Lesson notes, exercises, downloads, and recommended reading are below the video. On mobile, the video will rescale when you play it.

Edwin Locke: Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation

Edwin Locke was interested in the way goals and goal-setting motivate us in the workplace. People strive to achieve their goals. So, a worthwhile goal is intrinsically motivating.

On the face of it, the role of goal-setting in motivation theory is obvious. But there is more to Edwin Locke’s theory. In this video we’ll look at:

– how Locke’s theory works
– evidence that goal-setting works
– how to set effective goals
– the cultural impacts on goal-setting theory

Watching this video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

This video is part of course module number 3.7.2
Program 3: Managing and Leading Individuals
Course 7: Motivation
Section 2: Process Models of Motivation

Primary videos that precede this video include:
Introduction to Motivation https://youtu.be/hbPGqPLv2s4
The Fundamentals of Motivation https://youtu.be/IVjnAZ-8-dY

Primary videos about Process Models of Motivation include:
– Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne Experiment https://youtu.be/jRMO43s5NGY
– Victor Vroom and Expectancy Theory https://youtu.be/WDgF7Avijlc
– John Stacy Adams and Equity Theory https://youtu.be/ksnCw96vg7M
– Douglas McGregor and Theory X & Theory Y https://youtu.be/fS5iqEf1Azs
– Rensis Likert and High Producing Managers https://youtu.be/MTgkCe_hhWs
– Chris Argyris and the Immaturity-Maturity Model of Motivation https://youtu.be/L_QqwdwE_LI

Edwin Locke’s Goal-setting Theory links:
– Values
– Emotions & Desires
– Goals (intentions)
– Actions (responses)
– Work performance
– Consequences (feedback)

Albert Bandura and Daniel Cervone did an elegant experiment that showed that:
– Goal setting works
– Feedback improves it

We also know that the best goals are:
– Specific
– Stretching – challenging/realistic. They challenge people who have what McClelland would call a high need for Achievement (nAch)
– Made with commitment – ideally, the owner participates in the goal-setting
– Made public
– Ones where the owner has control over the outcomes
– designed to allow timely and accurate feedback – which is best if that feedback is self-generated

Other important factors
Self-efficacy – the person with the goals must be able to take action that affects their outcome
– Goal-setting works best in North American, Northern European, and Anglophone countries
– less so where the manager-staff relationship is more dependent, and performance is less highly valued, like South America, Latin Europe, and the Middle East

A useful quote from Edwin Locke:
‘Goal setting is more appropriately viewed as a motivational technique rather than as a formal theory of motivation.’

1. Think about when you have had goals. Some will have motivated you – others not. What were the characteristics of the goal-setting that was motivating? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. If you have not done so, it would be helpful to take a look at our video David McClelland https://youtu.be/jxNhGE3gPcA
3. Review the personal goals you have now. Refine them to make them as effective at motivating you as possible? (2 MC CPD Points)
4. Work with members of your team to help them with their own goal-setting. Focus on letting them steer the goal-setting process, and help them to make their goals effective. Pick two people for this exercise, to learn from. (2×3 MC CPD Points) Then roll-out the process across your team.

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

For a solid introduction to motivation:
– HBR Guide to Motivating People https://geni.us/sO2IKgn

The best of modern thinking on motivation, in accessible business books. These are all modern classics:
– Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us https://geni.us/uq3EBO
– Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action https://geni.us/vjErAN
– Lead, Motivate, Engage: How to INSPIRE Your Team to Win at Work https://geni.us/ABkZEx
– Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smart https://geni.us/E39I
– Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations https://geni.us/uMaP
– The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work https://geni.us/tiEkeH

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it here: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 2 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 12 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon
#Motivation #Goal-setting #EdwinLocke


How Do We Motivate People? Top Process Models of Motivation [Compilation]
What Motivates People? The Top Motivation Models [Compilation]
Porter & Lawler: Expectancy Theory on Steroids
Edward Lawler: Vroom Enhanced with Two Types of Expectancy
William Ouchi: Theory Z Organizations and Motivation
The Psychology of Motivation: Understand the Basics
Basics of Motivation: Building Morale in your Team
Basics of Motivation: Incentives – do they work?
Hackman and Oldham: Job Characteristics Model of Motivation
Work Orientation Theory: John Goldthorpe and How Attitudes affect Motivation
Daniel Pink and Motivation 3.0 – Content Models of Motivation
Ryan & Deci: Self Determination Theory (SDT) – Content Models of Motivation
Chris Argyris and the Immaturity-Maturity Model of Motivation: Treat People as Adults
Rensis Likert and High Producing Managers – Process Models of Motivation
David McClelland and Three Motivational Needs – Content Theories of Motivation
Clayton Alderfer and ERG Theory – Content Models of Motivation
Frederick Herzberg and the Two-factor Theory – Content Models of Motivation
Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs – Content Model of Motivation
Douglas McGregor and Theory X & Theory Y: Process of Model of Motivation
John Stacy Adams and Equity Theory: Process of Model of Motivation
Victor Vroom and Expectancy Theory: Process of Model of Motivation
Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne Experiment: Process of Model of Motivation
The Fundamentals of Motivation – Motives, Drives, and being Blocked
Introduction to Motivation: Key Questions Answered

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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