Copyright

Directive Leadership Style: Definition & Concept

Directive Leadership Style: Definition & Concept
Coming up next: Expert Power in Leadership: Definition & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Directive Leadership Style
  • 0:38 The Path-Goal Theory
  • 1:50 Successful Use of…
  • 2:34 Unsuccessful Use of…
  • 3:11 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
Different populations of workers call for different management styles. In this lesson, we will discuss the directive leadership style and learn when it is most effective.

Directive Leadership Style

The directive leadership style is one of four leadership behaviors characterized by setting clear objectives and rules for your subordinates and ensuring that your expectations and directions are clearly defined and understood. Identified by the path-goal theory of leadership, directive leadership may be advisable when subordinates are unskilled or inexperienced at a complex task. It may backfire, however, if imposed upon highly skilled and experienced employees who are extremely competent to perform the task.

The Path-Goal Theory

You must have a general understanding of path-goal theory to get a good understanding of directive leadership. Martin G. Evans first developed the theory in 1970, with Robert J. House updating the theory in 1996. Basically, the path-goal theory holds that a manager should set employees' work goals and establishes the path by which they can achieve the goal.

The path-goal theory describes several managerial tasks. These include clarification of tasks, clarification of the employee's role and responsibilities, clarification of the criteria for success, providing guidance and coaching, removing obstacles that can prevent task completion, and providing psychological support and awards when appropriate.

Importantly, the theory also proposes that a manager should use different leadership styles depending upon the circumstances. Leadership styles available to you include support, participative, achievement-orientated, and of course, directive. Directive leadership is just one tool in the box that a manager can use.

Successful Use of Directive Leadership

Let's say that you are a manager on an assembly line at a manufacturing plant, and production orders have outpaced current labor capacity. You have decided to add a temporary weekend shift to keep up with demand and man the line with temporary employees. Unfortunately, the temps available don't have much production experience and none with your facility. You give each employee very specific instructions on how to perform his task on the line and have regular employees demonstrate the tasks as well. You also set clear and expressed production goals so that employees can gauge their progress and success. You have demonstrated the successful use of directive leadership.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support