Competitive Exams: Goal Setting theory

  • Propounded by Edwin Locke
  • Specific goals (rather than generalized goal like “do your best” ) increase performance and that difficult goals, when accepted, result in higher performance than do easy goals. This proposition is known as goal-setting theory.
  • Completely unrealistic objectives that cannot be achieved are demotivating. To gain commitment to achieving the goals, true participation in setting them is essential.
  • Intention to work toward a goal is major source of job motivation.
  • People do better when they get feedback. Self-generated feedback where the employee is able to monitor his own progress is more powerful motivator than externally generated.
  • Goal commitment, adequate self-efficacy & rational culture also influence goals-performance relationship.
  • Commitment occurs when goals are made public, when the individual has an internal locus of control, and when the goals are self-set rather than assigned.
  • Goal-setting theory is culture bound. It is well adapted to countries like US & Canada as its main ideas align reasonably well with North American Cultures.