What is the Goal Path Leadership Theory and its Principles?

Commonly, effective leaders are not related to particular leadership roles. This complexity has allowed the emergence of various theories to analyze the performance of a leader compared to other workers. That is why we recommend you read this article with which you will learn What is the goal trajectory leadership theory and its principles?

What are leadership theories?

Leadership theories are a set of notions that allow us to know the particular attributes of leaders. Some leadership theories claim to explain the behavior of people with skills that make them stand out in the field of leadership.

Today there is a huge dilemma regarding leadership skills. Some psychologists consider that the human being is born with the qualities of a leader. However, other specialists explain that experience and context variables influence the training process of any leader, just as it happens with the development of human resources.

What is the usefulness of leadership theories?

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Leadership theories allow leaders improve their skills in different circumstances. But to achieve this goal, it is essential to explain how a person becomes a leader and why this phenomenon occurs.

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Even if two people have similar attributes or traits, it is problematic to identify why they might be completely different leaders. For this reason, it seeks to apply the leadership theories In order to know the strengths and weaknesses, study the personality and behavior of individuals.

Although there are various leadership theories that point towards the study of social skills, behavior, adaptation to certain situations, management of expectations or the link between followers and leader, we will introduce you to the theory of goals and its principles.

What is the goal trajectory leadership theory?

The goal trajectory leadership theory is based on the belief of the followers regarding the leader. In this regard, the leader is seen as a person with defined goals who guides and supports team members to achieve goalsespecially when there are obstacles.

Subordinates have expectations regarding the leader and they expect him to grant rewards. This goal trajectory theory includes the study of the attributes of followers and the environment where they operate.

Principles of goal trajectory leadership theory

The principles of goal trajectory leadership theory specify certain attributes that define the leader behavior and the followers-subordinates. Also, they establish the contingency factors of the environment and the subordinate as well as the results.

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The behavior of the leader

Leadership can be «directive» or task-oriented, «supportive» through which the leader grants rewards and incentives, “Participatory” that promotes effective communication, intervention and suggestions from followers and “achievement-oriented” leadership.

Environmental contingency factors

The factors of environmental contingency They define the structure of the tasks posed by the leader, the formal authority system and the attributes of the work team.

The contingency factors of subordinates

The contingency factors of the subordinates allow to demarcate their qualities according to experience. For his part, the leader establishes a locus of control and defines the skills of each member of the team.


Depending on the performance of the leader and his subordinates, a result is obtained that may or may not be successful. This result propels the leader towards decision making.

Many times, failure generates unemployment or negative effects on the organizational culture, while satisfaction will derive from the delivery of rewards and incentives.

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