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The unintended consequences of motivational techniques – goal setting and unethical behaviour. Gottfried Catania MSc. PRESENTATION STRUCTURE. 1. Personal and group introductions 2. Definition and theories of motivation 3. Goal setting theory – basic concepts
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Gottfried Catania MSc
Locke and Latham (2004), amongst others, have tried to integrate the different theories into one model, and many practitioners use ideas from the different models as relevant in different situations
Work performance is increased by specific and challenging (but not impossible) goals.
Rewards are also important motivators as they increase satisfaction and goal commitment
Sears, Roebuck and Co – 1990s
Auto repair company set sales goals for its repair staff of $147/hour, prompting staff to overcharge for work and complete unnecessary repairs
Enron - 1990s
Specific challenging goals fuelled rapid financial success, but focusing on revenue rather than profit drove the company bankrupt
General Motors – 2002
Market share in 2002 was 28.2%. Goal of reaching 29% was emphasized - strategies devised to reach the goal disregarded potential negative consequences (e.g. Interest free loans), money was lost and the company went bankrupt
people are not intrinsically evil, but breakdowns in moral reasoning, sometimes arising from organizational interventions and policies(such as goal setting) may lead to immoral practices
Ambrose, M. L. and Kulik, C. T. (1999) Old friends, new faces: Motivation research in the 1990s. Journal of Management, 25(3), 231-292.
Barsky, A. (2008) Understanding the ethical cost of organizational goal-setting: A review and theory development. Journal of Business Ethics, 81, 63-81.
Latham, G. P. (2007) Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research and Practice. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.
Latham, G. P. and Pinder, C. C. (2005) Work motivation theory and research at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Annual Review of Psychology, 56, 485-516.
Locke, E. A. and Latham, G. P. (2002) Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation – A 35 year odyssey. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.
Ordonez, L. D., Schweitzer, M. E., Galinsky, A. D. and Bazermann, M. H. (2009) Goals gone wild: The systematic side effects of overprescribing goal setting. Academy of Management Perspectives, Feb 2009, 6-16 and related correspondence.
Schweitzer, M. E., Ordonez, L. and Douma, B. Goal setting as a motivator of unethical behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 47(3), 422-432.
University of Malta