Gary P. Latham

Gary P. Latham
University of Toronto | U of T · Rotman School of Management

About

253
Publications
698,155
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41,425
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 1990 - present
University of Toronto
Position
  • secretary of state professor of organizational effectiveness

Publications

Publications (253)
Article
Drawing on goal-setting theory, the current research examines whether the indirect relationship between self-set, rather than assigned or participative, learning goals and an Uber driver’s service performance is positive and significant in an emerging work context, namely, the gig economy. In this regard, we hypothesized that there is a positive, s...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has suggested that unlearning is not linked to performance improvements in a team setting. Further, unlearning may have deleterious effects on performance outcomes because when it happens, teams are likely to lose the way they perform tasks and the reasons for their operational existence. In contrast, this study predicts that team...
Article
Full-text available
Four experiments were conducted to determine whether participants’ awareness of the performance criterion on which they were being evaluated results in higher scores on a criterion valid situational interview (SI) where each question either contains or does not contain a dilemma. In the first experiment there was no significant difference between t...
Article
In this rejoinder we address three issues discussed in the commentaries on our lead article: possible ethical issues in goal priming in organizational settings, whether goal priming is restricted to routine behaviors, and the relationship of goal priming with self‐fulling prophesies and an organization’s climate. Finally, our data were examined by...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is to reveal the mediating role of scenario planning between reflection and task performance in new product development (NPD) teams. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional research design was used to collect data from 78 NPD teams and 194 employees. The mediation analyses were conducted through the bootstra...
Article
This article discusses the development of goal setting theory through induction. The processes such as formulating concepts and definitions, measurement issues, data gathering, data integration and presentation, identifying moderators and mediators, resolving contradictions, noting issues in application, expansions and extensions, and the role of i...
Article
A Bayesian longitudinal moderated mediational model was used to test the effect of students' daily/proximal self-set goals on a final course grade through daily study performance. Thirty-six daily diaries were completed twice a day by 147 sophomore students. Study goals were self-set in the morning and daily performance was self-assessed in the eve...
Article
A Bayesian longitudinal moderated mediational model was used to test the effect of students' daily/proximal self-set goals on a final course grade through daily study performance. Thirty-six daily diaries were completed twice a day by 147 sophomore students. Study goals were self-set in the morning and daily performance was self-assessed in the eve...
Article
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Drawing on results from 32 published and 20 unpublished laboratory and field experiments, we conducted an enumerative review of the primed goal effects on performance and need for achievement, two dependent variables of organizational relevance. The enumerative review suggests that goal setting theory is as applicable for subconscious goals as it i...
Article
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Work motivation research is at a crossroads with the discovery of the causal effects of primed subconscious goals in addition to those of consciously set goals on performance. Although social psychologists continue to demonstrate positive effects of primed goals on a multitude of dependent variables, priming research has been criticized for its lac...
Article
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Academic underachievement is a problem for both our education system and general society. Setting personal goals has the potential to impact academic performance, as many students realize through reflection that studying is a path towards realizing important life goals. Consequently, the potential impact of a brief (4-6 hours), written, and staged...
Article
An understudied issue in the goal priming literature is why the same prime can provoke different responses in different people. The current research sheds light on this issue by investigating whether an individual difference variable, core self-evaluations (CSE), accounts for different responses from the same prime. Based on the findings of experim...
Article
The effect of a context‐specific prime for cooperation on goal commitment and team performance were examined. In the first experiment, the participants (n=139) performed the Lost on the Moon simulation (Hall & Watson, 1970) individually and as a team (n = 50). The teams were randomly assigned to a condition where they were assigned the same goal. T...
Article
An individual’s adaptability is an important dimension for performing many dynamic tasks. A survey that assessed perceived emotional intelligence and adaptive performance was administered to 257 members of new product development teams in Turkey. A regression analysis revealed that perceived emotional intelligence is related to adaptive performance...
Article
In this article I comment on areas where I agree/disagree with the five previous perspectives on organizational psychology/organizational behavior (OP/OB). This is followed by a dire prediction of the future for OP doctoral programs, criticisms of the journal editorial processes and the overemphasis on deductive theory building, the value of qualit...
Article
This chapter summarizes the authors’ joint development of the goal setting theory. The basic concept was based on more than 50 years of research and the formal theory has endured for 28 years (Locke & Latham, 1990). The theory was not developed through overgeneralization from only a few studies or by deduction but rather by induction. The induction...
Article
The effect of feedback and a self‐set goal on the relationship between a goal primed in the subconscious and performance were examined in three laboratory experiments and one field experiment (n = 241, 465, 201, 74 respectively), using normative (bogus) and absolute feedback manipulations, and different performance tasks that were coded for both pe...
Article
The success rate of new products in the marketplace is dismal. A survey, based on setting a specific, challenging learning goal and team reflection, was administered to 194 members of 78 new product development teams in Turkey to determine whether there are teams who engage in reflection (i.e., deep level of critical thinking) when a specific, chal...
Article
Full-text available
Goal‐setting is among the most valid and practical theories of employee motivation. This conclusion has been reached by multiple authors working independently. The conclusion is based on the fact that the theory has been shown to predict, influence, and explain the behavior of over 40,000 people in numerous countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, the C...
Article
There are at least four interrelated reasons why the practice of industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology should not require a license that is mandated by the state or province where the I-O psychologist resides. First, there is no subject matter domain unique to the practice of I-O psychology. Second, because there is no subject matter domai...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the purpose of a performance appraisal, the relevance of goal setting to the performance appraisal, the legal requirements in the West for conducting a performance appraisal, the choice of a measurement scale to appraise job performance, the merits of coaching employees on an on-going basis and self-appraisals. The chapter c...
Article
Job satisfaction and job performance represent two of the most important and popular constructs investigated in organisational psychology. Issues relating to the nature and significance of their relationship has fascinated organisational researchers since the beginning of this discipline. In the present study, we aimed to clarify the direction of p...
Article
Two laboratory experiments were conducted to assess the extent to which goal setting theory explains the effects of goals that are primed in the subconscious on task performance. The first experiment examined the effect on performance of three primes that connote the difficulty levels of a goal in the subconscious. Participants (n = 91) were random...
Article
Goals can be set consciously or they can be primed. Both goal setting theory (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2013) and the automaticity model (Bargh, 1994; Bargh & Chartrand, 1999) provide frameworks for doing one versus the other. The present paper describes both field and laboratory experiments that primed goals to pursue organizationally relevant tasks....
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews goal-setting theory in terms of the causal relationships it specifies, the boundary conditions within which the causal relationships occur, and the mediators that explain the causal relationships. Three types of goals are described: performance, behavioral, and learning. Emphasis in the article is placed on findings regarding t...
Article
The forced distribution rating system (FDRS) is frequently used to appraise an employee's performance. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize theory and empirical research to present an integrative model for understanding the potential benefits and risks of a FDRS on the three components of job performance: task, citizenship, and counterproduct...
Article
A quasi-experiment (Study 1) and an on-line true experiment (Study 2) examined the effect of priming affect on customer service satisfaction. In Study 1, shoppers who received a "happy face" sticker on their retail receipt were more satisfied with the service they received than were those who did not receive a sticker. In order to determine whether...
Chapter
Corresponding author: E-mail: elocke@rhsmith.umd.edu
Research
Full-text available
this paper coalesces knowledge from both literatures and presents a compelling argument why goal setting and goal orientation literatures can make a meaningful contribution to the practice of management
Article
Setting specific challenging goals is important for increasing both job performance and job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is the result of an appraisal of one's performance against one's goals. Goal setting theory provides a framework that specifies the most valid and practical ways of increasing employee motivation. The theory states that the sim...
Article
Three experiments were conducted to test whether an enhanced degree of fair behavior could be obtained by making justice a goal, whether consciously set, primed, or both. Each experiment assessed fairness in a competitive negotiation context. All participants, across the three experiments, were asked to attain a base-level performance goal. The fir...
Chapter
Performance appraisals often hurt rather than help and employees improve their performance. Solutions include using an appraisal instrument that is tied to the organization's strategy, employing 360-degree feedback on what a person should start, stop, or continue doing, coaching an individual on an on going basis, and adhering to principles of orga...
Chapter
Specific high goals lead to higher performance than easy goals, no goals or even urging people to do their best. The higher the goal the higher the performance, given ability, commitment, feedback, and resources. Goals are effective because they give people direction, they increase effort and persistence, and they cue people on strategies to attain...
Article
Full-text available
Three experiments were conducted to test whether an enhanced degree of fair behavior could be obtained by making justice a goal, whether consciously set, primed, or both. Each experiment assessed fairness in a competitive negotiation context. All participants, across the three experiments, were asked to attain a base-level performance goal. The fi...
Article
Self-control is one of the most important functions that human beings possess. However, current research on how it affects organizational management is limited. Self-control theory perspectives suggest that although individuals differ in their self-control ability (i.e., trait self-control), engagement in self-control also depletes one’s self-contr...
Article
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The present study examined the commonly held assumption that a low level of work engagement leads to higher turnover intentions and employee deviant behavior. Employee survey results (n = 175) from a manufacturing organization in the United Kingdom showed that employee work engagement correlates negatively with lagged measures of turnover intention...
Article
We develop a new look on leadership for innovation and propose that effective leaders alternate between a broad range of behaviors and tune their approach to the changing demands of innovation. This is referred to as ambidextrous leadership. As the importance of different leader behaviors varies not only across time but also across contexts, ambide...
Article
This study examines the effectiveness of the feedforward interview for improving the job performance of employees relative to a traditional performance appraisal interview in a business equipment firm. Managers (n = 25) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions. Employees (n = 70) who engaged in a feedforward interview with their manager were...
Article
This research examined the effect of priming a learning goal, a performance goal, and both a learning and a performance goal on a task requiring the acquisition of knowledge. A photograph of Rodin’s “The Thinker” primed a learning goal, and a photograph of a racer primed a performance goal, as measured by a projective test. A laboratory experiment...
Article
This study examined a contextual predictor of abusive supervision. Specifically, we hypothesized that job goals that are judged by supervisors to be exceedingly difficult to attain is a predictor of subordinate‐rated abusive supervisory behavior. Drawing on the cognitive theory of stress, we hypothesized that exceedingly difficult job goals assigne...
Chapter
The benefit of using theories in the behavioral sciences for job search is that they facilitate predicting, explaining, and influencing behavior. This chapter compares and contrasts two such theories, namely, goal setting and control theory. Empirical research, emanating from these two theories on job search, is reviewed. The chapter closes with a...
Article
Pay is an important resource that employees gain from employment. Interestingly, however, exactly how pay contributes to employee happiness remains unclear. One reason for this lack of clarity is that organizational behavior and management research has normally focused on pay level satisfaction and job satisfaction while ignoring the effect of pay...
Article
The relationship between employee goals at the individual level and firm performance at the department level was examined across a variety of industries. Specifically, three types of employee goals—learning, performance, and do-your-best—were studied with regard to department-level performance. Employee learning goals were related to higher levels...
Article
Highlights ► A test is either a predictor of or a criterion for assessing a person's performance. ► The PHR and SPHR assess knowledge a HR professional must possess to perform effectively. ► There is a significant relationship between scores on the PHR and SPHR and a HR professional's effectiveness.
Article
Full-text available
Discusses the construct of goal commitment (GC) in terms of its measurement and relationship to task performance. The author begins by presenting the conceptual definition of goal commitment as based on recommendations for scale development and construct validation strategies suggested by D. Jackson. This is followed by the exploration of the GC's...
Article
Subsequent to training IT professionals ( n = 35) in skills for performing effectively in a selection interview, 16 were randomly assigned to a transfer of training intervention, written self-guidance (WSG). This methodology is based on social cognitive and self-persuasion theories. The results showed that WSG resulted in significantly higher ratin...
Article
We investigated the effect of context-specific versus general subconscious goals on job performance in a call center. Employees (n = 54) were randomly assigned to a condition where they were primed by (a) a photograph of people making telephone calls in a call center, (b) a woman winning a race, or (c) a control group. Job performance was measured...
Article
Full-text available
Consistent with the arguments of regulatory focus theory, an experiment revealed that a promotion coaching orientation relative to a prevention coaching orientation had a more positive effect on the performance of recipients following coaching. Moreover, in support of regulatory fit theory, a prevention coaching orientation had a more positive effe...
Article
Executive Overview Contrary to the extant thinking on motivation in the workplace, we argue that performance or outcome goals can have a deleterious effect on one's performance. We demonstrate that in situations where primarily the acquisition of knowledge and skills rather than an increase in effort and persistence is required, a specific challeng...
Article
Based on reinforcement theory, a quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the effect of (a) feedback obtained from (b) a relatively neutral third party (namely, mystery shoppers) that was obtained on a (c) variable interval schedule for managers to use to (d) coach their employees. An interrupted time-series design showed that both employee a...
Article
A possible “dark side” of goal setting, namely perfectionism and its relationship with employee performance, was investigated. A study of police officers (n = 235) revealed that perfectionists' predisposition to (1) set goals that they perceive to be extremely high, and (2) base evaluations of self-worth on the attainment of those goals were positi...
Article
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The effect of commitment to a learning goal, self-efficacy, and the interaction between learning goal difficulty and goal commitment with performance was investigated using a highly complex business simulation. Participants (n = 128) needed to acquire knowledge in order to perform the task effectively. The correlation between commitment to the lear...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore a potential mechanism through which gender segregation in the engineering profession is created and sustained. Specifically, boundary spanners for women and men were examined because they may be a source of valuable information to job seekers. Design/methodology/approach – Applicant data for the ro...
Article
Overwhelming evidence in the behavioral sciences shows that consciously set goals can increase an employee's performance. Thus, HR professionals have had little, if any, reason to be interested in subconscious processes. In the past decade, however, laboratory experiments by social psychologists have shown that goals can be primed. That is, people'...
Article
Middle-level managers ( N = 1,149) in an Italian service organization were administered a questionnaire that assessed self- and collective efficacy in dealing with job responsibilities and tasks, perceptions of their immediate supervisor regarding support and encouragement, perceptions of top management regarding the coordination of different units...
Article
The criterion-related validity coefficients of a situational interview (SI) and a situational judgment test (SJT) were investigated in a sales department of a government-owned automobile company in Iran. Both the SI and SJT had concurrent validity with job performance (n= 101, r= .28, r= .23, p < .05, respectively). Only the SI, however, had increm...
Article
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This article examines the relevance and viability of pursuing empirical research on subconscious goals and applying the findings in the workplace. Five topics are addressed: First, reasons why management scholars have eschewed the study of the subconscious are given. Second, a brief overview of social psychology experiments on subconscious goals is...
Article
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This article introduces our motivation for producing a special section on new areas of research for I-O psychology. We briefly review presentations that sparked conversations around how I-O psychology could be applied to new contexts or related disciplines. We then introduce the articles that appear in this special section. (PsycINFO Database Recor...
Article
Ordóñez, Schweitzer, Galinsky, and Bazerman (2009a, 2009b) drew upon three sources of information to buttress their conclusion that goal setting should be used in organizations with extreme caution: laboratory experiments, stories in the news media about prescription drugs that have negative side effects, and organizations that have not performed e...
Article
The effect of both a primed and a conscious goal on performance in the workplace was investigated. The primed goal was pilot tested. People on their way to work (n = 52) shown a photo of a woman winning a race performed better on a brainstorming task within a 2-min time period than people in the control group. A laboratory experiment (n = 71) r...
Article
Problems with utility analysis are traced back through human resource accounting to the dollar criterion. Reasons why firms may be reluctant to rely on utility analysis to help make decisions are explored. Concerns regarding reliability and validity notwithstanding, utility analysis may eventually be abandoned because of the weak link between the i...
Article
The critical incident technique was used to develop measures of organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB) in a business school. The results were generalizable to a second business school and a psychology department in a third university. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that OCB has an institutional and a collegial component. Peer evaluations...
Article
This study investigated perceptions among different subject matter expert groups (SMEs) about the representation and meaning of organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB) scale items relative to items assessing altruism, collectivism, and organizational commitment. OCB researchers, human resource management/organizational behaviour academics, manag...
Article
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We believe that Ordóñ ez, Schweitzer, Galinsky, and Bazerman (2009), in their critique of goal setting, have breached the principles of good scholarship. Rather than conducting or integrating research, they chose to draw their central theme from anecdotal evidence. Further, they employ unrepresentative citations from the literature, the misreportin...
Article
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Employees ( N = 170) of a City Hall in Italy were administered a questionnaire measuring collective efficacy (CE), perceptions of context (PoC), and organizational commitment (OC). Two facets of collective efficacy were identified, namely group and organizational. Structural equation models revealed that perceptions of top management display a stro...
Article
A distinguishing feature of performance management relative to performance appraisal is that the former is an ongoing process whereas the latter is done at discrete time intervals (e.g. annually). Ongoing coaching is an integral aspect of performance management. Performance appraisal is the time period in which to summarize the overall progress tha...
Article
The public sector in North America as well as parts of Europe is increasingly adopting a performance management system that includes goal setting, coaching, and the evaluation of an employee on goal attainment. The purpose of this article is three-fold. First, the extant literature on goal setting for individual employees is summarized in terms of...
Article
Confronted with rising global competition in terms of products, services and prices, organizations must consider every option which promises to produce a competitive advantage. In such a turbulent environment, Interest in individual and group pay-for-performance systems (schedules of reinforcement)-which has waxed and waned in the past-is on the ri...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between the difficulty level of a learning goal and a person's (N = 146) performance on a task that required the acquisition of knowledge to perform effectively was examined. Multiple hierarchical regression analysis revealed that the higher the learning goal, the higher the person's performance. Cognitive ability and goal commitme...
Article
This study examined the possibility that the performance appraisal process is affected by a pervasive and inherent effect that has heretofore been unidentified. This effect derives from the results of the performance appraisal most recently performed on the manager who subsequently conducts appraisals of others. The nature of this effect was examin...
Article
Women over the age of 40 were trained in verbal self guidance, a methodology for training people to identify dysfunctional self-statements and translate them into positive self-talk. Subsequently, they (n= 27) had significantly higher self-efficacy with regard to re-employment than their counterparts who had been randomly assigned to a control grou...
Article
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The current study integrated the literature on selection tests of typical versus maximum performance (Cronbach, 1960) with the literature on job performance under typical and maximum performance conditions (Sackett, Zedeck, & Fogli, 1988). Tests of maximum performance (i.e., measures of task-related knowledge, skills, and abilities) loaded onto a d...
Chapter
Legal IssuesAppraiser BiasThe Appraisal Scale and User ReactionsSources of AppraisalTraining AppraisersPerformance ManagementMotivating AppraisersNew FrontiersConclusions AcknowledgmentsReferences
Article
On a étudié, chez 68 cadres canadiens francophones du Québec, la résistance au favoritisme touchant son propre groupe à travers des entretiens structurés conventionnels (CSI), des entretiens de situation (SI) et des entretiens de description modèlisée du comportement (PBDI). Les caractéristiques des interviewés ont été tenues constantes à l'excepti...
Article
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The training literature in I/O psychology has benefited from empirical research in experimental psychology on such subject matter as massed vs distributive practice, knowledge of results (KOR), and the transfer of learning from the training setting to the workplace. The purpose of the present paper is to argue that further advances in the field of...
Chapter
Full-text available
The fact that the politics inherent in organizational behavior affect an employee’s appraisal was noted more than a quarter of a century ago by behavioral scientists (e.g., Gandz & Murray, 1980). Nevertheless, there is a paucity of systematic research on this subject. Thus the purpose of the present paper is four-fold. First, the phenomenon of orga...
Article
To date the coaching literature has been dominated by practitioner contributions, and the commercial coaching industry itself has been significantly influenced by simplistic folk psychology and pseudoscientific approaches. There has been a paucity of solid theory and empirical research. Advances in industrial/organisational psychology often occur f...
Article
In this article the author discusses the practical application, in a work environment, of discoveries in behavior science made in an academic setting. At issue is the management and transfer of knowledge to the process of employee management and training. He discusses actions that academics can employ to make sure that organizational decision maker...
Article
The transfer of training literature has focused primarily on the individual as the unit of analysis. The question of whether training an individual influences a group's performance has yet to be investigated empirically. In the present study, participants (n = 275) were randomly assigned to groups of five (k = 55). Individuals were then randomly se...