Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

The Personal Characteristics Of Subordinates

These are ( 1 ) locus of control, ( 2 ) authorization, and ( 3 ) ability. Locus of control refers to the extent to which individuals think that what happens to them results from their own behavior or from external causes. Perceived ability refers to how a person views his ability with respect to the task. High authoritarian subordinates tend to be less receptive to a participative style of leadership and more responsive to directive leadership.

The Environmental Factors

(1 ) the task
and ( 2 ) the organization and group.

With respect to the first situational factor, the theory asserts:

Leader behavior will be acceptable to subordinates to the extent that subordinates see such behavior as either an immediate source of satisfaction or as instrumental to future satisfaction .

As with respect to the second situational factor, the theory states:

Leader behavior will be motivational (e.g., will increase subordinate effort) to the extent that:

  1. it makes satisfaction of subordinate needs contingent on effective performance, and
  2. it complements the environment of subordinates by providing the coaching, guidance, support, and rewards which are necessary for effective performance and which may otherwise be lacking in subordinates or in their environment.

These contingency factors interact with leader behaviors to determine employee attitudes and behaviors. The basic tenets of path goal theory are summarized in Table 43.

The pathgoal theory of leadership provides some specific, testable predictions about leader effectiveness. However, one researcher, suggested that subordinate performance might be the cause of changes in leader behavior instead of, as predicted by the model, the other way around.

Moreover, a review of the recent research on the pathgoal theory of leadership has provided only marginal support for some of leader effectiveness predictions.