Plan: 1 History



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Goal setting

Plan:


1 History

2 Concept

3 Goal commitment

3.1 Goal–performance relationship

3.2 Feedback

3.3 Honing goal setting using temporal motivation theory

3.4 Employee motivation

4 In business

5 In training

6 In personal life

7 Limitations

8 Developments in theory

Goal setting involves the development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal. Goal setting can be guided by goal-setting criteria (or rules) such as SMART criteria. Goal setting is a major component of personal-development and management literature.

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. As long as the person accepts the goal, has the ability to attain it, and does not have conflicting goals, there is a positive linear relationship between goal difficulty and task 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 essence of the theory is fourfold. First, difficult specific goals lead to significantly higher performance than easy goals, no goals, or even the setting of an abstract goal such as urging people to do their best. Second, holding ability constant, as this is a theory of motivation, and given that there is goal commitment, the higher the goal the higher the performance. Third, variables such as praise, feedback, or the involvement of people in decision-making only influences behavior to the extent that it leads to the setting of and commitment to a specific difficult goal. Fourth, goal-setting, in addition to affecting the three mechanisms of motivation, namely, choice, effort, and persistence, can also have a cognitive benefit. It can influence choice, effort, and persistence to discover ways to attain the goal.



History



Cecil Alec Mace carried out the first empirical studies in 1935.

Edwin A. Locke began to examine goal setting in the mid-1960s and continued researching goal setting for more than 30 years. He found that individuals who set specific, difficult goals performed better than those who set general, easy goals. Locke derived the idea for goal-setting from Aristotle's form of final causality. Aristotle speculated that purpose can cause action; thus, Locke began researching the impact goals have on human activity. Locke developed and refined his goal-setting theory in the 1960s, publishing his first article on the subject, "Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives", in 1968. This article established the positive relationship between clearly identified goals and performance.

Concept

Goals that are difficult to achieve and specific tend to increase performance more than goals that are not. A goal can be made more specific by:

quantification (that is, making it measurable), such as by pursuing "increase productivity by 50%" instead of "increase productivity",

enumeration, such as by defining tasks that must be completed to achieve the goal instead of only defining the goal.

Setting goals can affect outcomes in four ways:

Choice


Goals may narrow someone's attention and direct their efforts toward goal-relevant activities and fromward goal-irrelevant actions.

Effort

Goals may make someone more effortful. For example, if someone usually produces 4 widgets per hour but wants to produce 6 widgets per hour, then they may work harder to produce more widgets than without that goal.

Persistence

Goals may make someone more willing to work through setbacks.

Cognition

Goals may cause someone to develop and change their behavior.




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