Path Goal Theory

In: Business and Management

Submitted By sohailaz
Words 957
Pages 4

1. What leadership theories and concepts have contributed to Herb Kelleher’s success at Southwest?
Herb Kelleher is an outrageous, off-the-wall CEO that has built a unique organization and has been extremely successful in a very competitive market. Kelleher has an unorthodox style when compared to CEO's of other major corporations. This style is reflected in his organization's style.
Herb Kelleher's leadership style is the opposite of the many autocratic leaders that have thrived in business for centuries. He does not "rule" over his employees but rather, rules with his employees. Kelleher believes that leadership is the job of every employee, not just upper level management. Kelleher believes that every employee should have the ability to ascertain situations and be able to act on their own decisions. Employees should be able to lead other employees to make decisions.
Kelleher's organization, as described by himself, is an upside-down pyramid. At the bottom, are the upper management personnel and at the top are the front line employees. These front line employees are "the ones that make things happen". He considers his front line employees the experts in the organization and top management the support help. The heroes are the front line employees. Kelleher's ability to lead is supported by the leadership offered by all of the employees in the organization.
Kelleher's leadership style, in part, can be related to the current Path-Goal Theory. This theory does not encompass Kelleher's style, but a few similarities are evident. Within Path-Goal Theory, there are four defined leadership behaviors. Two of them, supportive and participative, describe Kelleher's style. A supportive leader is a friendly leader and shows a genuine concern for the work-related and personal needs of his/her subordinates. The…...

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