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In 1960’s, Edwin Locke put forward the Goal-setting theoryof motivation.This theory states that goal setting is essentially linked totask performance.It states that specific and challenging goals along withappropriate feedback contribute to higher and better taskperformance. In simple words, goals indicate and give direction to anemployee about what needs to be done and how muchefforts are required to be put in.
The willingness to work towards attainment of goal is main source of job motivation. Clear, particular and difficult goals are greater motivating factors than easy, general and vague goals. Specific and clear goals lead to greater output and better performance. Unambiguous, measurable and clear goals accompanied by a deadline for completion avoids misunderstanding.
Goals should be realistic and challenging. This gives an individual a feeling of pride and triumph when he attains them, and sets him up for attainment of next goal. Better and appropriate feedback of results directs the employee behaviour and contributes to higher performance than absence of feedback. It helps employees to work with more involvement and leads to greater job satisfaction.
Employees’ participation in goal is not always desirable. Participation of setting goal, however, makes goal more acceptable and leads to more involvement.
Self-efficiency- Self-efficiency is the individual’s self- confidence and faith that he has potential of performing the task. Higher the level of self-efficiency, greater will be the efforts put in by the individual when they face challenging tasks and vice versa. Goal commitment- Goal setting theory assumes that the individual is committed to the goal and will not leave the goal.
The goal commitment is dependent on the following factors: Goals are made open, known and broadcasted. Goals should be set-self by individual rather than designated. Individual’s set goals should be consistent with the organizational goals and vision.
Goal setting theory is a Goal setting leads to technique used to raise better performance by incentives for increasing motivation employees to and efforts, but also complete work quickly through increasing and and effectively. improving the feedback quality.
At times, the organizational goals are in conflict with the managerial goals. Goal conflict has a detrimental effect on the performance if it motivates incompatible action drift. Very difficult and complex goals stimulate riskier behaviour. If the employee lacks skills and competencies to perform actions essential for goal, then the goal-setting can fail and lead to undermining of performance. There is no evidence to prove that goal-setting improves job satisfaction.
Dr. Locke and Dr. Latham joint published "A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance" in 1990. Their book reinforced the importance of setting specific and difficult goals. It concluded that there were five fundamental principles that lie behind effective goal setting. Not only that but the degree to which these are present in a goal is directly linked to the achievement of that goal.
Clarity Challenge CommitmentComplexity and Feedback
Clear goals are measurable and unambiguous. When a goal is clear and specific, with a definite time set for completion, there is less misunderstanding about what behaviours will be rewarded. You know whats expected, and you can use the specific result as a source of motivation.
One of the most important characteristics of goals is the level of challenge. People are often motivated by achievement, and theyll judge a goal based on the significance of the anticipated accomplishment When setting goals, make each goal a challenge.
The last factor in goal setting theory introduces two more requirements for success. For goals or assignments that are highly complex, take special care to ensure that the work doesnt become too overwhelming.
Goals must be understood and agreed upon if they are to be effective. Employees are more likely to "buy into" a goal if they feel they were part of creating that goal. Feedback provides opportunities to clarify expectations, adjust goal difficulty, and gain recognition. Its important to provide benchmark opportunities or targets, so individuals can determine for themselves how theyre doing.