Task structure: Task structure refers to the extent of clarity standardization or ambiguity in the work activities assigned to the group. If the task is clear and routine, group members can be easily held responsible for performance. Low task structure describes an ambiguous situation with changing circumstances and unpredictable events.
Position power: Position power is the extent to which a leader possesses legitimate, rewarding and coercive power over subordinates. A situation with high position power lets the leader hire people and directly reward or punish behavior. A leader with less power cannot take such actions.
Path goal theory
Path goal theory was developed by Robert house in 1971. It is based on expectancy theory of motivation. Like other situational models, the path goal theory attempts to predict leadership effectiveness in different situations. The main functions of a leader are to clarify and set goals by providing guidance, support and rewards. The term path goal is derived from the belief that effective leaders clarify the path to help their followers get from where they are to achieve their work goal and make the journey along the path easier by reducing road blacks. Path goal theory states that effective leaders influence employee’s satisfactions and performance by making their need satisfaction contingent on effective job performance.
The leader has to facilitate overall learning by helping followers better understand how their actions are linked to organizational rewards. Employees make optimum contribution to the organizational goals where they perceive that their personal satisfaction is dependent on their effective performance. He should provide guidance and support to remove difficulties in achieving the goals. Path goal theory identifies four types of leader behavior to motivate and satisfy employees.
- Directive behavior: The leader clarifies performance goals, the means to reach those goals and the standard against which performance will be judged. It is the same as task-oriented and initiating structure behavior. The leader focuses on planning, organizing and coordinating the activities of subordinates. The leader tells subordinates what is expected of them and provide specific guidance, schedules, rules, regulations and standards.
- Supportive behavior: These behaviors provide psychological support for subordinates. The leader, in this behavior, is friendly and approachable, makes the work more pleasant, treat employees equally and shows concern for the status, needs, and well being of employees. The style is similar to the consideration in Ohio state studies.
- Participative behavior: Participative leaders actively consult with employees, ask for their suggestions and take these ideas into serious consideration before making a decision.
- Achievement oriented behavior: The leader sets challenging goals, expects, employees to perform at the highest level, continuously seeks improvement in employee performance and shows a highest degree of confidence that employees will assure responsibility and accomplish challenging goals.
Path goal theory proposes two classes of situational variables- personal characteristics of group members and environmental conditions. An effective leader is one who understand the characteristics of subordinates and environmental situation and who matches his behavior accordingly. The theory subscribes the notion that a leader can enhance his behavioral patterns as demanded by the needs of the situation. The behavior of a leader is dependent on the nature of situation and the characteristics of people.
Path goal theory is more elaborate than Fielder’s contingency theory because it takes into account both the personality characteristics of subordinates as well as situational variables. It not only suggests what they of leader may be effective in a given situation but also explains why the leader is effective.
Qualities of good leadership
Leadership is the process of influencing and inspiring the behavior of others. It is the ability to motivate others to accomplish pre-determined objectives. In fact, organizational performance totally depends upon the ability of the manager. There must be leadership qualities in the manager to produce tremendous qualities may broadly be studied under two headings: