Approach and Path Goal Theory Leadership Models Essay Paper

The purpose of this assignment is to evaluate the application of various leadership models and approaches, specifically the path-goal theory and the situational approach to leadership, in extreme circumstances.

Review the Turn the Ship Around! (A) case. As a leader, you will be faced with responding immediately to solve issues. The Turn the Ship Around! (A) case is an example of leadership under extreme circumstances. Reflect on this example to shape how you might apply the goal-path theory and the situational leadership approach in an everyday, real-world situation. Approach and Path Goal Theory Leadership Models Essay Paper

Write a 500-750-word paper that analyzes the events outlined in the case by addressing the following questions and concepts. Be sure to support your rationale by providing specific examples. You are required to include three to five additional references to support your position.

Discuss how the leaders demonstrate flexibility and adaptability.
Describe how the leaders apply aspects of the path-goal theory to this situation.
Discuss the leader’s ability to communicate effectively with all of the stakeholders involved and how communication could have been improved.
Explain how well the leaders follow the situational approach to leadership.
Describe how this case might shape how you apply the goal-path theory and the situational approach in a real-world situation.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.

Situational Approach and Path-Goal Theory Leadership Models: Turn the Ship Around Scenario

Since the dawn of civilization when humans began organizing themselves in groups to achieve a certain goal; the concept of leadership has been there. A group must have a person given the task of planning for its agenda, organizing how they will accomplish the group’s objectives, directing their efforts towards the realization of the group’s objectives, and controlling the group. This is the leader who also apart from doing the above has to motivate the group to give their best. But there are different kinds of leaders. Some are authoritatively autocratic; some are hands-off adopting the so-called laisser-faire approach; yet others are transformational motivating their followers to do their best and produce results as they enjoy their work. For persons who have worked under different kinds of leaders; the change to the leadership of another kind of leader may shock them. An example is an employee who has been working under an autocratic leader. In the event that they get to work under a transformational leader, they may not be able to deliver as they are not used to be given autonomy and independence of opinion and choice. Transformational leaders have been found to be the best in producing results in as far as healthcare is concerned. These are leaders that motivate their staff, make them feel wanted and appreciated and in the process increase job satisfaction, create a welcoming work environment with psychological safety, and eliminate burnout and its attendant psychological sequelae (Northouse, 2019; Choi et al., 2016). The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Turn the Ship Around case study and discuss the goal-path and situational approach leadership models in that context.


Demonstration of Flexibility and Adaptability by Leaders and their Application of the Goal-Path Theory to this Situation

It is important for a leader to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in the process of leading others. This is because not everyone is the same in terms of constitutional makeup and personality. In the case study, Officer Louis David experiences path-goal model of leadership (Phillips & Phillips, 2016) under his commanding officer (CO) and executive second in command (XO) on the USS Will Rogers. It is a top-down approach to leadership in which the leader wants to always show the followers what to do (the path) to achieve a given work objective (goal). Put differently, the workers under such a leader using the path-goal approach are held hostage to the leader. Even if one has an idea of what to do in a given situation, they are forced to wait for directions from the leader. This creates dependence on the leader and hampers critical thinking on the side of the employees.  Approach and Path Goal Theory Leadership Models Essay Paper

Officer Louis David had earlier experienced the same kind of path-goal leadership from his first commanding officer on the USS Sunfish. The CO gave orders on which “paths” to be followed when performing tasks on the vessel. He expected all of these orders to be obeyed without any alteration whatsoever. As would be expected, the servicemen on board the USS Sunfish became accustomed to following instructions without having to think critically and make their own independent decisions according to the work situation. A radical change was however experienced when the first CO on the USS Sunfish was replaced by a Commander Pelaez. He was radically different in leadership style from the previous CO. He encouraged the servicemen to think about what they need to do in all situations by themselves and act appropriately. He did not have to give instructions everywhere on what needed to be done. This was transformational and it caught the servicemen on the vessel by surprise. They were not used to this kind of leadership. Under the leadership of Commander Pelaez, Officer Louis David was to realize that he had great potential and could actually make important decisions independently if given a chance. As an example, he was allowed for the first time without being directed to make the decision of using a sonar ping on a merchant ship. Commander Pelaez can therefore be said to have adaptability and flexibility in his leadership. He is a transformational leader who successfully uses the situational approach to leadership that empowers and motivates his subordinates (Northouse, 2019).

When the time came for Officer Louis David to lead a group of 60 men out of the 140 present on duty on the USS Will Rogers, he immediately resolved to adopt and replicate the transformational leadership style of situational approach taught to him by Commander Pelaez. He became very adaptable and flexible, but the followers were already used to being given directions. It was not easy therefore as some could not perform forcing him to revert to instructions in some cases.

Ability to Communicate Effectively, Following the Situational Approach, and Ways of Improving the Communication

The different leaders in the case study demonstrate different ways of communication with the followers (servicemen) who are important stakeholders. The first CO on the USS Sunfish and the CO and XO on the USS Will Rogers were all top-down in approach to communication. They gave instructions and commands and expected them to be obeyed to achieve results. The difference came with Commander Pelaez who used a two-way communication approach and empowered the servicemen. Pelaez and David exemplified the situational approach and communication could have been improved by letting the servicemen take the initiative. This way, they would ask what they feel they do not understand. That is two-way communication.

How the Case Study Might Help in Applying the Two Models in Real-Life Clinical Situations

The nurse leader needs to be transformational and use the situational approach to achieve the best patient outcomes. However, there are instances that will require the path-goal model to achieve the same results. A good example is when dealing with inexperienced nurses who are yet to acquire full practical competency.


Choi, S.L., Goh, C.F., Adam, M.B.H., & Tan, O.K. (2016). Transformational leadership, empowerment, and job satisfaction: The mediating role of employee empowerment. Human Resources for Health, 14(1), 73.

Northouse, P.G. (2019). Leadership: Theory and practice. 8th ed. Sage Publications, Inc.

Phillips, A.S., & Phillips, C.R. (2016). Behavioral styles of path-goal theory: An exercise for developing leadership skills. Management Teaching Review, 1(3), 1-7.

Approach and Path Goal Theory Leadership Models Essay Paper




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