I find many odd and quirky things about this theory.
For example, Northouse says: “…leadership generates motivation when it increases the number and kinds of payoffs that followers receive from their work.” Doesn’t that seem strange and limited? I would think it might have more to do with the accuracy of the payoff—providing the workers with what they really want. By way of example, I was teaching in Halifax, Nova Scotia back in the 1990’s. A conversation revealed that a gentleman’s workers at a local shipyard did NOT want to work during Thanksgiving for holiday pay—they expressed a definite preference for compensatory days off instead. They were looking to “bank” more time off at Christmas time instead of banking more money at Thanksgiving.
Additionally, Northouse assert: “In addition, supportive leaders treat followers as equals…”
What could go wrong with treating followers “as equals”? This begs the larger question: Should you be friends with your subordinates?
Northouse observes: “Similarly, it suggests that leaders should be participative when followers need control and that leaders should be achievement oriented when followers need to excel.”
When, exactly, would you want your followers “not to excel”? Don’t you want them to excel all of the time? Shouldn’t you be motivating your followers to excel ALL of the time?