The theory was devised in the work of Robert House and had its origins in the theory of expectancy of motivation. It is founded on the idea that the employee’s perception of expectations regarding his effort. Employee performance is greatly influenced by the conduct of the leader. Leaders aid the group members to achieve benefits by providing clear paths to achieve their goals and eliminating obstacles to their performance. They accomplish this by providing details, guidance, and other tools that are needed by employees to finish their job.

House’s theory of servant leadership advocates. According to the theory of servant-leadership, it is not considered to be a position of power as an authority position. Leaders are more facilitators and coaches to their subordinates. In House’s theory of path-goal, the effectiveness of a leader is contingent on various environmental and employee-dependent factors as well as certain types of leadership.

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Leadership Styles

The four styles of leadership are:


Here, the leader gives guidelines and informs subordinates of what they are expected to do. They set performance standards for them and regulate the behavior of those whose standards are not being met. He is judicious in the use of punishments and disciplinary actions. The approach is similar to that of task-oriented.

Supportive leader:

A supportive leader is friendly to subordinates and shows care for their welfare, needs, and overall well-being. This type of leadership is similar to leadership which is focused on people.

Participative Leadership:

The leader believes in the collective decision-making process and communicates with subordinates. He confers with his subordinates about crucial decisions related to work, goals for the task, and ways to achieve objectives.

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The leader arranges challenging goals and inspires employees to reach their highest performance. Leaders believe employees are accountable enough to meet their objectives. This is similar to the theory of goal-setting.

Under the concept, the styles of leadership aren’t mutually exclusive and leaders can be competent in choosing multiple types of styles that are appropriate for an individual scenario.


The theory says that any of these styles can work in certain situations but not in other situations. The theory further says that the relation between the style of a leader and its effectiveness depends on the following factors:

Employee characteristics include things like employees’ requirements, location of control, knowledge and perceived capability and satisfaction, the willingness to leave the company, and stress. For instance, if employees have a high level of inability and have a tendency to be impulsive, a directive style of management may not be necessary rather a supportive style might be more appropriate.

The characteristics of the workplace include things like task structure and the dynamics of teams that fall not under the control of an employee. For instance, when employees are who are performing routine and easy tasks the supportive approach is more effective than a strict one. In the same way, the participative approach is much more effective for non-routine jobs as opposed to routine tasks.

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¬†When the team’s cohesiveness is weak and the team is not cohesive, a supportive style of leadership should be employed. In an environment where performance-oriented team norms are in place and a directive or perhaps an approach that is oriented towards achievement is more effective. Leaders must employ a directive style to dispel team norms that are contrary to the team’s formal goals.

Charity and Life


This theory was put to tests of empirical validity in a variety of studies and has garnered a significant amount of research-based support. The theory constantly reminds leaders that their main responsibility as leaders is to help subordinates to define their goals and to aid them in achieving those goals efficiently and efficient manner. This theory provides an of how to improve the satisfaction of subordinates and their performance.