The path–goal theory of leadership is a situational theory of leadership that is closely aligned with expectancy theory and contingency theory. Expectancy theory can be summarized as an individual’s decision to act in such a manner dependent strictly on the intrinsic benefits of the results of those actions. Contingency theory contends that individuals, leaders, and companies that optimize decision making after contemplating the external and internal situations may gain efficiencies. Path–goal theory holds that the major function of a leader is to enhance subordinates’ instrumentalities (i.e., perceived degree of relationship between behavior and outcome), expectancies (i.e., perceived relationship between effort and behavior), and valences (i.e., feelings regarding attractiveness of outcome) in an effort to increase subordinate force (i.e., motivational effort). Thus, although the theory is ...

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