Gary P. Latham

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The authors summarize 35 years of empirical research on goal-setting theory. They describe the core findings of the theory, the mechanisms by which goals operate, moderators of goal effects, the relation of goals and satisfaction, and the role of goals as mediators of incentives. The external validity and practical significance of goal-setting theory are(More)
A review of both laboratory and field studies on the effects of setting goals when performing a task found that in 90% of the studies, specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance than easy goals, "do your best" goals, or no goals. Goals affect performance by directing attention, mobilizing effort, increasing persistence, and motivating(More)
In the first Annual Review of Psychology chapter since 1977 devoted exclusively to work motivation, we examine progress made in theory and research on needs, traits, values, cognition, and affect as well as three bodies of literature dealing with the context of motivation: national culture, job design, and models of person-environment fit. We focus(More)
Goal-setting theory is summarized regarding the effectiveness of specific, difficult goals; the relationship of goals to affect; the mediators of goal effects; the relation of goals to self-efficacy; the moderators of goal effects; and the generality of goal effects across people, tasks, countries, time spans, experimental designs, goal sources (i.e.,(More)
In this monograph we describe a unique method for resolving scientific disputes: the joint design of crucial experiments by the antagonists themselves with the help of a mediator. This method was applied to the issue of the effect of participation on goal commitment and performance. In research on this topic, Latham and his colleagues had obtained markedly(More)
This article discusses the beneficial effects of setting goals in health behavior change and maintenance interventions. Goal setting theory predicts that, under certain conditions, setting specific difficult goals leads to higher performance when compared with no goals or vague, nonquantitative goals, such as "do your best." In contrast to the graduated,(More)
Uniting separate research streams on situational and dispositional goals, we investigated goal setting and goal orientation together in a complex business simulation. A specific learning goal led to higher performance than did either a specific performance goal or a vague goal. Goal orientation predicted performance when the goal was vague. The performance(More)
There is overwhelming evidence in the behavioral sciences that consciously set goals can increase an employee’s performance. Thus HR professionals have had little, if any reason to become interested in subconscious processes. In the past decade, however, laboratory experiments by social psychologists have shown that goals can be primed. That is, behavior is(More)
Four studies examined whether implicit person theory (IPT) regarding the malleability of personal attributes (e.g., personality and ability) affects managers' acknowledgment of change in employee behavior. The extent to which managers held an incremental IPT was positively related to their recognition of both good (Study 1) and poor (Study 2) performance,(More)
. t A 3 x 2 factorial design was used to examine the motivational effects of participation in decision making (PDM) versus goal setting on performance. Seventy-two college students were randomly assigned to one of six conditions. The task selected for the study was a toy assembly project adapted from a business game used in an assessment center. The(More)