Path-Goal Theory

3393 Words Aug 16th, 2010 14 Pages
PATH GOAL THEORY OF LEADERSHIP

Leadership is the key issue in the development and advancement of groups, organizations, society and nations. The study of leadership plays a vital role in the behavioral and management sciences. It has also received a lot of attention, as well as is intensively explored even up to this day. This paper will be covering leadership proposed by Robert House which describes four styles of leadership, namely: (1) supportive leadership, (2) directive leadership, (3) participative leadership, and (4) achievement oriented leadership. This paper will be portraying the situations wherein each style would be appropriate, with the specific reference to the characteristics of the follower group and the nature of the
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This long and comprehensive definition provided by Stogdill take account of many skills and traits that characterize leaders; however, does not identify the relevance of the role of the goal direction and exerting influences on the group and its members. Hershey and Blanchard (1972) give a more functional definition of leadership. They state that:

“Leadership is a process of interpersonal influence from a person unto other(s) in the direction of a goal, where the other(s) subsequently act of own will in the direction sought for by the leader.”

Upon close examination of the definitions stated above as well as other definitions by various authors, the researcher has realized that there Is no agreement in the literature for defining the term “leadership”. Authors too such as Bryman (1986), Kotter (1988) and Yuki (1994) have noticed this as well. Bryman (1986) notes that there seems to be a mismatch in various definitions of leadership wherein some of this mismatched is associated to the element “having a goal or a target” which appears to be a part of some of the definitions but lacking in others. In addition, Bryman (1986) has also distinguished the study of leadership in organizations and the study of leadership per se.

Furthermore, Yuki (1994), upon close examination on the various definition of the term “leader” concluded that there is also a mismatched among the scholars who try

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