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ADM 612 - Leadership. Lecture 7 – Path-Goal Theory. Introduction. Path-goal theory is about how leaders motivate subordinates to accomplish designated goals. Evans (1970), House (1971), House and Dessler (1974), House and Mitchell (1974).

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Adm 612 leadership l.jpg

ADM 612 - Leadership

Lecture 7 – Path-Goal Theory

Introduction l.jpg

  • Path-goal theory is about how leaders motivate subordinates to accomplish designated goals.

  • Evans (1970), House (1971), House and Dessler (1974), House and Mitchell (1974).

  • Path-goal theory emphasizes the relationship between the leader’s style and the characteristics of the subordinates and the work setting.

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  • Leadership generates motivations when it increases the number and kinds of payoffs that subordinates receive for their work.

  • Defines goals.

  • Clarifies path to the goals.

  • Removes obstacles and roadblocks.

  • Makes work more personally satisfying.

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Leader Behaviors

  • Directive leadership.

    • Task-oriented, expectations, techniques, timeline, standards of performance.

  • Supportive leadership.

    • Friendliness, approachability, empathy, needs-oriented, equality, respect.

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Leader Behaviors

  • Participative leadership.

    • Sharing, consultation, advice-seeking, integration.

  • Achievement-oriented leadership.

    • Challenging, high standard of excellence, confidence in subordinates’ abilities.

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Leader Behaviors

  • Styles will vary depending on subordinates and situations.

  • Assumes subordinates will adapt styles to circumstances.

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Subordinate Characteristics

  • Characteristics:

    • Needs for affiliation,

    • Preference for structure

    • Desires for control,

    • Self-perceived level of task ability.

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Subordinate Characteristics

  • Patterns

    • Needs affiliation requires supportive leadership.

    • Dogmatic and authoritarian subordinates with an ambiguous task require directive leadership.

    • Internal locus of control requires participative leadership.

    • External locus of control requires directive leadership.

    • As subordinate’s confidence in their own skills goes up, the need for directive leadership goes down.

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Task Characteristics

  • Components.

    • Design of task.

    • Formal authority system.

    • Primary work group norms.

  • Structured task, strong norms, established authority: leadership becomes redundant and overbearing.

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Task Characteristics

  • Unclear and ambiguous tasks: leadership provides structure.

  • Repetitive tasks: leadership should provide support.

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Task Characteristics

  • Weak authority: leadership should provide rules and work requirements.

  • Weak norms: leadership provides cohesiveness and role responsibility.

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Task Characteristics

  • Obstacles create excessive uncertainties, frustrations or threats.

  • Leadership should remove obstacles or enable subordinates to circumvent them.

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  • Links leadership behaviors to subordinate satisfaction and work performance.

  • Develops four distinct types of leadership.

  • Integrates subordinate motivation into leadership theory.

  • Model is practical.

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  • Complexity makes interpretation and application difficult.

  • Only partial empirical support.

  • Does not really explain link between leadership behavior and motivation.

  • Puts more burden on leader than follower.

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  • Not many management training programs.

  • But provides a general set of recommendations for how leaders should act in various situations.

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  • Complex tasks – directive.

  • Dull tasks – supportive.

  • Subordinates need control – participative.

  • Subordinates need to excel – achievement-oriented.

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  • Applies to all levels and tasks in an organization.

  • To apply, assess subordinates and tasks and choose an appropriate style to match characteristics.

  • Model reminds leaders that their central purpose is to help subordinates define their goals and achieve them efficiently.