Goal Setting Theory: Goal Motivation And The Advantage Of Management

1000 Words 4 Pages
No taxicabs on a rainy day in New York are a common display. However this is not due to a shortage of supply, this actually relates to a 1997 study of NYC cabdrivers (Camerer et al., 1997). On rainy days, cabdrivers went home as soon as they had met their fare target, rather than working a little longer for additional income. This is an example of a goal set too low by managers, and shows one of the implications of setting goals for your employees, or in general trying to motivate them successfully. This theory, named goal setting theory is introduced by Locke, (1968) and can be found repeatedly in many other firms nowadays, it argues that ‘work motivation is influenced by goal difficulty, goal specificity, and knowledge of results’ (Buchanan, 2010) and is therefore part of the process theories. Instead of telling your employees vague goals (e.g., “Do your best”), specific, challenging goals will boost performance. Interestingly, this theory seems to be at odds with another process theory, the expectancy theory. First introduced to industrial psychology by Vroom, (1964) asserting that, ‘ceteris paribus, expectancy of success (which is inversely related to goal difficulty) is positively related to performance’ (Latham, 1990).

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