Practical Applications of Goal Setting Theory to Performance Management

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: PUTTING RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE, J. W. Smiter, ed., San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass

15 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2008

See all articles by Peter A. Heslin

Peter A. Heslin

UNSW Sydney

Jay B. Carson

Independent

Don Vandewalle

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department

Date Written: September 28, 2008

Abstract

A key ingredient for effectively coaching employees is the prudent use of goal setting. The prime axiom of goal setting theory is that specific, difficult goals lead to higher performance than when people strive to simply "do their best" (Locke, 1966, Locke & Latham, 1990). The performance benefits of challenging, specific goals have been demonstrated in hundreds of laboratory and field studies (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2002). Specific challenging goals do not, however, necessarily lead to such desirable personal and organizational outcomes. Rather, the results from goal setting depend critically on issues pertaining to goal commitment, task complexity, goal framing, team goals, and feedback. The purpose of this paper is to discuss recent developments regarding how these five factors can be managed to enable effective performance management.

Keywords: Performance management, goal setting, goal commitment, self-efficacy

JEL Classification: M10, M12, M53

Suggested Citation

Heslin, Peter A. and Carson, Jay B. and Vandewalle, Don, Practical Applications of Goal Setting Theory to Performance Management (September 28, 2008). PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: PUTTING RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE, J. W. Smiter, ed., San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1275115

Peter A. Heslin (Contact Author)

UNSW Sydney ( email )

UNSW Business School
High St
KENSINGTON, NSW 2052
Australia

Jay B. Carson

Independent ( email )

Don Vandewalle

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department ( email )

United States

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