01 Jul Goal-setting theory
Developed by Lock (1968), goal-setting theory holds that individuals’ behaviors and performance can be motivated to help them achieve their goals. Goals provide individuals with a standard against which to measure their own performance (Groening and Binnewies 2019). Different goals have different influences on individuals’ performance. Self-regulation enables individuals to adjust their behaviors by identifying differences between their goals and their performance (Fried and Slowik 2004). Therefore, goal setting is an effective motivational intervention (Landers et al. 2017) that can influence individuals’ performance through four means (Locke and Latham 2002). First, goal setting has a directive function, meaning that it can effectively direct individuals’ efforts toward goal-related behaviors and activities. Second, goal setting has an incentive function, meaning that internal and external mechanisms can incentivize individuals to achieve their goals. Third, goal setting has a persistence function. Fourth, goal setting has an indirect function by affecting individuals’ behavior through acquiring knowledge and information related to the goal.