RMIT Case Study on leadership: Path Goal Theory and Leadership Styles Qn: If you were the manager of this plant, what would you do to achieve both high emp

RMIT Case Study on leadership: Path Goal Theory and Leadership Styles Qn: If you were the manager of this plant, what would you do to achieve both high employee satisfaction and high performance?I’ve identify the theorys to use. Please help answer the question in 500 study attached. theory attached. – Path Goal Theory. Slide 24 – Four Leadership Styles. Slide 27 Behavioural Approach
Behavioural approach
attempted to identify and
measure the leadership
behaviour patterns that
influenced followers’
productivity and morale.
School of Management
Slide 1
Behavioural Approach
•Study on how a leader behaves
toward their followers
•Focus of leadership study
between 1950s and 1960s
RMIT University©
School of Management
Two basic Leadership Behaviours
Leadership behaviours can be grouped into either
1. Task-Oriented Behaviour (Initiating Structure)
2. Relations-Oriented Behaviour (Consideration)
TASK: This type of behaviour, attitude or skill focuses more
on the task to be performed than on the interpersonal
aspect of leadership
RELATIONS: This type of behaviour, attitude or skill
focuses more on the interpersonal aspect of leadership
than on the actual task.
School of Management
Slide 3
Task-Oriented Leadership
• Organising and defining tasks within organisation.
• Assigning specific tasks
• Specifying procedures to be followed
• Scheduling work
• Clarifying expectations for team members
• Also referred to as production emphasis, task
orientation, and task motivation
School of Management
Slide 4
Relations-Oriented Leadership
• Leader creates an environment of emotional
support, warmth, friendliness, and trust
• Involves being friendly and approachable
• Showing Trust and Confidence
• Keeping followers informed
• Recognising performance
• Looking out for the personal welfare of the group
• Doing small favours for the group
School of Management
Slide 5
Leadership Behaviours
• has concern for employees
• has concern for interpersonal
• acts in a friendly and supportive manner
• has concern for completing tasks
• defines leader role
• defines employee role(s)
• focusses on goal achievement
Examples of this behaviour:
Examples of this behaviour:

does a personal favour for employee
finds time to listen to problems
defends workers in his / her section
consults with employees
accepts that employees have something
to contribute

assigns tasks to employees
maintains performance standards
focuses on deadlines
criticises poor work performance
separately coordinates the work activity
of different employee groups
Evaluation Behaviour Approach
•Main idea: “Explain how leaders combined the
task and relations behaviours to influence the
followers’ performance and satisfaction”
•Similar to the trait approach, also suffered for
failing to include situational elements
•Inconsistent findings were often found in the
studies using this approach.
Dr. Nuttawuth Muenjohn
Leadership style
❑The relatively consistent pattern of
behaviour that characterises a leader
❑Often based on the dimensions of initiating
structure and consideration
School of Management:
RMIT University
Slide 8
Leadership style
The relatively consistent pattern of behaviour that characterises a
School of Management
Slide 9
Two Basic Leadership Styles
•Participative leadership
•Autocratic leadership
RMIT University©
School of Management
Participative leadership
❑Participative leaders share decision making
with group members
❑Accepts suggestions from group members
❑Has a teamwork approach
❑Can be time-consuming
❑Manager’ perception that a participative
approach reduces their power
School of Management:
RMIT University
Slide 11
Autocratic leadership
❑Autocratic leaders retain most of the authority for
❑Autocratic leaders make decisions confidently,
assume that group members will comply
❑Not overly concerned with group members’
attitudes toward a decision
School of Management:
RMIT University
Slide 12
Selecting the best leadership style
❑Leaders who get the best results do not rely on
one style of leadership
❑Several different leadership styles can be drawn
upon by leaders in any one week
❑Effective leaders exhibit versatility and flexibility
in leadership style and adapt their behaviour to
the changing demands
❑Cultural settings must also be considered when
selecting appropriate styles
School of Management:
RMIT University
Slide 13
Assignment One –
Information and Advice
RMIT University©
School of Management
Topic Three – Contingency and Situational
It is a terrible thing to look over your
shoulder when you are trying to lead -and find no one there.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Learning Objectives
•Discuss the difference between behavioral
and contingency leadership
•Discuss the basic assumptions of
contingency leadership.
•Identify and explain FOUR contingency
leadership model styles and variables.
RMIT University©
School of Management
Development of Leadership Studies
Main Focus
Trait Approach:
Great Man Theory
Values, personalities,
assertiveness, emotional
stability, locus of control,
courage etc.
“Who leaders are”
1900s – 1940s
Task Orientation VS
People Orientation
“How leaders
LPC theory
Path-Goal Theory
Situational Leadership
Situational factors
1960s – 1970s
Servant, Visionary
How leaders influence
1980s – present
School of Management
Slide 17
Contingency and Situational
• The situation can influence which leadership
behaviour or style a leader emphasises.
• Leaders are most effective when they make their
behaviour contingent upon situational forces
•Assumption: “effective leadership behavior
varied from one situation to another and thus to
determine appropriate leadership behavior, a
leader needed to take situational factors into
Fiedler’s Contingency Theory
of Leadership Effectiveness
(LPC leadership Model)
RMIT University©
School of Management
Least Preferred Co-Worker (LPC) model
• Fred E. Fiedler developed a contingency model
that holds that the best style of leadership is
determined by the situation in which the leader is
•Sheds light on two important issues:
–Why, in a particular situation, some leaders will be
effective and other leaders with equally good credentials
will be ineffective.
–Why a particular leader may be effective in one situation
but not in another.
Fielder’s findings on leadership
performance and favourability of the
LPC Assumptions
•Leadership behaviours are relatively
•To be effective, a leader must change
situations to match his/her leadership
RMIT University©
School of Management
Question: Should a leader
change his/her leadership
behaviours or situational
RMIT University©
School of Management
The Path-Goal Theory of Leadership
•What the leader must do to achieve
high productivity and morale in a given
•In general, a leader attempts to clarify
the path to a goal for a group member
so that he or she receives personal
The major proposition of path-goal
• A leader should choose a leadership style that
takes into account the characteristics of the
group members and the demands of the task.
• Path-goal theory emphasises that the leader
should choose among four different leadership
styles to achieve optimum results in a given
The path-goal theory of leadership
Four Leadership Styles
• Directive behavior lets subordinates know what tasks
need to be performed and how they should be performed.
• Supportive behavior lets subordinates know that their
leader cares about their well-being and is looking out for
• Participative behavior enables subordinates to be
involved in making decisions that affect them.
• Achievement-oriented behavior pushes subordinates to
do their best. Includes setting difficult goals for followers,
expecting high performance, and expressing confidence.
Two Situational Factors
•Subordinates’ personal factors
–Subordinates’ ability
–Perception of ability
•Work’s environmental factors
– Task characteristics, authority system,
and work group
Underlying Assumption
•“Both personal and environment characteristics
determine the appropriate leadership behaviour
that lead to the degrees of effective outcomes
performed by subordinates”
Leadership styles VS Situations
• Directive: increase subordinates’ performance, morale
and satisfaction when the task is ambiguous and
subordinates are inexperienced
• Supportive: result in a higher subordinate effort, morale
and satisfaction when the task was unpleasant, stressful,
frustrating, confusing and repetitive
• Participative: promote satisfaction of subordinates on
non-repetitive, unstructured tasks, and with skilled
employees (Display of skills and ability)
• Achievement-oriented: work well in complex tasks by
increasing subordinates’ self-confidence in their ability to
meet challenging goals i.e. high competitive, internal
locus of control
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but could not find any entry for the appointment. Steve asked Ruth to tell Mr. Ferris that he
would be ready shortly.
The schedules were completed around 11:40. Since it was nearly noon, Steve invited
Mr. Ferris to join him for lunch at a nearby restaurant. During lunch Steve learned that Mr. Ferris
was from one of the firms that provided materials used in the production process at Acme, and
the purpose of the meeting was to inquire about some changes in material specifications the company had requested. As Mr. Ferris talked, Steve realized that he would not be able to answer some
of the technical questions. When they returned to the plant at 1:15, Steve introduced Mr. Ferris
to an engineer who could answer his questions.
Soon after Steve walked back to his office, his boss (Frank Jones) stopped in to ask
about the quality report for last week. Steve explained that he had given top priority to finishing the monthly production report and would do the quality report next. Frank was irritated,
because he needed the quality data to finalize his proposal for new procedures, and he thought
Steve understood this task was more urgent than the production report. He told Steve to get the
quality data to him as soon as possible and left. Steve immediately called Glenda Brown and
asked her to bring the quality data to his office. The task of reviewing the data and preparing a
short summary was not difficult, but it took longer than he anticipated. It was 2:40 by the time
Steve completed the report and attached it to an e-mail to his boss.
Looking at his calendar, Steve noticed that he was already late for a 2:30 meeting of the
plant safety committee. The committee meets weekly to review safety problems, and each
department sends a representative. Steve rushed out to the meeting, which was held in another
part of the plant. The meeting was dull this week, without any important issues or problems
to discuss.
The meeting ended at 3:30, and as Steve walked back through his section of the plant, he
stopped to talk to his assistant manager. Glenda wanted some advice on how to resolve a problem in the production assignments for the next day. They discussed the problem for about a halfhour. When Steve returned to his office at 4:05, his secretary was just leaving. She reported that
Lucy had called before leaving to fly home from the conference.
Steve was feeling tired and decided it was time for him to go home also. As he drove out of
the parking lot, Steve reflected that he was getting further behind in his work. He wondered what
he could do to get better control over his job.
SOURCE: Copyright © 1988 by Gary YukI
1. What specific things did Steve do wrong, and what should have been done in each instance?
2. What should Steve do to become more effective as a manager?
Chapter 3: Leadership Behaviors
Consolidated Products
Consolidated Products is a medium-sized manufacturer of consumer products with nonunionized pro~uction workers. Ben Samuels was a plant manager for Consolidated Products
for 10 years, and he was well liked by the employees. They were grateful for the fitness center he
built for employees, and they enjoyed the social activities sponsored by the plant several times a
year, including company picnics and holiday parties. He knew most of the workers by name, and
he spent part of each day walking around the plant to visit with them and ask about their families
or hobbies.
Ben believed that it was important to treat employees properly so they would have a sense of
loyalty to the company. He tried to avoid any layoffs when production demand was slack, figuring that the company could not afford to lose skilled workers who are so difficult to replace. The
workers knew that if they had a special problem, Ben would try to help them. For example, when
someone was injured but wanted to continue working, Ben found another job in the plant that
the person could do despite having a disability. Ben believed that if you treat people right, they
will do a good job for you without close supervision or prodding. Ben applied the same principle
to his supervisors, and he mostly left them alone to run their departments as they saw fit. He did
not set objectives and standards for the plant, and he never asked the supervisors to develop plans
for improving productivity and product quality.
Under Ben, the plant had the lowest turnover among the company’s five plants, but
the second worst record for costs and production levels. When the company was acquired
by another firm, Ben was asked to take early retirement, and Phil Jones was brought in to
replace him.
Phil had a growing reputation as a manager who could get things done, and he quickly
began making changes. Costs were cut by trimming a number of activities such as the fitness
center at the plant, company picnics and parties, and the human relations training programs
for supervisors. Phil believed that training supervisors to be supportive was a waste of
time. His motto was: “If employees don’t want to do the work, get rid of them and find somebody else who does:’
Supervisors were instructed to establish high -performance standards for their departments
and insist that people achieve them. A computer monitoring system was introduced so that the
output of each worker could be checked closely against the standards. Phil told his supervisors
to give any worker who had substandard performance one warning, then if performance did not
improve within two weeks, to fire the person. Phil believed that workers don’t respect a supervisor who is weak and passive. When Phil observed a worker wasting time or making a mistake,
he would reprimand the person right on the spot to set an example. Phil also checked closely on
the performance of his supervisors. Demanding objectives were set for each department, and
weekly meetings were held with each supervisor to review department performance. Finally,
Phil insisted that supervisors check with him first before taking any significant actions that deviated from established plans and policies.
As another cost-cutting move, Phil reduced the frequency of equipment maintenance,
which required machines to be idled when they could be productive. Because the machines
had a good record of reliable operation, Phil believed that the current maintenance schedule was
excessive and was cutting into production. Finally, when business was slow for one of the product lines, Phil laid off workers rather than finding something else for them to do.
By the end ofPhifs first year as plant manager, production costs were reduced by 20 percent
and production output was up by 10 percent. However, three of his seven supervisors left to take
other jobs, and turnover was also high among the machine operators. Some of the turnover was
due to workers who were fired, but competent machine operators were also quitting, and it was
becoming increasingly difficult to find any replacements for them. Finally, talk of unionizing was
increasing among the workers.
SOURCE: Copyright © 1987 by Gary Yuki

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