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Path-Goal Theory, Learning Organization, and Leadership Awareness

A response to Team 3

Path-Goal Theory

Path-Goal theory is more than just offering tangible pay-outs and pats on the back for good performance. Leadership also motivates when it makes the path to the goal clear and easy to travel through coaching and direction, removing obstacles and roadblocks to attaining the goal, and making the work itself more personally satisfying (Northouse, 2012). Path-goal leadership proposes that the effectiveness of leader is influenced by the interaction of leader behaviors (directive, supportive, participative and achievement oriented) with two types of contingency factors: subordinate characteristics and environment (Hayyat, 2012). Different behavior will be used in different situations. For example, supportive leadership is very efficient when the task is stressful, uninteresting, or hazardous (Vandegrift, & Matusitz, (2011). While, directive leadership behavior will be more effective for subordinates with high need for achievement (Hayyat, 2012).

Learning Organization

Team 3 has written what a learning organization is but not how leaders function in a learning organization. Not much learning in an organization could take place without leaders providing guidance, support, and institutionalization (Milic, 2013). Leaders in organizations which are the pioneers of learning organizations (Shell, Pacific Bell, Honda, Samsung, Motorola, and GE) have realized that in order to their organizations survive, they have to learn how to learn faster and better and apply new knowledge's as fast as possible, before the competition does (Grubic-Nesic, Konja, & Lalic, 2013). Empowerment is important for successful leadership in a learning organization. Empowerment is a moral risk for some leaders and it depends on their capability to accept a potential loss of control as a consequence of sharing power with followers, and on their confidence in followers (Grubic-Nesic, Konja, & Lalic, 2013). There are several leadership styles that a leader can choose from. Transformational leadership style is the most suitable for establishing a learning organization (Al-Qutop, Futa, & Ma’ani, 2011).

Leadership Awareness

Being aware is not just to be aware of our thoughts and ideas. Self-awareness is the practice of reflecting on and accurately assessing one’s own behavior and skills as they are manifested in workplace interactions (Sur & Prasad, 2011). Self-awareness has three components: (1) Emotional-awareness, (2) Self-assessment, and (3) Self-confidence (Sur & Prasad, 2011). One of the most important times that a leader needs good awareness is at a time of change. It is important that leaders have a good level of self-awareness that enables them to see that their own mindsets and behaviors may indeed contribute to reinforcing rather than challenging existing systems (Higgs & Rowland, 2010).


Strength of this paper was that it did provide useful information of the different contextual leadership methods. The weakness was that it did not go into detail as much as it could have.


Al-Qutop, M., Futa, S., & Ma’ani, A. (2011). The relationship between learning facilitators and transforming into a learning organization: an empirical study of the insurance sector in Jordan. International Business Research, 4(3), 211-220. doi: 10.5539/ibr.v4n3p211

Grubic-Nesic, L., Konja, V., & Lalic, D. (2013). Leadership in learning organization. Metalurgia International, 18(2), 241-245.

Hayyat, M. (2012). A study of relationship between leader behaviors and subordinate job expectancies: a path-goal approach. Pakistan Journal of Commerce & Social Sciences, 6(2), 357-371.

Higgs, M., & Rowland, D. (2010). Emperors with clothes on: the role of self-awareness in developing effective change leadership. Journal of Change Management, 10(4), 369-385. doi: 10.1080/14697017.2010.516483

Milic, B. (2013). Authentic leadership and learning organization: a review of the literature and research proposal. Metalurgia International, 18, 41-43.

Northouse, P. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice. (6 ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publishing.

Sur, V., & Prasad, V. (2011). Relationship between self-awareness and transformational leadership: a study in IT industry. IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior, 10(1), 7-17.

Vandegrift, R., & Matusitz, J. (2011). Path-goal theory: a successful Columbia Records story. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 21(4), 350-362. doi: 10.1080/10911359.2011.555651