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Management and Organization Theory: A Jossey-Bass Reader by Jeffrey A. Miles

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15

Goal Setting Theory

The theory of goal setting rests on the belief that life is a process of goal-oriented action (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2002). Goals can be defined as a result that individuals try to accomplish (Locke, Shaw, Saari, & Latham, 1981). In organizations, people are motivated to direct their attention toward and achieve goals. Goals have both an internal and an external aspect for individuals. Internally, goals are desired ends of achievement; externally, goals refer employees to an object or to a condition being sought, such as a performance level, a sale to a customer, or a promotion (Locke, 1996; Locke & Latham, 2006). The positive relationship between goal setting and task performance is one of the most replicable findings ...

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