“Ocean’s Eleven” Path-goal Theory In “Ocean’s Eleven” Steven Soderbergh did a great job as a director in keeping the audience interested throughout the whole movie time. Path-goal theory of leader effectiveness can be easily applied to the movie. The path-goal theory by Robert House holds that the leader can affect group’s performance, satisfaction and motivation by offering rewards for achieving goals, clarifying paths towards these goals and removing obstacles to performance.
After being released from prison, Danny Ocean (Clooney) finds out that Las Vegas kingpin Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) is seeing his ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts). Danny sets up a goal to steal millions from Terry and his ex-wife back. Then he shares the “highly lucrative and highly dangerous” plan with old friend Rusty (Brad Pitt) – to knock off the vault of the Bellagio Hotel, which covers the MGM Grand and the Mirage as well, during the night of a big fight to the tune of about $150 million.According to House’s theory what leader can do is affected by situational factors – the environment and subordinates personality.
The great situational factor that caused Danny to consider casino robbery was heavyweight boxing championship being held in Las Vegas. Danny and Rusty ( the leader and co-leader ) can’t pull this off alone so they find the team ( the followers) they’ll need for creating “Ocean’s Eleven. ” Each team member selected has different skills and abilities, and therefore only sticking together they will be able to achieve the common goal.Linus Caldwell (MATT DAMON) is selected as a proficient pickpocket , Bashe...
r Tarr (DON CHEADLE) and Livingston Dell (EDDIE JEMISON) are chosen for their expertise in explosives and technical skills, Virgil (CASEY AFFLECK) and Turk (SCOTT CAAN), are brought onboard on as the drivers, Yen (SHAOBO QIN) is selected as acrobat , and Saul Bloom (CARL REINER) is brought from retirement to pull this plan together. In some instances of the movie Danny is acting as directive leader, where he gives specific instructions to the group and clarifies expectations.Path-Goal theory assumes that leaders are flexible and they can change their leadership style depending on the situations.
Although, the leader behavior-outcome relationship is moderated by contingency variables – environment and follower characteristics. The followers do not have control of environment, and the environmental factors determine the leadership style. Follower characteristics are the locus of control, experience, and perceived ability. In the ocean’s eleven case the team members can be described as having external locus of control where they believe that their success is attributed to luck or fate.The whole robbery plan is based that each member will performed his specified duties and everything goes well as planned, also that boxing championship will not be cancelled on the weekend, which means that most significant high rollers will go gambling.
Danny and Rusty set up the path to be followed to achieve their goal – to rob three casinos owned by the ever ruthless Terry Benedict. Danny acts like the charismatic leader of the team. The plan is to pull off the heist, but what enhances the movie’s plot is Danny Ocean’s charm.Besides the common
shared goal, the film also focuses on Danny’s real heist – to win back the heart of Tess (Julia Roberts) who left her husband while he was serving time for his previous crime.
As a successful leader Danny has the needed interpersonal, cognitive and technical skills which he demonstrated with abundance throughout the scenes. In the night club scene he showed up unannounced where Rusty was teaching other players to play poker, and pretended that he new very little about game. His intelligence allowed him to trick the other players and win.As a charming leader Danny also great interpersonal skills , like persuasiveness and diplomacy . He gets what he wants though motivation of his team, and not by ordering them what to do. When he convinces Ruben to finance their crime just by showing the newspaper with news about Terry purchasing Ruben’s casino hoping that he will want to revenge.
The best part was actually when Danny and Rusty convinced that this is actually Ruben’s plans to rob the casino. Danny’s and Rusty’s behavior enhances subordinate empowerment and satisfaction , and subordinate effectiveness.Throughout the movie both leaders Danny and Rusty follow achievement oriented leadership to be effective while engaging in behaviors that complement subordinates’ environments in a way that compensates for deficiencies and results in subordinate satisfaction. The tasks are delegated to each of the members of the team so everyone knows what is their role in the largest casino robbery in history.
The first task is to find out Everything about casino , watch employees and know alternative routes to the casino. Second task is the power – to through the switch on Las Vegas.The last task assigned by task leader is surveillance – keep an eye on casino security. By setting and communicating the plan, which contained strict time constraints, paths to follow, and interactions with others, Danny ( task leader) was also giving the team a norm that had to be met in order to successfully achieve the team objective of pulling off the casino heist. Throughout the movie Rusty played the most important roles – helped Danny with preliminary ideas and strategies , recruited the team , explained entire plan to the followers and significantly added to the plan of keeping everybody together .
Expectancy Theory of Motivation According to expectancy theory of motivation the followers (Ocean’s eleven team) will be more motivated to get involved in the task when it satisfies their personal goals . As the team was assembled it has been determined that 11 people are needed to pull off the heist. Ocean’s eleven gathered together to achieve a main purpose: to rob the Bellagio hotel central vault that had three casino share. Each member of the team had his own role to play, and if one of them failed in his job, then the work of all eleven would be ruined.Considering this fact the motivation factor is very important. Although each of the eleven members would get his share of money, the purpose where to spend the money is unique for everybody.
Considering the importance of each team member’s plans where to
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