Ocean's Eleven

Powerful Essays
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 technica...

... middle of paper ...

... eleven had different plans where to spend the money, so considering it they were all motivated to get the money so they can follow their plans of how to spend it. The only exception in this case is Danny. It appears to me that his true motivation was to get his ex-wife back and revenge the guy who stole her from him. Also, there is some thrill in the job as well- doing something illegal and not being caught. If the plan goes successfully, it would be the largest casino robbery in history.

The theory of motivation is not simply about individual interest in rewards, but also about the associations a person makes towards expected result, and the contribution one feels he can make towards the outcome. To summarize, the ocean’s eleven was a successful plan due to each of team member’s motivation and valuable contribution that they made towards the common goal.
Get Access