Can Locke's goal setting approach to motivation be used to self motivate. 'this is a short introduction to the topic, should not be used for higher level work'

Essay by daniel.p.reganUniversity, Bachelor's January 2004

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"The basic premise of goal theory is that people' goals or intentions play an important part in determining behaviour". Basically this means that if a person sets him/herself a goal then their behaviour will likely be geared to achieving that goal.

As can be seen from the model it is a persons desires and wants that lead on to the creation of goals, which affect the behaviour of the individual which then lead to the outcome of the behaviours. It can also be seen that the "Goal deficiency/difficulty" and the degree of commitment to achieving goal affect the behaviour of the person, namely the effort put in to achieving the goal.

Implications for managers

Locke identified factors which managers need to take into consideration when creating or assisting in the creation of goals for there employees.

-The more specific the goal the more likely it is to be achieved.

If goals are unclear then the person may become confused with what has to be done and the goal not achieved.

- The completion requirement (finish date) should be clear. This ensures that the person is aware of how long s/he has to complete the assignment and make sure that enough time is reserved.

-Goals that are more difficult to achieve are more likely to be achieved than easy ones. If a goal is difficult to achieve then more time and effort are usually put in to completing the task. If a goal is considered easy then the person may not try hard enough to do it.

-Complete accurate and timely feedback and knowledge of results is usually associated with high performance.

Why doesn't setting goals always work?

A number of factors have been identified that help to explain why the setting of goals does not always produce high performance.