Goal setting means setting clear, measurable, and time-targeted objectives. Setting goals is different from the main part of the literature on personal development. The goals that are perceived as realistic are more effective for behavior change.
Students writing research paper on goal setting must understand that goal setting is considered an effective tool for moving forward. On a personal level, goal setting is a process that allows people to identify and then work towards their own goals. This is often financial or career-oriented goals.
“Goals give a sense of direction and purpose” (Goldstein, 1994, § 96). “Setting the goal gets the benefit of the possibilities of the human brain: our brain is a machine to solve problems and achieve goals.”
The objectives that are clear and are difficult to achieve result in an increase. The goal could be clearer by the method of quantitative expression or conversion (must be measurable), such as “increase in productivity by 50%”; or by defining the tasks to be performed.
Goal setting affects the results in four ways:
- Choice: goals narrow attention and direct efforts on actions related to these goals and allocating attention from other unwanted actions.
- Effort: goals can lead to greater efforts; For example, if a person creates four parts per hour and aims to create six parts, it will begin to work more intensively to achieve its goal.
- Perseverance: The individual becomes more prone to work and ignore the failure, if it pursues a clear objective.
- Cognition: goals can lead to the fact that the individual will develop cognitive strategies to change its behavior.
In business, goal setting offers advantages in encouraging participants in applying a considerable effort, because expectations are identified for each participant, and gives little room for inappropriate effort to be unnoticed.
Managers cannot always maintain motivation and control the work of employees. Therefore, goal setting is an important tool for managers as well as self-regulating mechanism that gives the employee a certain amount of leadership. Chalet, (1995) and Locke and Latham (2002) developed four mechanisms through which goal setting can affect individual performance.
- The objectives focus attention towards the related goals of the action and away from activities that are not related to the purpose.
- Objectives serve as Energizer. Higher targets leads to the application of more effort, lower targets – to smaller ones.
- The goals affect persistence.
- Aims turn on cognitive knowledge and strategies that enable workers to deal with the situation for a moment.
Lock investigated the effect of setting goals on behavior and found that 90% of laboratory and field studies that included clear and challenging goals led to higher performance. Conversely, light targets or their lack did not give performance improvement.
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