Path-Goal Theory in Leadership Online Training Courses

Path Goal Theory of Leadership

Exemplifying the Path-Goal theory in leadership online training courses ensures that learners will be prepared with the skills they need for success in their leadership roles.

Supervisors, managers, and heads of department must be effective in their roles in order to provide support, guidance and advice to their counterparts. Training programs must be designed and curated in their optimal form to result in maximum success.

What is the main principle of path-goal theory of leadership?

The path-goal theory states that a leader’s behavior is contingent to the satisfaction, motivation and performance of their employees. The manager’s job is viewed as guiding workers to choose the best paths to reach both their goals as well as the corporation’s goals. The theory argues that leaders will have to engage in different types of leadership behavior depending on the nature and the demands of the situation at hand.

It is the leader’s job to assist followers in attaining goals and to provide the direction and support needed to ensure that their goals are compatible with the organization’s goals. Path–goal theory assumes that leaders are flexible and that they can change their style, as situations require.
path goal theory in online leadership training - main principle

What is path goal-theory of leadership?

According to Robert J. House (1971), the Path-Goal Theory encapsulates the necessity for distinct roles which a leader must fulfill, as well as the leadership traits managers should acquire in their practice. House also provided guidelines of which leaders must follow to compensate for subordinates’ potential skill deficiencies.

What are the four leadership theories?

Leadership theories try to examine and study the traits of a leader. In the first theory, the Trait Theory of Leadership, it’s believed that leaders share certain inborn personality traits, such as drive, ambition, and self-confidence.

The second learning theory is a behavioral one, where researchers studied the behavioral aspects of effective leaders, such as their ability to motivate people and their communication skills.

The third, contingency theory, advocated that it is the environmental factors surrounding leaders that influenced their ascent to leadership, and that it is not so much their leadership qualities as it is about the situation in which they needed to lead.

Finally, the fourth theory is the transformational leadership theory, which suggests that good leaders are those able to stimulate, transform, and use the values, beliefs, and needs of their followers to accomplish tasks.
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Online Leadership Training Goals

1. Learning from constructive feedback and accepting failure if it occurs.

2. Active listening and contribution.

3. Developing personal responsibility.

4. Being well-rounded and open to change.

In this article, we will discuss how applying the Path-Goal Theory to online leadership training courses will benefit your organization to an extensive degree.

1. Overcoming Challenges and Obstacles with the Path Goal Theory

Challenges and obstacles are inevitable in the workplace, which is why a strategy must be implemented to avoid and evade these. Providing employees with the necessary tools to resolve issues in the workplace will ensure organizational success is not hindered.

2. Goal Achievement

Effective leadership not only guides employees in the right direction towards their goals but also requires leaders to assist in the identification of goals and objectives from the get-go. Goals should be achievable, meaning that they must be realistic and measurable.

3. Boosted Employee Productivity and Motivation

Effective leaders understand the importance of rewarding and recognizing employees through the offer of incentives and intrinsic motivation. In essence, this is to drive employees to succeed and reach their maximum potential for the benefit of the entire organization. Gamification is a widely-employed strategy by organizations to significantly boost the engagement and information absorption of learners. It encapsulates the implementation of gaming elements into serious course content, such as star bars, point scores, leader boards and real-prizing.
What is just in time learning? - An employee using EdApp

4. Enhanced Support Network

Having a supportive leadership style ensures that interactions remain learner-centered, meaning that employees’ personal preferences and emotional needs are accounted for, and are at the center of decision-making. When employees feel respected and valued, they are more likely to develop a stronger bond with the organization and tend to work harder.

5. Increase Employee Confidence with the Path Goal Theory

When employees’ confidence levels increase, potential barriers built around their learning are broken down, resulting in them wanting to learn more. The Path-Goal Theory allows for this through the participative leadership approach, whereby once confident, employees control their own personal training path. Increased confidence can be achieved by leaders’ constant acknowledgment of employees, praising them on their good work, and providing frequent feedback.

6. A More Functional and Positive Environment

A more positive and functional environment is nurtured when the Path-Goal Theory is applied to leadership training as communication and collaboration allow employees to be involved in daily workplace happenings, making for a peaceful workplace. Having a zen workplace instantly alleviates stress, resulting in employees becoming more productive and being provided with more effective and successful leaders.

House, R. (1971). A Path Goal Theory of Leader Effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly,16(3), 321-339. doi:10.2307/2391905

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