Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Path-Goal Leadership Theory
Sonia Schaible-Brandon & Rodney Muth
Although first published by Martin G. Evans in 1970, Robert J. House is credited most often for his work on the path-goal theory of leadership. In 1971, Evans published A Path-Goal Theory of Leader Effectiveness , which House updated in 1996. Path-goal theory states that the leadership behaviors of formally appointed superiors directly affect their subordinates and that subordinate performance, motivation, and satisfaction can be increased by subordinates' belief in their own capabilities, by clarifying paths toward attainment, by offering rewards for achieving goals, by removing obstacles, and by increasing opportunities essential for personal satisfaction. The basic premise, then, is that a leader's effectiveness is directly tied to the ability and willingness of that leader to ensure a satisfying work environment that provides rewards for achieving goals that are clearly stated. An ambiguous work environment increases stress, thus decreasing satisfaction and productivity. In 1974, House and R. R. Mitchell refined ...