The effect of primed goals on employee performance: Implications for human resource management

  title={The effect of primed goals on employee performance: Implications for human resource management},
  author={Amanda Shantz and Gary P. Latham},
  journal={Human Resource Management},
Overwhelming evidence in the behavioral sciences shows that consciously set goals can increase an employee's performance. Thus, HR professionals have had little, if any, reason to be interested in subconscious processes. In the past decade, however, laboratory experiments by social psychologists have shown that goals can be primed. That is, people's behavior is affected by goals of which they are unaware. Because a conscious goal consumes cognitive resources, this finding has important… 

Prime and Performance: Can a CEO Motivate Employees Without Their Awareness?

Work motivation research is at a crossroads with the discovery of the causal effects of primed subconscious goals in addition to those of consciously set goals on performance. Although social

The effect of context‐specific versus nonspecific subconscious goals on employee performance

We investigated the effect of context-specific versus general subconscious goals on job performance in a call center. Employees (n = 54) were randomly assigned to a condition where they were primed

The Credibility of Goal Priming Research in Work and Organizational Psychology

Four criteria attest to the credibility of subconscious goal effects on organizational related behavior. First, the findings support hypotheses derived from goal setting theory. Second, the empirical

Picture this: A field experiment of the influence of subtle affective stimuli on employee well-being and performance

Summary Prior literature examining the antecedents of employee affect has largely ignored subtle affective influences in the workplace and their impact on employees' affective experiences and

Toward an Integration of Goal Setting Theory and the Automaticity Model

Two laboratory experiments were conducted to assess the extent to which goal setting theory explains the effects of goals that are primed in the subconscious on task performance. The first experiment

The effects of priming with age stereotypes on a PC-based mail-sorting task

The findings indicate that the performance of older workers may indeed be modifiable by unconscious negative as well as positive priming.

The Effect of a Consciously Set and a Primed Goal on Fair Behavior

Three experiments were conducted to test whether an enhanced degree of fair behavior could be obtained by making justice a goal, whether consciously set, primed, or both. Each experiment assessed

Susceptibility to the ‘Dark Side’ of Goal-Setting: Does Moral Justification Influence the Effect of Goals on Unethical Behavior?

Setting goals in the workplace can motivate improved performance but it might also compromise ethical behavior. In this paper, we propose that individual differences in the dispositional tendency to

Publication bias and low power in field studies on goal priming

It is concluded that the available evidence falls short of demonstrating goal priming effects in the workplace, and proposals for how future research can provide stronger tests are offered.



The Illusion of Will in Organizational Behavior Research: Nonconscious Processes and Job Design

Theorizing and research in organizational behavior implicitly or explicitly assumes that behavior is the product of conscious will. However, an extensive body of literature suggests that much of

The Relevance and Viability of Subconscious Goals in the Workplace

This article examines the relevance and viability of pursuing empirical research on subconscious goals and applying the findings in the workplace. Five topics are addressed: First, reasons why

Importance of participative goal setting and anticipated rewards on goal difficulty and job performance.

Engineers/scientists (n = 76) either participated in the setting of, or were assigned, specific behavioral goals during their performance appraisal. Participative goal setting resulted in more

Nonconscious motivations: Their activation, operation, and consequences.

Self-regulation is one of the most important aspects of human existence. Deciding which goals to pursue and then engaging in goal-directed action is a fundamental process underlying many of a

Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research, and Practice

Editor's Comments Preface: Person-Environment Fit 13 Critical Incidents in the Life of a Practitioner/Scientist Part I The 20th Century: Understanding the Past 1900-1925 Experimental Psychology

What Should we do About Motivation Theory? Six Recommendations for the Twenty-First Century

We present six recommendations for building theories of work motivation that are more valid, more complete, broader in scope, and more useful to practitioners than existing theories. (1) Integrate

The psychology of goals

G.B. Moskowitz, H. Grant, Introduction: Four Themes in the Study of Goals. Part 1. What (and Where) are Goals? A.W. Kruglanski, C. Kopetz, What Is So Special (and Nonspecial) about Goals? A View from

Assessment of Implicit Motives With a Research Version of the TAT: Picture Profiles, Gender Differences, and Relations to Other Personality Measures

The n Affiliation, but not n Power, n Achievement, or activity inhibition-a measure of impulse control-was found to be higher in women than in men and individuals tested in a group than in individuals tested individually.

Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation. A 35-year odyssey.

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