Accession Number:

ADA094701

Title:

The Effects of Participation and Goal Difficulty on Performance.

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept.,

Corporate Author:

WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Report Date:

1981-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

18.0

Abstract:

Previous research comparing the effects of assigned versus participatively set goals on performance were essentially tests of the null hypothesis in that goal difficulty level was not systematically manipulated. The present laboratory study investigated the effects of assigned versus participatively set goals, and the effects of varying goal difficulty level on an arithmetic task. Eighty-six college students were assigned to either a participative goal condition or one of three assigned goal conditions. In two of the assigned goal conditions participants were assigned goals to those set in the participative condition, the difference being that individuals in one group were assigned goals at random and those in the other group were assigned goals on the basis of their premeasure scores. Participants in the third assigned goal condition were randomly assigned a goal in the top quartile of the goals set participatively. As hypothesized, individuals with hard assigned goals had higher performance than peers with lower goals set in a participative manner. Contrary to modern organizational theory, individuals with participatively set goals did not have higher performance than those with assigned goals of equal difficulty. Personality traits were not found to moderate the effects of goal setting on performance. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE