets now upon speaking with bob. He realized that bobs lack of performance is become because his motivation levels are very low.
Now. How can we use path goal theory to boost bobs motivation and thus his performance well you can use the theory as a framework to examine bobs motivation by asking the questions you see on this page and you can use the model yourself just by simply copying these questions or making a note of these questions and asking these questions yourself to see what answers theyll throw up and how that tells you you should change your leadership style. So as you can see here from asking these questions we identify several issues.
So what we can see is the bob does a complicated job. And he likes to work in a structured way. However in his current environment formal authority isnt strong and bob doesnt receive much of any support from his peers.
Even though he has a high need for affiliation now there are also some roadblocks in the way to bob achieving his goals so from this we can say as manager as bobs manager to try and take a two fold approach to boost his motivation. So firstly you could decide to use a directive leadership style with bob to provide him with the structure that he craves and secondly you could choose to take something of a supportive leadership style to coach bob through the roadblocks. Hes facing and by doing this youll help meet his need for affiliation.
So as you can see we use it using the model to work out how best to motivate bob to achieve his goals. So in summary. The path goal theory of leadership is a pretty complicated framework that reminds us that the purpose of leadership is to facilitate the success of your subordinates.
Now the theory proposes there are many ways to make followers. Successful. Which you can diagnose using the checklist.
Like the one we showed in the example. So thats it for this lesson. I really hope you enjoyed it and i look forward to speaking to you again soon.
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the researcher who consistently studied path-goal theory from the 1970s to 1990s is-1
the researcher who consistently studied path-goal theory from the 1970s to 1990s is-1

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