Goal Setting Theory

Locke & Latham’s (2002) goal-setting theory, one of the most effective motivational theories. It was formulated inductively based on empirical research conducted over nearly four decades. Its roots are based on the premise that conscious goals affect action (where goals are considered the object or aim or an action) (Locke & Latham, 2002). While goal setting theory is generally analysed at individual level, its principles are considered relevant at organisational level, too. Locke (2004) further argues that goal-setting is effective for any task where people have control over their performance. Research in this field currently explores goal setting theory at both individual and organisational level. In organisational context, personal empirical observations highlight that the goals of individuals, teams and the entity as a whole can be in conflict. Goal conflict can motivate incompatible actions and this has the potential to impact performance. Thus, alignment between individual goals and group goals is important for maximising performance.[1]

See Also

Organizational Performance
Organizational Theory
Contingency Theory
Systems Theory


  1. Definition - What does Goal-setting Theory mean? Integrating Performance

Further Reading