A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF THE IMPACT OF CHANGES IN GOAL SETTING ON EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION

RICHARD D. ARVEY, H. DUDLEY DEWHIRST, EDWARD M. BROWN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two hundred and forty‐five working level scientists and engineers participated in a longitudinal study in which their managers had been trained in a Management by Objectives program. Subjects completed two questionnaries, the latter being completed 21 months after the first designed to assess perceptions of their managers' goal setting behavior along four dimensions derived using factor analytic procedures (Goal Clarity and Planning, Subordinate Freedom, Feedback and Evaluation, Participation in Goal Setting) and their reported intrinsic, extrinsic and total satisfaction. Dynamic correlations (Vroom, 1966) were computed between changes in the goal setting factors and changes in the satisfaction variables and significant positive relationships were observed. In addition, results indicated that job task (research vs. development) demonstrated a moderating influence on the goal setting‐satisfaction relationships. An unexpected finding was that there was a significant decrease in perceived managerial behavior on the Goal Clarity and Planning factor over the 21 months. However, a significant increase occurred on the Feedback and Evaluation factor. Since no control group was available for comparison, little can be said about whether these changes were a result of the MBO program. Significant differences between the development and the research subjects were also observed on two of the goal setting factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-608
Number of pages14
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1978

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