What Should We Do about Motivation Theory? Six Recommendations

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What Should We Do about Motivation Theory? Six Recommendations for the Twenty-First Century Author(s): Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham Reviewed work(s): Source: The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jul., 2004), pp. 388-403 Published by: Academy of Management Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20159050 . Accessed: 03/05/2012 00:04 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]

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Academy o?Management Review 2004, Vol. 29, No. 3, 388-403.

WE DO ABOUTMOTIVATION WHAT SHOULD FOR THE THEORY?SIXRECOMMENDATIONS TWENTY-FIRSTCENTURY EDWIN A. LOCKE of Maryland

University

GARY P. LATHAM of Toronto

University We more

six

present valid,

theories

for building in scope,

recommendations

more

broader

more

and

of work useful

motivation

are

that

to practitioners

than

complete, to extant theories theories. (1) Integrate existing by using meta-analyses existing a boundaryless a megatheory science of work of work motivation. build (2) Create that could hold of relationships the various between motivation. (3) Study types (trait) and

general conscious edge

motivation. role

the

situationally (5) Use

motivation.

specific

introspection in human action

of volition

(effort), and duration (choice), intensity can affect not only the Motivation (persistence). but skills of and abilities acquisition people's skills

and

and

they

utilize

has

been

of

and approaches focused have Other theories as on specific does processes, psychological behavior Vroom's (OB) theory. Organizational

to

interest

at (I/O) psychologists industrial/organizational in large part by least since the 1930s, stimulated studies & the famous Hawthorne (Roethlisberger on the ef focused mainly Dickson, 1939), which and working fects of supervision, incentives, not until it was 1964 that conditions. However, an to formulate the first attempt Vroom made

is modification 1975), which (Luthans & Kreitner, was not influential derived from Skin today, that denied the ner's behavioristic philosophy This of consciousness. approach importance stresses

has however, than Vroom's

typically

been

overarching

model.

on the focused (1957), for example, needs and between the individual's and col demands. Herzberg organizational & Snyderman, 1959) (Herzberg, Mausner, leagues on sources satisfac of work focused primarily on ways in that domain, mainly tion and, within Argyris congruence

which

the

work

itself

Hackman

job could enriching and Oldham

to make the designed and Later, challenging. Herz (1980) extended

be

the automatic

back on work are mediated

role of rewards

motivation;

however,

and

these

feed effects

such processes by psychological as goals and self-efficacy 1986; Locke, (Bandura, 2002) 1977). Goal-setting theory (Locke & Latham, mechanistic and control combination theory?a

a hedonistic cal theory?namely, overarching the "valence-instrumentality called culus in the field model." Theory building expectancy of work motivation, more specialized

suggesting

growth."

their

abilities.

motivation

Work

extent

to what

as

(6) Acknowl

psycholog satisfac that increase ical processes employee to excel. All these theo tion and the motivation on the issue of the organization's ries center on the individual effect "cognitive employee's

direction

how

as well

subconscious

a model berg's work by developing the specific work characteristics and

to internal refers of motivation concept factors factors that impel action and to external to action. The three that can act as inducements can affect are of action that motivation aspects The

also

(4) Study

in theory building. explicitly theories. when formulating

and goal of cybernetics theory (Lord & Hanges, as on the effects of conscious 1987)?focus goals the motivators of task performance. Attribution is on ways that the 1986) emphasis ory's (Weiner, attributions

one makes

about

affect

ers'

one's

own

or oth

one's

subsequent performance and actions. theory Social-cognitive in scope?its do 1986) is very broad (Bandura, motiva of work is much wider than that main core concept of self-efficacy tion?but Bandura's choices

has

motivational been found to have powerful on task performance (Bandura, 1997).

effects 388

2004 Locke and Latham 389 Two work emphasis motivational

motivation

of role modeling). on the motivational

Adams'

effects on com is based justice, which between the inputs and outcomes of versus those of comparison others. More

(1963) theory of distributive parisons oneself

Bandura

(although effects

have a social the [1986] stresses

theories

focuses

scholars

recently,

have

extensively

researched

2000), stressing justice (Greenberg, procedural of the important effect on employee satisfaction or processes which the methods organiza by are made. tional decisions affecting employees Personality-based in and although several

approaches of fashion

out have

decades, McClelland

supporters. McClelland

& Winter,

subconscious achievement?on

to motivation, over the past had some strong

always and his colleagues (e.g., the effect of 1969) stressed for need In recent

motivation?specifically, economic growth.

traits the study of conscious, years self-reported traits such as has become especially popular, is fairly consistently which conscientiousness, related

to effective

Mount, 2000). All of the above of them are None

(Barrick

job performance theories

have

&

limitations.

to study the plethora of ex beginning is theories, one's reaction isting work motivation at the enormous vari sometimes bewilderment and approaches. But, if one looks ety of concepts When

it is evident that, for the most part, these closely, in vari flawed limited and/or theories, though ous respects (see Miner, 2002), do not so much as one another as focus on different contradict there Therefore, process. pects of the motivation to tie these theories is now an urgent need and an into inso overall model, processes together far as this is possible. a preliminary at Locke (1997) made attempt theories integrating The model, place. an employee's with

of motivation

in the work

in Figure 1, begins moves to acquired needs, values and motives then (including personality), to goal to goals and thence and self choice, a The latter two variables constitute efficacy. "motivation hub" in that they are often the most shown

of motivational determinants direct, conscious, is followed Performance performance. by out and outcomes comes, by emotional appraisals, such as employee satisfaction and involvement, that lead to a variety of possible subsequent

some and criticism, in recent have dropped the years, by wayside some useful into em yet most provide insights Thus, it is clear that the field ployee motivation. of work motivation has not only progressed but over the in multiple has progressed directions our knowl last several decades. Nevertheless,

of course, also (Job satisfaction, may the causal relation precise performance; them is not fully known [see Judge, ship between Thoreson, Bono, & Patton, 2001].) Job character as affecting istics are shown satisfaction. The a is where shown place specific theory applies is not a speculative boxes. This by the dotted

is far from of the subject of work motivation we go is where The should issue, then, complete. from here? in this article is not to offer yet an Our goal our fo of work motivation. other theory Rather, cus is on metatheory?the or process processes

model.

above

edge

we can build more valid, more through which more and theories. This pa practical complete, for six categories of rec rationales per provides for advancing and ommendations knowledge in the of employee motivation understanding of century. We twenty-first provide examples that might be carried types of studies specific out relevant to each recommendation.

SIX RECOMMENDATIONS

actions. affect

link

but Every connection needs to from values?is

cal research. A useful next step would entail the identifying size or strength of the various relationships in Figure 1. This could be done by com shown the results of all known meta-analyses bining to each path in the model relevant and would as include calculating known mediation effects, as well known moderator effects. It would also on theories entail for based adding pathways which is some there evidence but empirical are not, as yet, included in the model which (e.g., & Ackerman's allocation [1989] resource [1986] attribution theory and Weiner's theory). The result could be the first motivation mega in the behavioral sciences derived from theory

Kanfer

combining Recommendation

1: Use

existing meta-analyses valid aspects of extant

the results of to integrate theories.

the one?namely, on based empiri

Using called gested

different

meta-analyses. to build is theory, which was sug "mega-analysis," originally (1992). He and his colleagues by Schmidt meta-analyses

390

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392

Academy

of Management

in the field of human it on a small used scale resources management by tying together empir of the relationships ical studies among job ex and perience, performance ability, knowledge, on work as well as in the workplace samples, & Outerbridge,

(Schmidt, Hunter, a mega-analysis ories would be

1986). However, of extant work motivation the on a much scale and wider an enormous amount of data

would

integrate that would be into a comprehensible framework to both The and practitioners. theorists useful as new of course, model could be expanded, were

discoveries

made.

Recommendation science

aryless

or coined the term boundaryless was Elec of when General he CEO ganization over of his frustration tric (GE), as a result was rather than that ignored being knowledge divi the and embraced shared among myriad behavior of GE. Similar had dysfunctional to within the Com been referred Weyerhaeuser as the "not invented here" mindset?a pany one that prevented within mindset managers on from building the of the company region sions

gained

in other

by managers

re

two things. First, work motivation to be extended into and further areas other than isolated task within

implies needs

theory developed rists

Second,

settings.

performance should

consider

using

motivation

concepts

theo

developed

in fields outside OB and I/O psychology. motivation fur could be studied For example, There ther in the realm of team effectiveness. are processes teams that do not arise affecting when the focus is on the individual's motivation, team mem in which such as the specific ways one another. For and demotivate one team members encourage might of efficacy by means through building or ideas. the useful of They persuasion offering one another undermine through belittle might re motivation ment insults. and Extending bers

& Jehn, 2000, for some preliminary is another Social potent group findings). loafing motivation that is not part of ex phenomenon tant work motivation theories (Karau & Wil

Weingart

have liams, 2001). A separate megamodel might team motivation. to be constructed to explain Motivation also should be studied within the For example, realm of decision Schnei making. der

and Lopes that level of (1986) have argued to be incorporated needs (i.e., goals) aspiration into prospect this line, Knight, theory. Along and Locke (2001) have found that goals Durham, the degree of risk people affect take when mak implica theory has as well. For example, those high in extroversion risk quite may assess in from those neuroticism. differently high an issue the field of personality, that Within to be addressed to which is the extent needs certain traits are stable of the person aspects versus

states. motivational her example, colleagues (e.g., & Elliott, that goal Dweck 1983) have argued is a relatively orientation Yet stable disposition. a is there of studies that have assessed paucity its test-retest Cron, reliability (e.g., VandeWalle, re the empirical & Slocum, 2001). Moreover,

motivate

instance, another

into the realm of such exploration search

personalities, yet a part

values, of extant team

lead to the of teams would as conflicts issues among that are not and/or goals work

cohesion

motivation been

theories. less studied,

has to the sources, been paid content, and how these spe of team conflict and effects team motivation influence (but see cifically

Although attention

has

readily

For

search

gions.

This

July

ing decisions. Personality tions for prospect theory

a bound 2: Create motivation. of work

Jack Welch

knowledge

Review

malleable.

manipulable Dweck and

that goal orientation suggests herself has even Dweck this in the field of educational

is readily acknowl

edged psychol & Dweck, 1988; Mueller ogy (e.g., Elliott & Dweck, Tasa, and 1998). In the OB field, Seijts, Latham, Latham found that when (in press) people were Dweek's instructions, (1986) given do-your-best the goal orientation trait predictions regarding a specific were But when difficult supported. the effect of set, it masked learning goal was this trait. A learning goal, as is the case with an outcome shown 1988), was (Adler & Weiss, goal to be a strong variable that mitigates the effects of this search

individual-difference to see is needed

situationally effects.

induced

variable (trait). Re under what conditions motives trait negate

Motivation theory can be better incorporated into macrotheories, organization particularly that there is little doubt theory. For example, and decentralization of centralization degree has

motivational

be

the

case

consequences,

with

of control

as

appears

(Donaldson, span in different subsidiaries that have 2000). Firms run issue into of value countries the inevitably more differences (Erez, 2000). Hence, knowledge

to

2004

Locke

and

is needed

about how value differences actually are goal For example, partici setting, in decision ap pation making, performance as a so effective and forth praisal, differentially or are they of value differences, consequence operate.

in a different form?or both? simply are also issues for Motivational important For management. strategic strategic example, used

involves and change, frequently to change is well of resistance that they known firms decide (Beer, 2000). When a certain low will cost), strategy employ (e.g., in how well radically they im they may differ versus K-Mart). In part, it (e.g., Wal-Mart plement

management the phenomenon

this

is an

also

related

and skill, but it is of knowledge to motivation. to change Resistance

issue

393

Latham

to evalu lead people thoughts to thus leading inappropriately, states. emotional Beck and his col cor of consciously methods developed

Dysfunctional ate information negative leagues

Clients thought processes. dysfunctional intro automatic their report thoughts through at to issue with be dealt (an spection length discuss with and then the psychologists below), of such beliefs. the clients For the rationality a "Pat client claim, example, depressed might recting

has

I am worthless."

left me;

therefore, then might

"Is that

The psy true? really

ask, that on?" Gradually, clients or that their implicit conclusions are "automatic not rational and that a thoughts" more in line with reality. is different perspective

chologist What do you come to see

base

is discussed the field of organ routinely within is but the motivational izational development, sues involved are not directly in tradi included theories. At best, tional motivation they are

as they By challenging dysfunctional thoughts arise and correcting them consciously, the cli or subconscious automatic ents' processing are emotions and, thus, their negative changes

resis for example, addressed by implication; to to tance to change may commit refusal imply low certain goals and may be motivated self by low instrumentality, and/or negative efficacy, to be studied valences. This issue needs explic

1991). mitigated (Haaga, Dyck, & Ernst, in Such clinical methods have practical utility the realm of work motivation. and Millman to train Latham (2001) found that they were able

itly. Of

course,

there are other

of strate aspects ex motivation?for

that entail and competitiveness? choice as further well. requiring study motivation Finally, theory in the realm of work on to from other fields. Both needs draw findings science the and practice of OB have already in social from theory benefited (e.g., Bandura,

gic management decision ample,

1986) and educational 1986). In the study

(e.g., Dweck, psychology of motivation, findings by must not in clinical non-I/O scholars psychology be overlooked (Latham & Heslin, 2003). Two ex include research by Beck and by Selig amples man (and their respective colleagues). Beck

and his colleagues 1967; Beck, (Beck, on the rela Shaw, & Emery, 1979) focused between and "automatic tionship depression held in thoughts," by which they mean thoughts re the subconscious that affect emotional

Rush,

These researchers examined what sponses. they to call with respect "dysfunctional thinking" content and process. both include Examples bad, overgeneralization (e.g., "If I do something it means that I am a totally bad person"), (irra am "If I tional) perfectionism any good at (e.g., I try"), all, I should be able to excel at everything on others to "I and dependence do (e.g., things other rather than please people please myself").

unemployed

individuals is, positive

in functional to engage self-talk?and that

thinking?that such their training significantly improved chances of finding a new, well-paying job. to teach em methods could be used Cognitive of reframing the principle ployees dysfunctional in work For example, when thoughts settings.

encounter train difficulties during can a state reframe ing, they self-demeaning so stupid" ment like "I can't stand always being as "It is normal to make mistakes I am first when a task." Reframing to perform self learning in constructive statements ways deprecating can have a positive effect on motivation and can a person's sustain (Bandura, 1997). self-efficacy individuals

be taught to deal might employees is Stress retraining. through thought to the appraisal is being that one or physically threatened. But psychologically are not always threat appraisals and rational, even when can be trained they are, employees

Similarly, with stress a response

to engage

in problem-focused methods that enable

develop the threats 1984). For possibility the exact

they

confront

example, of layoffs nature

so as to thinking them to mitigate

of

(Lazarus & Folkman, faced with the employees could

be

financial and/or psychological) to them. cope with plans

to identify threats (e.g., and to generate

trained

the perceived

394

of Management

Academy

Review

July

interact with beliefs Irrational may adversely feedback others. Rational beliefs provided by can mediate the effect on performance feedback from authority Train figures (e.g., a supervisor).

to causes attribute their failures Optimists to that are temporary rather than stable, specific the attainment of a particular rather than goal as a result of all their goals, and see the problem

ing in ways would beliefs

or setting they are in, rather in themselves. inherent and ob Setbacks are seen as challenges stacles & (Seligman are usu 2000). Thus, optimists Csikszentmihalyi, in the face of failure. ally resilient can be (1998b) found that optimism Seligman

employees fectionism

to replace irrational with rational to be applicable to also appear whose desire for inappropriate per

is preventing them from completing in a timely fashion. can engage and business leaders Managers in dysfunctional not the thinking, only when job assignments

it is do is doing badly but also when are at well "We 40 per percent ing growing (e.g., year and will grow at that rate; thus, always our strategy"). to change there is no need Over to engage in poor confidence leads managers decision (Audia, Locke, & Smith, 2000). making ra to in of how think Training metaprinciples business

should

tionally

organizational on over Based matic

be

beneficial

to people

at

all

levels.

research

years twenty-five in the laboratory

of program in the and

a established (1968, 1998a,b) a person's between pessi relationship mistic and de subsequent explanatory style on one versus an the hand, optimistic pression, pro creativity, explanatory style and a person's on the sense of well-being, and overall ductivity, on attribution other. Drawing theory, Seligman clinic, causal

Seligman

et al., 1982) devel (Peterson colleagues the Attribution (ASQ), oped Style Questionnaire assesses a person's which style explanatory to the locus, stability, with and globality regard to to the extent Locus refers of attributions. a noncontingency one's actions which between and

his

is attributed experienced or to factors in the oneself extent to is environment. the which the Stability or is outcome is temporary lack of a response

and

the consequences to either primarily

to persist is the into the future. Globality are to which outcomes noncontingent as or either domain likely to specific perceived likely extent

undermine

many

areas

of one's

life.

the environment than

a method to that em similar using 1 requires to the clinician ployed by Beck. Step beliefs help clients identify self-defeating they of. Step 2 involves may be unaware gathering to evaluate information and dispute the accu learned,

of these self-defeating be racy and implications events. liefs that are triggered by environmental beliefs Step 3 involves replacing maladaptive ones based on the accurate with constructive, in the second data collected step. The ASQ may prove useful for identifying peo in who suffer from learned organizations ple helplessness. have provided for OB. ASQ an optimistic more

They

insurance style was

and

Schulman

(1986) the value of suggesting found that salespeople with

Seligman evidence

explanatory than did

style sold those whose

35 percent

explana Moreover, tory pessimistic. people with a pessimistic twice as likely to style were quit their job in the first year than those with an Schulman (1999) optimistic style. Similarly, found that those who scored high on optimism those who scored outsold across a range 40 percent auto

sales,

telecommunications,

as pessimists by 20 to of organizations (e.g., real

estate,

and

and Lumpkin (1992) found that on the two attribution styles is strategy. employee performance Salespeople on optimism who scored used high problem whereas those who scored solving techniques, on ways of seeking focused high on pessimism Strutton banking). the mediator of

social

support.

Seligman's framework

training for mentors,

a may provide technique to and trainers coaches, a person or and influence to attain up trying goals failures. No one as yet has

results from setbacks Learned helplessness that are considered (stable), under long lasting if not all of one's the attainment of most mining

understand, predict, team who has given because of repeated

deficien (global), and caused by personal con rather than situational (internal) straints. low outcome The resulting expectancy as well as causes in future deficits learning, disturbances such as procrastina motivational

shown whether the ASQ has general applica to deter tions to the workforce. We also need mine is learned whether optimism basically to trait-level and self-efficacy equivalent are situ effects mediated whether optimism by 1997). (Bandura, ationally specific self-efficacy

goals cies

tion and

depression

(Seligman,

1998a).

2004

f?ecommendafion

3: Identify how such as personality

Locke

and

gen

eral variables get to and are mediated by task applied and variables, specific situationally how they are moderated by situations, choice and how they affect situational and

feel less free to act as may people or "really are" as compared to when this in "weak" situations. However, situa occurs because appraise people in terms of what they can and partly

situations, they want they are likely tions

do

should be

structuring.

395

Latham

studied

in them. Furthermore, what has yet to is the other side of the strong versus

of the possibility coin?namely, "weak" personalities. Strong should be less constrained by sit personalities ones. uations than weak For example, hyper to com look for ways competitive people might situation versus "strong"

weak A problem ing motivation

in combin be overcome is how to integrate the theories a Big For example, the specific. trait such as conscientiousness

that must

with general Five personality is, by definition, terns that cross

action It reflects pat general. tasks and situations. Typically, about 0.20 with action trait measures correlate mean is bet correlation This in specific settings. answer it not such does ter than chance, but

as: How do traits actually questions better predictions? How can we make answer to these questions A partial that there evident when we recognize

operate? becomes is no such

is task in general; every action thing as action if measures, and situationally Specific specific. action chosen always predict virtually properly, than general measures. better However, general measures than do specific predict more widely ones

(Judge A general

be "applied," each specific

et al, value

2002). or motive must presumably or to subconsciously, consciously It follows that task and situation. as and knowledge, task-specific

situationally should be affected and intentions sessments, by in these and that such motives assessments, situation. in actions the taken turn, should affect as self-efficacy, as well have A person's goals, or the ef mediate been found to partly wholly as the fects of some personality traits, as well incentives of various effects (Locke, 2001). These traits include conscientiousness, competitive ness, Type A personality, (trait) efficacy, general VandeWalle and self-esteem. for mastery, need et al.

and efficacy medi (2001) found that goals on of the trait of goal orientation the effects is im The mediation hypothesis performance. in Figure and personality 1, in that values plicit are shown to work and efficacy. through goals it is possible trait ef that some Nevertheless,

pete everywhere?not only in sports or business in social but also and personal relationships. as an construe Thus, they would every situation opportunity we

Finally, people situations.

are

to demonstrate their must not overlook

not merely For example,

superiority. the fact victims

the passive

choose

that of the

employees for and quit those they dislike. they apply a better fit restructure jobs to make They may talents and proclivities. with their own They to change situations may also work with others They can choose what new skills to they dislike. careers to pursue. Going fur and what develop jobs

can

free choose (in most where live, marry, they they children they have, how they spend as their friends, whom their money, they want in. activities and what off-the-job they engage are not has As Bandura noted, (1986,1997) people into situations; they themselves simply dropped ther afield,

countries) how many

they whom

also

situations. We and change create, choose, to study how traits affect these processes. 4: Study

Recommendation scious

and

as

well

as

conscious

the relationship

need

subcon

motivation

between

them.

is not a "hy of the subconscious concept a one. It construct" but fully objective pothetical that is "in consciousness" refers to information but not, at a given time, in focal awareness. The

ate

can only have shown that people Psychologists seven ele hold about (disconnected) separate awareness same at time in focal ments the to use (Miller, 1956). The rest of one's knowledge, is "stored in mem the usual computer analogy,

at all. If fects are direct and, thus, not mediated to discover it will when and be necessary occurs. this why

of the subcon validate the concept ory." We scious that we can draw knowl by observing out of memory without any additional edge is pulled needed information learning. Typically on our conscious out automatically, based pur a we the when read book, pose meanings (e.g.,

so,

trait media of personality identification not preclude the study of person does In "strong" or constrained situation interactions. The

tors

396

of Management

Academy

of the words and our knowledge of spelling are We grammar automatically engaged).

and can

events also observe that certain and experi ences are childhood memories) (e.g., early to harder recall than others. can act without It is undeniable that people of the motives and values being aware underly ing

their behavior.

This

assertion

does

re

not

the positing of an unconscious that is instincts of any devoid up of primitive the conscious to, or contact with, mind, as asserted. Freud Nor does the acknowledging a to subconscious the unwarranted require leap are governed conclusion that all actions by un

quire made access

conscious forces & Wheatley, 1999). (Wegner Such a claim would be arbitrary. This clearly assertion that requires only acknowledgment is a storehouse the subconscious of knowledge and values what is in focal awareness beyond at any given in time (Murphy, 2001) and point to that accessibility this stored information dif fers within and between people. and Lowell Atkinson, Clark, that the achievement motive, to be related to entrepre asserted

McClelland, claimed

(1953) which

they

was

neurship,

a

they argued,

motive.

subconscious

it had

to be measured

with

Thus,

a pro involves

the TAT?which jective test?namely, in response stories to pictures. people telling au This claim may be true, but to the present no self-report measure thors' knowledge, of motivation achievement has been designed with items that match the type of TAT exactly that is indicative of high need for story content achievement. achievement Thus, TAT-measured motivation

cept

or may

may

different

from

not

be

self-reported

assessing

a

con

achievement

measures.

motivation

measures of achievement motiva Self-report tion are typically with uncorrelated projective even measures, though both types of measures are significantly with associated entrepreneur in press). ial action & Locke, (Collins, Hanges, for achievement, measured projectively, to to conscious be unrelated also appears per formance Locke, & Renard, goals (e.g., Tracy,

Need

A. Howard communi 1999). Similarly, (personal found that, in a reanalysis of her twenty five-year AT&T study with Bray, conscious goals for promotion had no relationship with a set of

cation)

Locke

measures

that had been designed by to predict managerial (see progress & Latham, 2002). McClelland (e.g., McClel

projective McClelland

Review

July

land & Winter, that subconscious 1969) believed are differentially motives aroused by different situations and than con operate differently scious motivation. to specify Failure the effect of the subcon on action scious is a limitation of goal-setting to mention (Locke & Latham, 2002)?not theory other motivation theories. Yet, over a century the Wurzburg school ago, that goals that are assigned their subsequent behavior, aware of it. In this century,

in Germany to people without

showed can affect their being

and Dibblett Wegge that high goals automatically (2000) have shown increase the speed with which is information Locke has (2000b) cognitively processed. argued that goals may arouse task-relevant knowledge

but almost automatically, nothing about how and when this occurs.

is known

the subconscious is difficult pre Studying par cisely because people, including laboratory and employees, cannot always ticipants directly the needed information there. stored provide are required. Thus, indirect measures Projective measures & (see Lilienfeld, Wood, may be useful such diffi Garb, 2000), but they are riddled with as low internal culties and the effect reliability of pictures of choice (in the case of the TAT). In a 2 (high/ the realm of achievement motivation, X low projective 2 conscious measure) (high/low factorial reveal self-report) might design whether to two these measurement responses conscious? and techniques?subconscious are to the assuming they actually referring same or interact work The concept, additively. same of in could be conducted rela type study tion to other traits. The Big Five, for example, as well as be measured might projectively through

self-reports. tests do not have to be confined to Projective measures the TAT. Other be may projective if not more useful. An example is the equally sentence exten used blank (ISB), incomplete Smith, & Bracker, sively by Miner (e.g., Miner, methods be should 1994). Different projective for agreement, when the same al compared or motives are measured, as well leged concepts as for predictive validity. to examine subconscious effects way involves through giving "priming." Priming information unrelated that is apparently people to the task at hand but that can affect an indi vidual's without responses, subsequent being aware of the effect. In two experiments Earley Another

is

2004 Locke and Latham 397 to influence the and Perry (1987) used priming to attain task strategies used that subjects in many be used other could Priming goals. motivation of studies. types Bargh, Gollwitzer, and Troetschel Barndollar, Lee-Chai, (2001) and for performance found that primed goals on these two had significant effects cooperation com outcomes. be conducted Research should interac the effect sizes of, and possible paring versus sub tions between, assigned consciously consciously

primed

goals.

5: Use introspection Recommendation as a and of studying method explicitly motivation. understanding in the history of the be methodologies sciences have been more controversial havioral ex was used than introspection. Introspection an influential psycholo tensively by Titchner, but it was in the early twentieth century, gist Few

because rejected by his followers subsequently to view be his of found unduly they psychology narrow. also Freud and his followers rejected that moti because introspection they believed were nof in the unconscious, dynamics as they called the subconscious?or, it, the "pre to direct inaccessible conscious"?and, thus, or observation. awareness Drive reductionists, this inac such as Hull and Spence, agreed with that because argument cessibility they believed was The be motivation strictly physiological. re and Watson Skinner, haviorists, especially vational

because

the they believed irrelevant

jected introspection subject matter?consciousness?was to understanding behavior. human

Neverthe states must

that motivational less, it is self-evident exist in consciousness; thus, introspection to study it. Psychological be used concepts desire,

self-efficacy, could not even

(e.g., be satisfaction, purpose, or grasped be formulated

lief) without Furthermore, introspection. question in OB have always naire studies relied on intro even all spection though by the respondents, are use at it. of not The good people equally as an accepted in methodology introspection, at six will least benefits OB, important provide our understanding for advancing of employee motivation. These are as follows. traits and motives. In the (1) Understanding it is often unclear whether field of personality, are describing or an un behavior researchers derlying dicting

motive behavior

that causes from behavior

the behavior. Pre may be helpful

trivial if the but it is psychologically practically, is not explained. If traits for the behavior basis are more than just behavioral they regularity, motives. must be caused We can by underlying of these motives the nature by only learn about levels of trait scores with varying having people to the in introspection. With engage regard versus of projective above discussion self-report measures for achieve of traits, such as need are highly versus who effective ment, people to at introspection could be studied ineffective see if the two types of measures differ predict In addition, each type of person. ently within can in be trained introspection people (Schweiger, is needed

Anderson, to determine

& Locke, whether

convergence greater produce measures scious and subconscious Motive

defined

of the same

in concepts) a as statistically, conglom or of items. They are seldom true of This is especially

"constructs"

concept. OB are often defined eration of measures

1985). Research training would con between

(i.e.,

experientially. which may have so-called constructs, high-order or no little reality. For example, psychological are statis the Big Five personality dimensions a of related of tical conglomerations number But little is known about how subdimensions. people with high scores on traits such as extra version

themselves experience actually should Such an understanding to develop researchers better measures. The conditions (2) Increasing accuracy.

and

world.

the

enable under

are states of psychological which self-reports more versus to be identified. need less accurate described the and Simon (1980) have are conditions under which reports introspective most The evidence that the reliable. suggests more and specific the information immediate the respondent the more accurately requested, to introspect is able and, thus, to report the in It is usually difficult for formation accurately. to formulate broad abstractions respondents traits about themselves, especially personality or broad for them to values. It is even harder Ericcson

state accurate formulate and comprehensive ments about the causes of their own and others' reason Herzberg actions. A major used his men tor Flanagan's incident (1954) critical technique asso to avoid to collect data was the problems to in order ciated with asking introspect people to answer he such abstract Rather, questions. used very specific such as the follow questions, ing: "Tell me

a time when

you were

very

satis

398

Academy

of Management

fied with your job." "What were the events and that led up to it?"What conditions is still needed is the discovery of how to get from such specific to broad abstractions such accurate, questions as overall satisfaction job ratings. Developing more accurate

structured

might yield than using questionnaires. could check with the respon the ques they are interpreting

The

investigator dents as to how tions

and

interviews

data

could

to introspect them and, help increase the accuracy of the answers. therefore, are also needed to compare Studies the validity of measurements conducted by well-designed versus interviews those obtained by question naires.

do

(3) Understanding act when people

the effects they

like we

of attitudes. or dislike can

How

their see at once that we do

jobs? Through introspection, that there are many different things and can do when we experience these feelings. we know that high or low Through introspection, is far from a fixed response to such productivity to asking This leads attitudes. addi ourselves tional questions: How do we decide what to do? How do we choose from among alternatives? factors that influ many internal values and or can be identified. circumstances,

introspection, Through ence choices, including ganizational Once we have other give Such

people similar a process

decades

of

as starting these answers points, can be questioned to see if they answers to the same questions. might

torturous

have efforts

us

enabled to

resolve

to avoid the

satis

of faction-performance by means solely statistical Rather continue to than techniques. look for correlations between satisfaction and we might use introspection to point productivity, to a variety of decision-making in processes volved in getting to perfor from satisfaction and vice versa, that then could be studied mance, issue

This would enable systematically. look at the psychological processes such effects, as well as the various

researchers

to

that mediate

causal paths of causal the directions influence. Relevant measurements of the key variables could then be and

developed. (4) Learning ply principles. management

Review

July

dence

man that organizational leaders actually we know (Locke, 2002). But age using principles little how about formulate, very managers and orchestrate in a adapt, apply, principles context. To study this, we given organizational to need about how managers gain knowledge think.

In organizational many settings, be dealt with quickly, and most to be adapted have to a by managers since each organization context, is, in

actually decisions

must

principles

specific some way,

unique. sys Management strategy, to be orchestrated so have tems, and procedures that they work in harmony. with Introspection effective and ineffective leaders highly might reveal use, (1)what principles (2) how they they discovered them, (3) how they orchestrate them, and how what (4) they implement they advo cate?that is, "practice what they preach." self-motivation. We know a (5) Understanding and their good deal about what organizations leaders do to motivate but we know less people, do to motivate at themselves people of what do to regulate Discovery people their own actions be discovered may through them introspect. means Since motivation having to do something, the motivation introspection can be used to ascertain how people energize

about work.

what

to undertake and persist working at in tasks which tasks, (1) specific especially they various both within experience types of conflict and between themselves themselves and others, or initial failure (2) they experience goal frustra tion, and (3) there are both short- and long-term themselves

that require consideration. goals Introspection can also shed do to get light on what people to tasks. Functional committed themselves self talk (Meichenbaum, & Latham, 1977; Millman and efficacy build 2001), self-induced optimism, be critical factors. New discoveries ing may about how people motivate themselves may be used

to mo trainers, including same in the studies that way employees, in clinical have been used to help psychology at motivate themselves work people (e.g., see by organizations,

tivate

Frayne

& Latham,

1987, and

Latham

& Frayne,

1989). how managers and ap formulate The first author has argued that in terms of prin should be taught

theo truths) rather than specific ciples (general ries (Locke, 2002) and has asked various experts in the field to identify core principles in OB and HR (Latham, is evi 2000; Locke, 2000a). There

the relationship between (6) Understanding motivation and knowledge. In most studies of to hold cogni researchers motivation, attempt so as not to confound tion (knowledge) constant on performance. their separate effects But, in Thus, we need go together. they always reality, to learn about how each the other. affects

2004

Locke

and

the use of introspection by leaders and one issue in of the aspect knowledge employees, can into what down be broken organizations knowl motivates (2) (1) knowledge discovery, Through

edge when be

decisions

making that somewhat

ples

utilization (3) knowledge or taking action. Itmay motivational different princi ex To give an oversimplified

and

sharing,

each.

govern

may be motivated discovery knowledge and personal love of pas by discovery mainly sion for one's work 2000), knowledge (Amabile, by team- or organiza sharing may be affected incentives and tional-level (as was leadership ample,

uti at GE), and knowledge by Jack Welch that lization may be affected goals by assigning can best the (or only) be attained by using is & that Perry, (Earley provided knowledge

done

1987). to side of this coin, we need We affects motivation. how knowledge of one's personal know that knowledge capabil ities (self-efficacy) has potent effects on task mo other about tivation 1997). But what (Bandura, a is of There of long history types knowledge? the other

On

discover

in deci of participation subordinates is, consulting making?that but their ideas?on about motivation, employee as not to been be shown have the effects pow the study

of the effects

sion

as was

believed erful (Locke, Alavi, & originally other there are many 1997). However, Wagner, in which could have motiva ways knowledge to questions such as the tional effects. Answers are needed: Are leaders more strongly following a after formulated self-motivated they have should be their organization clear vision of what it successful? will make Are and what strategies when followers more motivated they hear such a it sound? How vision and consider explained that a leader is does the discovery by employees or the discovery that in moral character, lacking in key task knowledge, is lacking the leader How does the discovery affect their motivation? is doing that one's company financially badly affect

motivation? Recommendation

6: Acknowledge on role of volition human action theories. formulating

the when

can validate that by introspection to make not prede the power choices conditions termined by antecedent (Binswanger, determin The of 1991). concept psychological that all one's and ism?the doctrine thoughts Everyone they have

Latham

actions

399

are

tors?is claim

controlled

fac by antecedent a in that it makes on a theory that based as distinguished from arbi is an will Free impossible. solely

self-contradictory of

knowledge knowledge, sounds, trary word it consists of the choice axiom;

makes

to think or not

to

think, to raise one's level of focus to the concep at the level of tual level or let it drift passively 1991). sensory perception (Binswanger, not to view the causes Thus, it is important as fully determined circumstances action by

of or

of processing. In his ex ways ar for Vroom (1964), example, will multiply expectancy by = (Force ExIxV) by valence

by predetermined pectancy theory, that people gued

instrumentality when This theory alternatives. among choosing since it is argued that peo implies determinism, are to maximiz be satisfaction constructed ple are usually not maximiz es, yet, in fact, people es of anything to (Simon, 1976), nor do they have to do. E, I, what ExIxV when deciding multiply to choose and V are only factors that they may to the and choose consider, weight they may or even to in different three components ways, or more one of them. Furthermore, people ignore treat negative and positive consider and, thus, may ferently time spans and outcomes different

may

their choices.

outcomes dif a variety of when

consid

choices ering Many people on or no little every day with thought?based the emotions of the moment, for example. Beach's (1990) image theory states Similarly, that people make decisions pro using a specific cess

(e.g.,

value

images,

make

trajectory

images,

stra

do not have etc.). However, tegic images, people to use this process; there are many processes including mindlessly following they can use, what others above, say or, as noted following their emotions. on introspection studies based Descriptive an enormous uncover would doubtless variety in how people make about numerous decisions issues. Normative theories should be built by what do and first discovering actually people then seeing what lead to the types of processes outcomes. The optimal processes may optimum very well be task or domain specific. motivation Theories of employee should be if to the chooses fol person contingent?namely, a and b, then the outcomes will low processes be better than routinely or c d. processes Similarly, "a" from "b," then clusion

if the person chooses if people reach con they are most likely to

400

of Management

Academy

if they reach conclusion "d," they are to "e." do Consistent with this idea, likely & Latham, 1990, 2002) goal-setting theory (Locke states that if people hard goals, try for specific, certain moderating then they will, given condi tions such as feedback, commit and knowledge, do "c," but

most

than when ment, perform better they have vague and/or easy goals. contingent Similarly predic tions can be found in social-cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986). can be influ is not to deny This that people enced by external are not mechanical.

factors,

but

the connections

should be Thus, predictions made In other the effects of words, conditionally. on the environment attend what depend people to and what from conclusions draw the they the situations they have and they Recall that, in the (Bandura, 1986). field of organization it was initially hy theory, that determines pothesized technology organi zational test structure. research Programmatic was not this successful, very ing hypothesis experiences encounter

Review

For

July

example, as time

such

to study

need

also

perspective?how and leaders consider

managers, versus

short-

we

or

considerations

long-term

comes?a

topic not addressed tober 2001) special issue on time perspective is important

topics

employees, and integrate out

in the AMR (Oc time. The issue of at both the indi

vidual

and organizational levels. Individuals to survive have in the short organizations there is no long term. But focus term; otherwise, ing only on "today," without regard for long-term these consequences consequences?whether are the result to upgrade of failing one's job to fund R&D?can skills or failing be disastrous.

and

to know much more about how people need balance shortand considerations long-term when making decisions. A second to time perspective, is issue, related that of how people and organizational leaders their goals and the conse and values prioritize

We

of different one makes

quences decision

types of priorities. Every is a choice between alter to do x today may mean the

and imagina because human choice however, not taken into account tion were (Miner, 2002). to internal caveat The same factors. applies

the decision natives; to postpone need y until another very little about how employees

For example, the best known psychological pre a job is the intention to quit, dictor of quitting is not carried but often this intention out?the reasons for which have not been studied. People to act on it, who have an intent must still choose

tional leaders do this, actually some people about what makes better at it, in terms of positive decision than others. outcomes, A third issue that needs to be addressed in the field of work motivation is that of definitions. Locke (2003) has noted elsewhere that research ers tend to be careless about how?and wheth

reasons they may not do so. Sim to be committed to their who claim ilarly, people not act to achieve them. Additional goals may are needed to understand studies the choices or make after intentions people formulating a to themselves Volition does committing goal. and

for many

the possibility of a psychological destroy must but it does mean that predictions science, be conditional The relevant 1991). (Binswanger, to the individual's conditions pertain psychol and subconscious. ogy, both conscious not

CONCLUSION to argue The purpose of this article has been to progress further, work motiva that, in order to be studied tion needs from new perspectives. studied, topics have yet to be sufficiently Many and certain methods have been underutilized. in this paper The six recommendations by no means tions

the possibilities exhaust on motivation. for research

for new

direc

time. We know and organiza and even less

define their terms. Even the term mofi er?they vation is not always used clearly. For example, in the OB literature and I/O psychology litera satisfaction ture, the term may refer to either job or the motivation even to perform, though satis versus

faction

not have

the

choice,

same

the

same

effort,

do

phenomena, causes

and

or

effects,

are

persistence

not

necessarily and

may

not

affect one another. At other times, key concepts are not defined at all. Whole books or chapters on the subjects or have been written of emotions or terms without these de stress, justice being are provided, fined. When definitions they may be

riddled

with

excess

verbiage are definitions

tials. Sometimes as when inanimate objects ment are claimed to possess

such

or nonessen not justifiable, as work equip

which is a efficacy, to define The failure stifles way cognitive in the field of and, therefore, progress clarity work motivation. A good for someone project experience. psychological terms in a clear and valid

2004 Locke and Latham 401 a glossary concepts.

would be to develop tions of motivational The use of clinical

of valid

defini

and introspec approaches in identifying be very useful the fac tors that make for effective of short balancing and and considerations effective long-term to for and in enabling prioritizing investigators tion could

valid definitions. Of course, many addi can be studied. topics in work motivation of new ideas that There is no limit to the number are simply a can be explored. New discoveries matter creative of the researcher's imagination love of the work

cognitive Human

self-regulation. Decision Pro

C,

relationship behavior:

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What Should We Do about Motivation Theory? Six Recommendations

What Should We Do about Motivation Theory? Six Recommendations for the Twenty-First Century Author(s): Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham Reviewed work...

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