Article in Business / Leadership / Theories of Leadership
A modality to assist employees to find their own motivation. Behaviorism teaches us that intrinsic rewards are more effective than extrinsic rewards.
 
 
 
The leader’s job is to help the work group achieve goals they desire. Leadership, in this theory is seen as a guide; a help to navigate obstacles in the path of goal achievement. In this theory, leadership is divided into four behavior categories. They are directive behavior, achievement oriented behavior, supportive behavior, and participative behavior. These categories are more intricately subdivided than the simple division of structure and consideration of behaviorist theories. Structure is broken down into directive and achievement behavior and consideration is broken down into supportive and participative behavior. Choice of leadership behavior is determined by the nature of the task and characteristics of the work group members. Research assessments of path-goal theory is inconclusive, the model has support but its lack of specificity and predictions is seen as a failing. It offers advice on leader adaptability, but its generalizability and applicability to work situations outside the laboratory is poor. Its strengths remain the 1) subdivision of leader characteristics into more than two categories and 2) its guidelines for assessing a situation and adapting leadership styles to fit. Leaders can guide work groups into greater effectiveness by setting meaningful goals.The foundation for path-goal theorizing is the principle of goal achievement. If a member of a work group perceives high productivity as a step toward the achievement of personal goals, then that member will be a high producer. But if the group member perceives a pathway toward personal goals to route through low productivity, then productivity will not be a priority for that member. In other words, productivity is the means to some other end of the producer. Perceptions of authoritarianism and locus of control affect group members expectations of the parameters of their task performance and the assessment of their degree of success. This in turn affects their motivations. The objective then for the leader is to make the rewards for productivity both clear and valuableEnvironmental aspects of work are scrutinized by path goal theory. These aspects are tripartite: the tasks, the authority over tasks, and the group performing these tasks. The structure of the tasks and the parameters placed on those tasks by the authority system over those tasks determine the relative contribution of stress and certitude to the performance of tasks. The character of the workgroup itself can determine the application of path goal theory.Variations in the circumstances of the work environment attenuate the leader’s effects on group member motivation. Employee motivation is sustained by job satisfaction. Motivation is enhanced through two probability estimates of intrinsic and extrinsic results. Motivation is also affected by the valuation attributed to available rewards.Consolidating the two path instrumentalities and the affinity directed toward internal values and external desires develops the path-goal theory’s recommendation to the leader as to which modality to employ in influencing the behavior of members. Leaders have some say in the determination of rewards and reinforcers. Leaders can allow group members locus of control by including them in the decision making process. This will give members enhanced intrinsic consequences through a sense of accomplishment and achievement. By assisting group members to achieve and attain intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, leaders can enhance motivation by increasing probability estimates of success.
 

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Merle E Ackeret
APA affiliate B. S. Psy CCU Delta Episilon Tau Gamma of California AGS, AAOT Linn-Benton C. C. Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Tau Upsilon chapter nat

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