Case study of The Path Goal Theory and James Parker, CEO of Southwest Airlines

2118 Words Jan 21st, 2004 9 Pages
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, researchers and analysts alike have been struggling to define the most cost-effective methods to running a company. A large portion of the success of a company can be attributed to the leadership style of a given leader and how they apply a particular leadership style to motivate their employees. It is common knowledge, that an employee with a high level of motivation will produce a higher economic benefit to the profit of the company. The intent of this writing is to explore what the Path-Goal theory is, how it relates to leadership, and then apply the components to how James Parker, CEO of southwest airlines, appears to use them to facilitate daily operations within …show more content…
An adept manager will realize the criticalness of each of these components and make sure that these needs are sufficiently addressed and fulfilled.

The environmental factors cannot be as easily manipulated by the leader irregardless of how proficient the leader is and can be regarded to as somewhat of a "fixed" variable. Often environmental factors are: task structure, authority system and work group (Robbins 494). Other factors that frequently come into play and can dramatically alter the outcome of a situation include the amount of assistance an individual receives from their fellow team members and, how well the expectations are defined for completion of a task. There are extensive resources to further refine and explore the components and impacts that those components will have on any given set of parameters. One of the resources that was particularly helpful to understanding how all of these factors influence the outcome was a flow-chart illustration published in an article entitled "Motivation, Leadership and Communication".

Simply put, "The Path-Goal Theory believes that a leader can change a subordinate's expectancy by clarifying the paths between the subordinate's action and the outcome, which is the goal the employee wants to achieve. Whether leader behavior can do so effectively also depends on situational factors" (WU 1). Now that

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