Task Strategy Interventions in Goal Setting: The Importance of Search in Strategy Development

P. Christopher Earley, Terence Connolly, Cynthia Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

In contrast to a large body of goal-setting research, recent findings suggest that challenging goals may not be beneficial when effective task strategies are not readily identifiable. In such settings goals may stimulate excessive strategy search, degrading overall performance. Two alternative aids to developing effective task strategies (restricting search or providing training in search methods) were examined in a laboratory study. Ninety-four subjects performed a stock prediction task under conditions of specific, challenging, or “do your best” goals and different task strategy interventions. The results of analyses demonstrated that the benefits of the strategy interventions were realized only if subjects were given also a specific challenging goal. Implications for goal setting theory and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-602
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Management
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Finance

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