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goal setting

Miriam Erez


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The goal setting theory of motivation is “the single most dominant theory in the field, with over a thousand articles and reviews published on the topic in over 35 years” ( Mitchell and Daniels, 2003: 231 ). The theory proposes that goals are the immediate regulators of behavior and setting specific and difficult goals leads to higher performance levels than general “do your best” or easy goals. These effects are subject to two necessary conditions: goal commitment , and feedback on performance ( Locke and Latham, 2002 ). In line with goal setting theory, social cognitive theory ( Bandura, 2001 ) asserts that specific and high goals create negative discrepancies to be mastered, and this discrepancy mobilizes resources based on anticipatory estimates of what is necessary for goal attainment. The application of goal setting theory to the group level in the last decade confirmed that, similar to the effects at the individual level, group goals have a strong and positive effect on group performance ( Latham and Pinder, 2005 ). A goal is the aim of an action; for example, to attain a specific standard of proficiency on a given task, usually within a specified time limit (increase annual sales by 10 percent or reach an executive position within 10 years). Goals could be proximal , leading to immediate action, or distal and long term, with interim goals. A vision set by a leader ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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