Path Goal Theory
The path‐goal theory is based on the expectancy theory of motivation. A manager's job is to coach or guide workers to choose the best paths for reaching their goals. Based on the goal‐setting theory, leaders engage in different types of leadership behaviors depending on the nature and demands of a particular situation.
A leader's behavior is acceptable to subordinates when viewed as a source of satisfaction. He or she is motivational when need satisfaction is contingent on performance; this leader facilitates, coaches, and rewards effective performance. Path‐goal theory ...view middle of the document...
This style is appropriate when followers hold ambiguous jobs.
• Participative.The leader consults with followers and asks them for suggestions before making a decision. This style is appropriate when followers are using improper procedures or are making poor decisions.
• Supportive.The leader is friendly and approachable. He or she shows concern for the followers' psychological well‐being. This style is appropriate when followers lack confidence.
Path‐goal theory assumes that leaders are flexible and that they can change their styles as situations require. This theory proposes two contingency variables that moderate the leader behavior‐outcome relationship:
• Environmentcharacteristics are outside the control of followers, task structure, authority system, and work group. Environmental factors determine the type of leader behavior required if follower outcomes are to be maximized.
• Followercharacteristics are the focus of control, experience, and perceived ability. Personal characteristics of subordinates determine how the environment and leader behavior are interpreted.
Effective leaders clarify the path to help their followers achieve their goals, and make their journeys easier by reducing roadblocks and pitfalls. Research demonstrates that employee performance and satisfaction are positively influenced when leaders compensate for shortcomings in either their employees or the work settings.