When Impediments Make You Jump Rather than Stumble: Regulatory Nonfit, Implementation Intentions, and Goal Attainment

26 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2011

See all articles by Leona Tam

Leona Tam

University of Wollongong - School of Management, Operations and Marketing

Jelena Spanjol

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management)

Date Written: March 30, 2011

Abstract

This paper examines the relative effectiveness of forming implementation intentions (i.e., making specific plans regarding how to go about achieving a goal) for increasing goal attainment under regulatory fit vs. nonfit. We discuss and empirically test the proposition that regulatory nonfit increases the effectiveness of implementation intentions. Extant research contrasts goals of differing difficulty (e.g., buying a textbook vs. finding an apartment) in order to test the relative effectiveness of implementation intentions. In contrast, the present study focuses on identifying the change in implementation intention effectiveness for the same goal (i.e., collecting and turning in receipts for a reward) under conditions of fit vs. nonfit. We empirically demonstrate that when faced with the same goal, people who experience regulatory nonfit perceive the task to be more difficult to complete than people who experience regulatory fit. In turn, when the task is perceived as being more difficult, implementation intentions prove more effective to enhance goal attainment. Our study provides insight into the interaction between regulatory fit and implementation intentions and subsequent effects on goal attainment.

Keywords: goal attainment, goal pursuit, self-regulation, regulatory focus theory, regulatory fit theory, regulatory engagement theory, implementation intentions, task difficulty, consumer behavior, regression

JEL Classification: C9, C91, M3, M31

Suggested Citation

Tam, Leona and Spanjol, Jelena, When Impediments Make You Jump Rather than Stumble: Regulatory Nonfit, Implementation Intentions, and Goal Attainment (March 30, 2011). Marketing Letters, Forthcoming; UIC College of Business Administration Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1802607

Leona Tam

University of Wollongong - School of Management, Operations and Marketing ( email )

Building 40
Northfields Avenue
Wollongong, 2522
Australia

Jelena Spanjol (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management) ( email )

Kaulbachstr. 45
Munich, DE 80539
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
46
Abstract Views
558
PlumX Metrics