Path-Goal Theory

Knowledge Center


Offering paths to achieve goals. Explanation of Path-Goal Theory of Robert House. ('71)


  1. Summary
  2. Forum
  3. Best Practices
  4. Expert Tips
  5. Resources
  6. Print

What is the Path-Goal Theory? Description

This idea of Robert House holds that a leader can affect the performance, satisfaction, and motivation of a group by:

  • Offering rewards for achieving performance goals,
  • Clarifying paths towards these goals,
  • Removing obstacles to performance.

However, whether leadership behavior can do so effectively also depends on situational factors.

Situational Factors of the Path-Goal Theory

  • Subordinates' Personality
    • Locus of Control. A participative leader is suitable for subordinates with internal locus of control; A directive leader is suitable for subordinates with external locus of control.
    • Self-perceived ability. Subordinates that believe they have a high ability themselves, do not like directive leadership. Compare: Attribution Theory
  • Characteristics of the environment:
    • When a group is working on a task that has a high structure, directive leadership is redundant and less effective.
    • When a highly formal authority system is in place, directive leadership can again reduce workers' satisfaction.
    • When subordinates are in a team environment offering great social support, the supportive leadership style becomes less necessary.

According to House, there are four different types of leadership styles depending on the situation.

Four Leadership Styles (House)

  1. Directive Leadership. The leader gives specific guidance of performance to subordinates. Compare: Theory of Needs
  2. Supportive Leadership. The leader is friendly and shows concern for the subordinates.
  3. Participative Leadership. The leader consults with subordinates and considers their suggestions.
  4. Achievement-oriented Leadership. The leader sets high goals and expects subordinates to have high-level performance.

Path-Goal Theory Forum
  Path-goal Theory versus Attribution Theory
What do the path-goal theory and atribution theory have in common (similarities)?
What are the main differences between path-goal theory and attribution theory?
Thanks for your help......
  What is Locus of Contol? Definitions
What is meant by locus of control?...
  House Leadership Style Questinnaire
Can anyone help in find "House Leadership Style Questinnaire"?...
  Path-Goal Styles Differences
What are further differences between the four Path-Goal leadership styles by House?...

Path-Goal Theory Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group

Path-Goal Theory Education & Events

Find Trainings, Seminars and Events

Best Practices - Path-Goal Theory Premium

Expert Tips - Path-Goal Theory Premium

Leadership Styles

To choose a leadership style that fits the situation, a leader should take the following steps:
1. Diagnose the task. Structured tasks an...
Usage (application): Choosing the Right Style

LEADER: Best Practices for Effective Leadership Behavior

Following six short behavioral tips can help you to enhance your leadership efficiency:
1. L - LISTENING: Actively listening to others will help ...
Usage (application): Leadership Behavior, Leadership Effectiveness, Leadership Style

2 Contingency Variables in Leader-Follower Relationship

Path-Goal Theory assumes that leaders are flexible and that they can change their style, depending on what the situation demands.
The theory pro...
Usage (application): Path-Goal Theory

Resources - Path-Goal Theory Premium

Contingency Leadership Theories In-depth

This presentation covers the subject of contingency theory of leadership and situational leadership. The presentation includes the following sections:...
Usage (application): Contingency Theory, Normative Decision Model, Situational Leadership Theory, Path-Goal Theory

Path-Goal Theory (House)

Overview of Path-Goal Theory (PGT). Main topics:
- Description
- Leader Challenges when Using PGT
- Leader Behaviors when Using PGT
Usage (application): Overview of Path-Goal Theory

Human Motivation

Comprehesive presentation on Human / Employee Motivation. Topics:
1. What is motivation?
2. How do needs motivate people?
3. Are ther...
Usage (application): Employee Motivation

Overview of 6 Leadership Schools and their Member Theories

This presentation provides an overview of various approaches towards leadership. Great to build an (initial) understanding of the main schools ('famil...
Usage (application): Leadership Schools, Leadership History, Leadership Introduction, Leadership Theories

Goal Setting: Purpose, Models and Steps

This presentation provides information about goal setting in organizations, and includes the following sections:
1. What is a Goal? Definition Usage (application): Goal Setting, FRAME Model, SMART Goals, Motivation, Commitment

Path-Goal Picture 1

Picture shows how environmental and subordinate contingency factors may moderate leadership behaviors to produce task and interpersonal outcomes....
Usage (application): Path-Goal Theory

Path-Goal Picture 2

Overview Picture...
Usage (application): Path-Goal Theory


Path-goal Theory


Leadership Styles


Path-goal Theory


Leadership Styles


Path-goal Theory


Leadership Styles


Path-goal Theory


Leadership Styles

Compare with Path-Goal Theory:  Leadership Styles  |  Situational Leadership  |  4 Dimensions of Relational Work  |  Theory of Needs  |  Hierarchy of Needs  |  Result Oriented Management  |  Results-Based Leadership  |  Level 5 Leadership  |  Leadership Continuum  |  Herzberg Two Factor Theory  |  Competing Values Framework  |  Theory X Theory Y  |  Hawthorne Effect  |  Change Management  |  Seven Surprises  |  Seven Habits  |  SMART  |  PAEIEmotional Intelligence  |  Expectancy Theory  |  Framing  |  Cultural Intelligence  |  EPIC ADVISERS  |  Charismatic Leadership

Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Human Resources  |   Leadership

More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group Leader

You here

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us | Privacy | Terms of Service
Copyright 2017 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V14.1 - Last updated: 22-8-2017. All names tm by their owners.