Article

Goal Setting

Gary Latham and Alana Arshoff

in Management

ISBN: 9780199846740
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0007
Goal Setting

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Job performance is expressed as ability multiplied by motivation. This equation explains why motivation is a cornerstone in the field of human resource management, industrial-organizational psychology, and organizational behavior. For example, motivation is an integral aspect of training programs. If people do not choose to master what is being taught, or they do not choose to apply the newly acquired knowledge or skills back on the job, the time and expense of training them are wasted. The application of goal setting theory provides a solution for this issue. This theory, developed in 1990 by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, is based on more than one thousand studies conducted in eight countries, on eighty-eight different tasks in both laboratory and field settings for time spans ranging from one minute to three years where goals were assigned, set by the individual, or set participatively. The theory states that individuals who consciously set specific, difficult goals perform better than those with no goal, or those who are urged to do their best. Further, given ability, commitment, feedback, and resources, a linear relationship exists between goal difficulty and performance. Goal setting leads to high performance for three reasons. First, a specific high, goal provides an individual with direction. It focuses an individual’s attention. Second it regulates a person’s effort, and, third, it induces persistence until the goal is attained.

Article.  5801 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management

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