The Path-Goal leadership theory is based on specifying the behavior that is required and suits the employees and the environment in which they work so that a goal can be achieved (House, 1975). Here the attention is given on the ways to improve the motivation factor in employees and satisfaction so that they work towards the goal in a positive way and become productive members of the company. This is an effective leadership theory and is a little associated with transformational theory. The following factors are considered in this type of leadership theory:
Consider: it is based on the factor that the determination of characteristics of employees and environment is to be considered first.
Select a leadership style: a leadership style is chosen. It can be any of the following mentioned styles:
Directive: This style can be used when there in uncertainty in the environment. Here the directions are clearly given about how to perform the task and what to do. Also, work coordination is done.
Supportive: Situation where the things are physically challenging this style can be used. Here leader is supportive and approachable. Also, he tries to make the work more pleasant.
Participative: In this style the leader consults with the subordinates who are generally high skilled and then make further decisions.
Achievement-Oriented: Here the leader sets goal for the followers and expects them to work on them at highest level. This leadership style is more effective in sales and profession work environments.
As per the situation, other leadership styles can be followed but these are the most effective styles which are used and are discussed here.
Focus on Motivation: here goals are defined and a path is chosen to accomplish those goals. Support is provided and employees are motivated to succeed.
A critical assessment of path-goal based theory is done here with this case. Consider a case where the client has proposed a new product and the leadership sees many challenges associated to in developing that product. The feasibility of development of a new product has to be determined, the client is new for the company and in anyway the product quality cannot be compromised. The company has a great reputation in the market. As a solution Path-goal leadership theory can followed in developing this product (Graeff, 1997). As per this, skilled employees are on-boarded and the environment is made available where the product can be developed. All the factors related to development are considered. The leader should choose a supportive leadership style here as the product is new and physically challenging. Leader has to support the employees and make the work environment more pleasant. The leader has to be approachable so that all the difficulties related to development of the new product can be understood and should be communicated to the customer. Employees are then given goals to accomplish and they are motivated to finish the work efficiently. A motivational environment and clear goals let them perform the tasks efficiently. The product is made and is finally handed over to the client. This whole approach is based on the goal-path leadership theory.