Ocean's Eleven Essay

1781 words - 7 pages

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 , Basher 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...

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