Efficient Proximal Resource Allocation Strategies Predict Distal Team Performance: Evidence From the National Hockey League

James W. Beck, Aaron M. Schmidt, Michael W. Natali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To achieve long-term goals, individuals, teams, and organizations must engage in numerous short-term performance episodes. This creates a trade-off between proximal and distal performance. On the one hand, allocating resources toward an episode typically facilitates performance in that episode, thereby contributing to distal success. On the other hand, allocating resources to one episode leaves fewer resources for subsequent episodes, thereby inhibiting distal success. We drew upon self-regulatory theories to predict that the trade-off between proximal and distal concerns is managed by allocating resources according to the demands of the situation. Specifically, we predicted that the tendency to allocate resources according to goal-performance discrepancies would improve distal performance. We tested our hypotheses using data from 5 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons. As expected, NHL teams used goal-performance discrepancies to allocate a key resource-playing time of their most valuable players. More importantly, between-team variance in resource allocation strategy accounted for significant variance in distal performance (end of season record). These results provide evidence that strategic reductions in resource allocation to proximal performance episodes is a fundamental selfregulatory process necessary for facilitating long-term success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume104
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Distal performance
  • Proximal performance
  • Resource allocation
  • Self-regulation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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