Answered Essay: Select one of these theories: equity theory, expectancy theory, reinforcement theory

Select one of these theories: equity theory, expectancy theory, reinforcement theory, or goal-setting theory. Apply and analyze this theory in a real-world situation, preferably a current or previous work experience or organization. For example, analyze an employee program or incentive using one of these theories and evaluate its effectiveness in terms of motivating employees and achieving desired results. Or select one theory and design an employee program or incentive that you think would benefit your organization and explain why. 250 words

Expert Answer

Path-Goal theory of leadership

The theory asserts that a leader can in one way or another affect the satisfaction, performance and motivation of a group of employees or subordinate staff by clarifying the right paths to achieve goals, offering rewards for those who achieved the organizational goals and by also removing obstacles that obstruct employees from performing well in the organization. The theory went ahead and states that the effectiveness of the leader also depends on the situational factors that include subordinates’ personalities and the characteristics of the environment in which the leader faces in the work environment.

According to the Path-Goal theory, there are four different types of leadership styles that always depends on situations. These include, participative leadership in which the leaders always consult with the employees and they usually consider the suggestions of these subordinates. The directive leadership styles is another style in which the leader gives specific rules of performance to the employees in the organization. Supportive leadership style is where the leader shows concern for the organization’s employees and he/she is friendly to all employees. Lastly, the achievement-oriented leadership style is a leadership style under the path-goal theory in which the leader sets high goals and the subordinates are expected to perform highly on the assigned tasks.

A real world example of Path-Goal leadership style is a manager that is a goal setter. The manager would set high-level goals for his subordinates in order to achieve highest level of performance from his subordinates. He encourages his subordinates to give their best to their tasks. He encourages them to work hard and that they should always expect positive results from their efforts. For example, the manager would set sales targets higher after every four months and he would lead employees in some ways on how to achieve the results.


Flanagan, M. A. (1984). The path goal theory of leadership: A field study investigating the effects of leader behaviors and subordinate characteristics on subordinate promotions.

Roundtable Productions, & CRM Films. (1989). Styles of leadership. Beverly Hills, CA: CRM Films.

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