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A Theory Of Goal Setting And Task Performance 1990 Pdf

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Sally Coleman Selden, Gene A. Some scholars believe that more effort should be devoted to the development of a comprehensive theory of work motivation. Several candidate theories have been advanced in recent years, but they are radically different and empirical testing is almost nonexistent.

Heroes of Employee Engagement: No.4 Edwin A. Locke

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between goal specificity and task performance, with specificity operationalized as a continuous quantitative variable reflecting the range of performance levels individuals chose as their personal goals. It was hypothesized that, controlling for goal difficulty, specific personal goals would be associated with higher levels of task performance. It was also hypothesized that task strategy would mediate the relationship between goal specificity and performance and that specific goals would be associated with smaller goal-performance discrepancies. The results from a sample of college students working on an eye-hand coordination task supported the hypothesis concerning goal-performance discrepancies. They hypotheses regarding task strategy and the relationship between goal specificity and performance were supported only on the second of two trials. This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

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Goal setting

Since it was first researched five decades ago, goal-setting theory has been the most researched, utilized, and established theory of work motivation in the field of industrial and organizational psychology Pennsylvania State University World Campus [PSU WC], , L. The theory began with the early work on levels of aspiration developed by Kurt Lewin and has since been primarily developed by Dr. Edwin Locke, who began goal setting research in the s. The research revealed an inductive relationship between goal setting and improved production performance. Goal setting involves the conscious process of establishing levels of performance in order to obtain desirable outcomes. This goal setting theory simply states that the source of motivation is the desire and intention to reach a goal PSU WC, , L. The decision to set a goal results from dissatisfaction with current performance levels.

Goal setting involves the development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal. Studies by Edwin A. Locke and his colleagues have shown that more specific and ambitious goals lead to more performance improvement than easy or general goals. The goals should be specific, time constrained and difficult. Difficult goals should be set ideally at the 90th percentile of performance assuming that motivation and not ability is limiting attainment of that level of performance. The theory states that the simplest most direct motivational explanation of why some people perform better than others is because they have different performance goals.


The extant literature on goal setting through has been reviewed and. integrated by Locke and Latham (Oa). The result was the.


The role of goal specificity in the goal-setting process

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A theory of goal setting & task performance

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A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance

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