Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation Essay

Words: 2080
Pages: 9


Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation
Fred C. Lunenburg
Sam Houston State University

ABSTRACT Locke and Latham provide a well-developed goal-setting theory of motivation. The theory emphasizes the important relationship between goals and performance. Research supports predictions that the most effective performance seems to result when goals are specific and challenging, when they are used to evaluate performance and linked to feedback on results, and create commitment and acceptance. The motivational impact of goals may be affected by moderators such as ability and self-efficacy. Deadlines improve the effectiveness of goals. A learning goal
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A powerful method of obtaining acceptance is to allow organization members to participate in the goal-setting process. In other words, participation in the goal-setting process tends to enhance goal commitment. Participation helps organization members better understand the goals, ensure that the goals are not unreasonable, and helps them achieve the goal. The factor of self-efficacy mentioned above also may come into play regarding imposed goals. Some individuals may reject imposed goals, but if they have self-efficacy, they may still maintain high personal goals to accomplish the imposed goals (Bandura, 1997). Feedback Must Be Provided on Goal Attainment Feedback helps organization members attain their performance goals. Feedback helps in two important ways. First, it helps people determine how well they are doing. For example, sports teams need to know the score of the game; a sharpshooter needs to see the target; a golfer needs to know his score. The same can be said for a work team, department, or organization. Performance feedback tends to encourage better performance. Second, feedback also helps people determine the nature of the adjustments to their performance that are required to improve. For example, sports teams watch video reproductions of a game and adjust their play; a sharpshooter can adjust his shot; a golfer can adjust her swing; and a