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Human Resource Assignment Question
Choose one of the following topics: Either:
- Define motivation. Using one of the cognitive theories of motivation that have been discussed this semester, describe a task that you have undertaken recently for which you exerted a high level of effort
- . Explain the basic ideas making up the path-goal leadership theory. Using the example of a group that is familiar to you explain how a leader might use the path-goal approach to improve motivation in a group.
Human Resource Assignment Solution
Leadership is a very important variable that impacts the performance of any organization and thus recently the concept of leadership has been widely studied by varied organizations. In a recent survey conducted on the theory as well as practice of leadership, it has been found that leadership has a wide range of definitions, but as per Northouse (2004) it can be defined as a unique process through which an individual is capable of casting influence on a group of individuals so as to achieve common objectives/goals. Leadership, on one hand, helps in bringing about changes that also covers establishing a direction through visioning, motivation as well as ensuring the staff and alignment of the staff with the strategies and vision of the organization. It differs from management as management does develop predictability, consistency as well as orders in relation to the major results through the approach of planning, staffing, problem-solving, budgeting, as well as controlling. Since leadership is visualized as the key factor that helps in coordination and alignment of varied organizational processes, this essay will explore the basic ideas behind the path-goal leadership theory and how the leaders within many organizations use path-goal approach for improving and promoting motivation within groups. The Path-goal theory helps in identifying the most practices style of leaders to motivate their subordinates so as to accomplish the goals (Dickie & Dickie, 2011).
Contingency theories suggest that there does not exist one single way to lead a team or group in the best manner and therefore different behaviors are appropriate for a leader to be used in various situations. One such contingency theory that would be discussed and analyze is a path-goal theory, which suggests that the leader should assess the task as well as follower characteristics (House & Mitchell, 1974). Then it also depicts the followers that how working towards the goals of the company can help the leaders to fulfill their needs. Thus the path-goal theory is based on the manner in which the leaders motivate their followers in order to fulfill the designated goals.
The research conducted on finding the factors that motivate the followers maximum, the path-goal theory first made its appearance in leadership literature in the 1970s (early) in the works done mainly by Evans ( 1970), House and Mitchell ( 1974), House (1971) etc. This leadership theory mainly focuses on improving the performance of the followers along with enhanced follower satisfaction by emphasizing mainly on the follower's motivation levels (Indvick, 1988) . The leaders enhance the goal attainment pattern of followers by either giving rewards or information in the work environment. Leadership works towards motivating when the path towards achieving the goals is clean and clear, thus very easy to be traveled with the help of coaching, direction, removal of barriers as well as roadblocks for achieving the goals and finally making the entire work very much personally satisfying (House, 1971).
To explain the basic ideas about the Path-Goal Theory, we can correlate it with the best example of my football team. The football team for which I play consist of different kind of people that includes players, coaches as well as supporting members. Each member makes its own contribution to varied functions of the team and every football team member should know the sport very well and should be encouraged to do their bit in order to emerge as the winner in the game. All the team members should feel the commitment embraced by coach as well as have the support of other team members so as to perform in the best manner. This can be done by following the main basic that governs the Path-Goal approach that is: define organizational objectives/ goals; make the path clear, remove the barriers and finally provide support for each other in the team (Samson & Daft, 2012).
Conceptually it can be said that Path-Goal theory appears to be highly complex and it is much better to divide the theory into smaller units, so different major components that are part of the path-goal theory are leader behaviors; follower characteristics; task characteristics as well as motivation (Williams & McWilliams, 2014). According to the path-goal theory, every kind of leadership behavior will have a different kind of impact on the motivation of the followers. To decide whether particular leader behavior is motivating for the followers is conditional on
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