Path Goal Leadership in Business Management

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Path-goal theory of leader effectiveness is a management theory that was developed by an Ohio State University graduate known as Robert House. The leadership style states that the behavior of a leader is reliant to the satisfaction, inspiration and enactment of her or his employees. There is a revised version of the theory that states that the leader engages in behaviors that supplement the abilities of the employees and reward for deficiencies (Griffin, 2008). This paper will address the use of path-goal theory of leader effectiveness in a business setting.

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Just like its definition, the leadership style in the organizational management puts into consideration the effect of how a leader behaves in the business towards occupational satisfaction among the workers, motivation and efficacy. All the behaviors of the manager in an organization aims at maximizing the results of the workers by diagnosing the impact of both ecological factors and the characteristics of other employees regarding occupational performance.

There are various leadership styles or behaviors employed in the field of business management that support the path-goal theory. These are the leadership aimed at achievement, directive path-goal clarifying leadership, a leadership behavior that supports the leader, and the leadership that involves participation.

Supportive Leadership

The main concern of this behavior in business is to offer support to the psychological fitness of the subordinates. Reduction of stress and mitigation of frustration are essential in the business working environment. It might be effective leadership in professions where the occupations are physically or psychologically wanting, for instance, leadership behaviors that involve emergency health services. For instance, offering medical allowances to the subordinates, breaks from their jobs, and setting schedules that allow the employees to finish their daily activities early enough (Chance, 2009).

Participative Leadership

Participative management behavior in businesses entails consultations with the subordinates concerning preferences in effective occupation necessities. The employees directly participate in the process of making decisions in the business. The advantage of this leadership style in business management is that increased employee autonomy in decision-making motivates the subordinates to exert added efforts to attain certain objectives of the business. For example, a business manager should participate in production activities for the employees to follow. The employees would be more inspired or motivated to work following their leaders example.

Leadership Aimed at Success

This type of leadership aims at inspiring performance distinction by setting objectives that challenge the subordinates. The objectives of the employees are designed to inspire greater effectiveness with the managers exhibiting confidence in the subordinates as they motivate them to attain the performance objectives. This type of leadership performs better in the sales activities of a business. For instance, the manager might set a higher level of earnings or output that the company should attain at the end of a given period. Achieving the target might mean attaining success in the company (Griffin, 2008).

Directive path-goal clarifying leadership in business management

It is also a leadership style that can be used in business management. It focuses on reducing the ambiguity of occupational function. The management style requires the leader to set specific goals to his or her employees concerning the performance of the business tasks. Occupational functions are made clear to the employees to offer a high degree of inevitability concerning regulations, rules, and events. It also involves the clarification of occupational schedules and how tasks should be coordinated. Moreover, there is the definition of performance objectives and rewards that include advancement and increases in salaries to avoid ambiguity in the business. An example of such a management style in a business is where a manager puts certain amounts or levels of production in a given time. The employees work harder to ensure that they perform to the set production targets (Chance, 2009).

The leadership action taken is not that effective since it is centered to the responsibility of the manager more than it is to those of the subordinates. It means that if anything happened to the manager it is more likely that the business will collapse. An organization cannot be over-reliant on a leader in order to survive and keep running. The leadership styles under this theory do not support democracy since in most situations the leader makes the decisions. It also remains unclear concerning the effectiveness of the modifications made by a leader in a business in situations where the employees are independent in the achievement of the business goals, intelligence, and knowledge.

Since the path-goal leadership approach relies on the satisfaction, motivation and performance of the subordinates, it can be used to create an understanding of the leadership styles used in the management of a business. The essence of this is that all the leadership styles employed in this situation target at how well the employees are satisfied with their occupation, ways to foster their work performance and the motivation methods used to inspire the employees to undertake their task effectively.

In conclusion, to enhance change in an institution or a business, a leader must employ some leadership styles. Following a certain leadership style, makes the manager or the leader organized and facilitates the effective interaction with the workers that enhance good relationship between the leader and the employees. Therefore, path-goal leadership is a good example to follow to achieve positive results in an organization.


Chance, P. (2009). Introduction to educational leadership and organizational behavior: theory into practice. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Griffin, R. (2008). Fundamentals of management. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co

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