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Direction for Some Support for Others

In: Other Topics

Submitted By yoganayagi
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Path–Goal Theory

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Path–goal theory is about how leaders motivate followers to accomplish designated goals. Drawing heavily from research on what motivates followers, path–goal theory first appeared in the leadership literature in the early
1970s in the works of Evans (1970), House (1971), House and Dessler
(1974), and House and Mitchell (1974). The stated goal of this leadership theory is to enhance follower performance and follower satisfaction by focusing on follower motivation.

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In contrast to the situational approach, which suggests that a leader must adapt to the development level of followers (see Chapter 5), path–goal theory emphasizes the relationship between the leader’s style and the characteristics of the followers and the organizational setting. For the leader, the imperative is to use a leadership style that best meets followers’ motivational needs. This is done by choosing behaviors that complement or supplement what is missing in the work setting. Leaders try to enhance followers’ goal attainment by providing information or rewards in the work environment
(Indvik, 1986); leaders provide followers with the elements they think followers need to reach their goals.
According to House and Mitchell (1974), leadership generates motivation when it increases the number and kinds of payoffs that followers receive from their work. Leadership also motivates when it makes the path to the goal clear and easy to travel through coaching and direction, removing obstacles and roadblocks to attaining the goal, and making the work itself more personally satisfying (Figure 6.1).

Path-Goal Theory

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