Goal Theory of Latham and Locke

Any discussion of goal theory would have to note the work of Latham
and Locke, Abraham Maslow and Alderfer at least, along with other theories
that are useful in management.Latham and Locke noted that motivation and
performance are higher when individuals set specific goals, and also, that
those goals must be difficult but acceptable to the person accepting them.
Latham and Locke noted, also, that there must be feedback on performance,
but that as long as they are accepted, demanding goals lead to better
performance than easy ones. (The Manager Web site)
Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs also has significant impact on the
area of setting goals.The needs he identified were, from lower to higher:
physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-fulfillment.When a lower-
order need had been fulfilled, he thought, then the next higher order would
become dominant.(The Manager Web site)In other words, if a person is
fighting for survival, literally, then goals will concern food and shelter.
If those needs are met, then the goals will concern obtaining not just any
haven, but a safe haven, and on up the ladder.In management, if a
person’s need for an income is met, then the next goal might be for
pleasant working conditions, and when those are met, then perhaps the goal
would be to be accepted by one’s colleagues, and so on.Maslow also
thought that the highest order needs provide the greatest motivation: I
would agree with that, assuming the basic survival;;;or in the case of the
workplace, income;;;needs have been met.
Alderfer’s ERG Theory was about subjective state of satisfaction and
desire and is similar to Maslow’s hierarchy.Alderfer put all human needs
into three categories: existence needs, relatedness needs, and growth
needs.(The Manager Web site) Hisfirst category corresponds to Maslow’s
physiological and safety…

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