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Respond to…

The path-goal theory discusses the following four leadership styles:

Directive: The directive style is very similar to the telling style outlined in the situational leadership theory and is typically characterized by a leader providing instruction, direction, expectations and a timeline to completion to his or her subordinates.

Supportive: According to Northouse (2018), the supportive leadership style is similar to the consideration behavior outlined in the behavior approach to leadership. The supportive leadership style involves a leader that tends to the needs of his or her followers by taking the time to understand them and then using them to create an enviornement that the followers like. Creating this environment helps to make and keep staff happy and healthy and those that are happy and healthy have a tendency to work in a more productive and efficient way and are more inclined to follow the leader and his or her diction. In addition, the supportive leader treats his or her staff with respect by working side by side with them and not in front or behind them; subordinates are viewed and treated as part of the team and as equals.

Participative: The participative leadership style is similar to the team management style described in the behavior approach and is typically characterized by a leader that collaborates with his or her followers to make decisions regarding the business. The involvement of the followers in the decision process creates buy in from followers.

Achievement-Oriented: The achievement-oriented leadership approach is similar to the skills based leadership approach in that leaders encourage subordinates to perform at high levels. They accomplish this by establishing expectations and goals for individuals on the team.

I think that leaders can exhibit more than one style and should do so if the individuals that they work with require it. Leadership style must be dynamic and dependent on the needs of the leaders followers. Exhibiting a style that is dictated by the follower not only positions the leader to reach the follower on their level it positions the leader and the follower to establish and maintain and mutually beneficial relationship.

Resource

Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership theory and practice (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Respond to…

The Path-Goal theory is described by Northouse (2018) as a process where leaders choose their behavior based on the employee’s needs.  It relies heavily on Vroom’s expectancy theory and understanding the goals and rewards of the followers.

Northouse (2018) describes four leadership styles or behaviors.

Directive – This is typically the style used during initial engagement of an employee.  Leaders inform employees of what is expected, how to perform the task, and next steps to be taken.  It is best used when there is ambiguity in the environment.

Supportive – Leaders work at making a pleasant place to work. They show concern and are friendly and approachable.  This works well in situations where there are physical or psychological challenges.

Participative – Leaders gather input prior to making decisions about next steps. This works well when all are highly trained and involved in the work.

Achievement – The leader sets challenging goals and show high confidence in the employee’s ability to meet the goals. I immediately thought of Steve Jobs as this type of leader – set the goal and almost will it into existence.

I do not think the Path-Goal theory dictates a behavior that leaders must use, and leaders should choose their behavior based on the situation or needs of the follower.  In fact, Northouse (2018) states that it informs leaders about how to select an appropriate leadership style based on the task and employee characteristics.  A new employee just out of college will need a different style of leadership than a seasoned employee; even a seasoned employee joining a new team will differ that that of a unseasoned employee.

Resource

Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership theory and practice (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.