Initiating structure will be effective in situations

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Initiating structure will be effective in situations with a low degree of subordinate task structure, but ineffective in highly structured task situations. In the situation of highly structured tasks, more structure is seen as unnecessary and associated with overly close supervision. For leaders to be effective, they should engage in behaviors that complement subordinates' environments and abilities. Matching the Leadership style to the Situation To use path-goal theory, the leader must first assess the relevant variables in the environment. Then she or he selects the one of the four styles listed next that fits those contingency factors best. 1. Directive style . The leader who is directive (similar to task motivated) emphasizes formal activities such as planning, organizing, and controlling. When the task is unclear, the directive style improves morale. 2. Supportive style . The leader who is supportive (similar to relationship motivated) displays concern for group members' well-being and creates an emotionally supportive climate. He or she enhances morale when group members work on dissatisfying, stressful, or frustrating tasks. Group members who are unsure of themselves prefer the supportive leadership style. 3. Participative style . The leader who is participative consults with group members to gather their suggestions, and then considers these suggestions seriously when making a
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decision. The participative leader is best suited for improving the morale of well- motivated employees who perform non-repetitive tasks. 4. Achievement-oriented style . The leader who is achievement-oriented sets challenging goals, pushes for work improvement, and sets high expectations for team members, who are also expected to assume responsibility. This leadership style works well with achievement-oriented team members and with those working on ambiguous and non- repetitive tasks. A leader can sometimes successfully combine more than one of the four styles, although this possibility is not specified in path-goal theory. Steps Leaders Can Take to influence Performance and Satisfaction 1. Recognize or activate group members' needs over which the leader has control. 2. Increase the personal payoffs to team members for attaining work goals. The leader might give high-performing employees special recognition. 3. Make the paths to payoffs (rewards) easier by coaching and providing direction. For instance, a manager might help a team member be selected for a high-level project. 4. Help group members clarify their expectations of how effort will lead to good performance and how performance will lead to a reward. The leader might say, "Anyone who has gone through this training in the past came away knowing how to implement an ISO 9000 (quality standards) program. And most people who learn how to meet these standards wind up getting a good raise." 5. Reduce frustrating barriers to reaching goals. For example, the leader might hire a temporary worker to help a group member catch up on paperwork and email.
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