Animals Illustrations Path Goal Theory Strategic Analysis

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What is Path Goal Theory?

The Path Goal Theory of Leadership Style (is a kind of Situational or Contingency leadership model) first proposed by Robert House. It was later refined and supplemented by Terence R. Mitchell, a management professor at the University of Washington.

Path goal theory has become one of the most popular views in leadership. According to this theory, the leader's job is to help his subordinates achieve their goals. Leaders should also provide the guidance and support necessary to ensure that their goals are aligned with the overall goals of the team or organization.

The concept of "path goals" stems from the belief that effective leaders help people by clearly identifying ways to achieve their work goals and removing obstacles and dangers that make it easier for people to achieve their goals.

The Path Goal Theory

Path goal theory holds that leaders are flexible and can change their style according to the needs of the situation. The theory puts forward two contingency variables: environment and employee characteristics.


It is outside the control of the follower which includes task structure, authority system, and work group. Environmental factors determine the type of leader behavior required if the employee outcomes are to be maximized.

Follower characteristics

They are the locus of control, experience, and perceived ability. Personal characteristics of employees determine how the environment and leader are interpreted.

Effective leaders

They articulate ways to help employees achieve their goals and make it easier by reducing roadblocks and pitfalls. The primary purpose of being a leader is to help employees define and achieve their goals in an effective way.

The Path Goal Theory Template

Here is a Path Goal Theory template created with Visual Paradigm's online strategic analysis tool. You can customize this template by modifying the text, color and font, and use it in your presentations and reports.

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