Sample Management Essays on Path-Goal Style

Path-Goal Style

Leadership as an art refers to the processes involved in the motivation of certain individuals to work and act towards the ultimate attainment of common objectives. In any viable organizational framework, leadership is indeed a vital function that entities can use to improve and maximize efficiency. Path-goal model of leadership is an essential or crucial component of an effective management framework that can motivate employees to attain a higher level of performance.

Definition of path-goal leadership

Fundamentally, path-goal leadership model specifies unique organizational and individual behaviors best fitting the employees and other important stakeholders in different work environments. The stipulated leadership style can enhance employees’ motivations and increase the level of satisfaction and productivity among all stakeholders. The model can specify relevant style or behaviors capable of helping subordinates to understand policy statements and eliminate critical distractions (Northouse, 2018). The leadership emphasizes that leaders must give clear directions to subordinates to facilitate the implementation of different programs enhance goal-achievement processes. The primary inspiration is on the removal of roadblocks, introducing rewards, and encouraging the subordinates to observe due diligence in the execution of the assigned responsibilities.

The identification of the path-goal leadership style used in the situation

The subsequent identification of path-goal leadership model defines the specific tasks and the subordinates’ characteristics. In essence, path-goal leadership style stipulates that leaders should adopt behaviors and actions based on the innate demands associated with particular situations (Wofford & Liska, 1993). The leaders develop relevant strategies to provide direction and support with the primary objective of attaining important organizational goals. In particular, the leadership style advocates for increased satisfaction as a contingency measure (Northouse, 2018). The leadership model stresses on the development of achievement-oriented mindsets, effective direction, participation, and efficient support systems. The behaviors of individuals under the model must observe and integrate certain principles and goal-achievement objectives to eliminate possible errors and inaccuracies.

The situation on “Three Shifts, Three Supervisors” illustrates how path-goal leadership can enhance the relationship between the leaders and the subordinates in various work settings (Tod, 2013). Specifically, the case study of Brako Industries involves three shifts (each comprising of approximately 40 workers) and supervisors. Based in the underlying expectancy theory, the leadership model provides distinct directions on how the employees can attain various tasks successfully. Leaders such as Mart (a first shift supervisor) apply the path-goal model of leadership to manage approximately 40 employees (Tod, 2013). Mart believes that he is a hands-on type leader capable of provide unique directions to the employees. Likewise, Mart like walking around the plant and reminding the subordinates of relevant or correct operational and organizational procedures.

Alternatively, the second shift supervisor (Bob) enjoys his work and emphasizes in the importance of employee motivation. Moreover, Carol, the third shift supervisor describes her management style as “part parent, part coach, and part manufacturing expert” (Tod, 2013). Based on the stipulated leadership behaviors depicted by the shift supervisors in this situation, the subordinates’ are likely to depict different and unique characteristics. The first important characteristic of the subordinates is high-level of motivation based on the concept of self-belief or the employees’ belief in their ability to execute important functions. Additionally, the subordinates must believe in the efficacy of their efforts resulting in certain important outcomes and that the payoffs are worth their dedications and hard work.

However, the subordinates may progressively start feeling bored with the normal routine stipulated under the path-goal model of leadership without proper motivation (Tod, 2013). Therefore, most subordinates in the situation or case study are task-oriented and aim to attain the overall organizational objectives. In the above example, the subordinates seem to value flexibility or variety in the implementation of company policies and work. Besides, they prefer an improved understanding and relationship with the shift supervisors, more structures, and guidance towards the implementation of essential organizational processes.

In general, the supervisors were important in helping the employees to execute their work. For instance, Carol is involved in the identification of problems and determination of relevant solutions. The ability to direct (work with subordinates freely), involve the employees in decision-making processes (participated), introduce effective support networks and achievement oriented plans can increase the level of confidence. Likewise, reminding the employees of company’s available rewards enhances the level of morale among them (Northouse, 2018). From the above case, the actions by shift supervisors were appropriate and effective in encouraging the subordinates to achieve their assigned goals. Effective structures can make the employees to feel comfortable completing different tasks (Northouse, 2018). The path-goal leadership model identifies high level of motivation as a crucial factor in reducing turnover rates.

In the above situation, a path-goal leader like Mart provides explicit outline of the shift workers needs to achieve. Correspondingly, the supervisor is constantly seeking to illustrate key operational procedures to help the employees to achieve their respective tasks (Wofford & Liska, 1993). Additionally, the leader participates in the attainment of important business processes and suggests improvements that can increase their respective levels of satisfaction. From the situation, Carol is indeed a special embodiment of the path-goal leadership model. Her ability to show concern towards the subordinates’ performances and deep connection with them creates a unique environment for the implementation of complex goals.

In conclusion, path-goal model of leadership is indeed an important element in any effective management framework. Organizational leaders can use the model to motivate employees to attain a higher level of performance. Indeed, the path-goal leadership approach or model would be crucial in explaining and understanding the above-postulated situations. Under this model, the leaders should make sure that the subordinates believe in their respective abilities to perform their responsibilities. From the analyzed situations and examples, it is clear that path-goal model of leadership favors the provision of guidance and coaching as prerequisite conditions for achieving set organizational plans.




Northouse, P. G. (2018). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.

Tod A. (2013) Path-Goal Theory Case Study – “Three Shifts, Three Supervisors” Retrieved from

Wofford, J. C., & Liska, L. Z. (1993). Path-goal theories of leadership: A meta-analysis. Journal of management, 19