Path Goal Theory of Leadership
Path Goals leadership theory draws heavily on expectancy motivation theory and high concern for both people and work. The theory has been proposed by Robert House and has been expanded and refined by him and other over the last decade. The theory can be summarized as follows:
a) The leader can improve subordinate motivation by making the rewards for performance more attractive. By giving the people raises, promotions and recognition, the leader can increase the subordinates valence i.e. preference for goal achievement.
|b) If the worker’s assignments are poorly defined the leader can increase motivation by providing structure in the form of helpful supervision, subordinate training and goal clarification. Reducing the ambiguity of the job makes it easier for the subordinate to pursue the goals. Expectancy i.e. likelihood of attaining the first level outcome should increase.|
If we take these two steps together, we can see that in the first valence is increased and in the second expectancy is increased. Now, as per the expectancy theory of motivation, since
Motivational Force = Valence x Expectancy
c) If the work of the subordinates is already greatly structured, as in the case of assembly line worker or mechanist, the leader should refrain from introducing any more structure such action will be viewed as unnecessary and overly directive. Instead of worrying about the work, the leader show now speed more time being concerned with the personal needs of the people by giving them attention, praise and support.
Path Goal Theory provides three important benefits: - It helps integrate expectancy theory and contingency leadership.
- It reemphasizes the importance of high leader concern for both the work and the people.
- It encourages the leader to analyze the situation in determining the right degree of each concern for structure and concern for people that will be required.