انتساب هدف و عملکرد: بررسی نقش واسطه ای تعهد هدف و خوداثربخشی و نقش تعدیل کننده فاصله قدرت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|26188||2002||22 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 89, Issue 2, November 2002, Pages 1140–1161
This study investigated the effect of goal assignment on the goal commitment, self-efficacy, and performance of individuals who differed on the power distance cultural value dimension. Data were collected from 143 university students in Australia. They were randomly assigned to either a participative or assigned goal setting condition to complete class schedules. Instructional method (i.e., “tell and sell”) and research administrator supportiveness were held constant across the two conditions. Consistent with previous findings, it was hypothesized that self-efficacy and goal commitment would mediate the relation of goal assignment and performance. Extending previous research, it was hypothesized that power distance would moderate the relation of goal assignment and each of goal commitment, self-efficacy, and performance. Hierarchical regression analyses fully supported the mediating and partially supported the moderating hypotheses. Moreover, multigroup structural equation modeling (MSEM) indicated that for low power distance individuals only, self-efficacy mediated the effect of goal assignment on performance.
Goal setting is a robust motivational technique that has produced positive effects in 90% of the studies in which goals have been examined (Locke and Latham, 1984 and Locke and Latham, 1990). An assertion of goal theory is that given requisite ability and task familiarity, the more difficult and specific the goal, the higher the performance (Locke & Latham, 1990). Research has established that participation in goal setting affects goal commitment but it remains unclear whether participation has any additional motivational benefits for performance beyond assigned goals (Latham, Erez, & Locke, 1988). A second issue within the goal setting paradigm that has received insufficient research attention is the extent to which the findings regarding goal assignment are applicable to individuals from cultures that are characterized by very different cultural values and norms from Anglo-American and northern European cultures, where most of the goal setting research to date has been conducted. Investigation of the second issue is contingent on the first because the primary means by which participation in goal setting is hypothesized to influence performance is through goal commitment (Locke & Latham, 1990). Examination of these two issues in goal theory would address the call by Donovan and Radosevich (1998) and Klein, Wesson, Hollenbeck, and Alge (1999) for additional studies on the role of goal commitment in goal theory. 1.1. Participatively set versus assigned goals Goal commitment refers to an individual’s determination to try for a goal and persistence in pursuing it over time, regardless of its origin (Locke, Latham, & Erez, 1988). Early research examined whether variation in how the goal is set, assigned versus participative, influences goal commitment. This research produced mixed results (Dossett, Latham, & Mitchell, 1979; Erez & Arad, 1986; Erez & Earley, 1987; Erez, Earley, & Hulin, 1985; Latham & Marshall, 1982; Latham & Saari, 1979; Latham & Steele, 1983). Latham et al. (1988) attempted to resolve the discrepant findings of the effects of assigned versus participatively set goals on goal commitment and performance through a series of laboratory experiments conducted in the United States. They concluded that the discrepancy was due to the methods by which the assigned goals were set. Apparently, Erez and her colleagues used a curt “tell” style to assign goals while Latham and his colleagues used a friendlier “tell and sell” style. Latham et al. (1988) concluded that in the studies of Erez and her colleagues, self-efficacy information (i.e., “this goal is difficult but attainable”) was absent from the assigned goal condition whereas efficacy information was present in both the assigned and participative goal assignment conditions in the studies conducted by Latham and his colleagues. Self-efficacy, a belief in one’s ability to perform a specific task, is a cognitive motivator that has been empirically demonstrated to positively influence both goal commitment and performance (Bandura, 1986 and Bandura, 1997; Locke & Latham, 1990; Wood & Bandura, 1989a). Meyer and Gellatly (1988) suggested that self-efficacy is affected when goals are set because goals communicate normative information to the performer by suggesting or specifying what level of performance the individual could expect to attain. The first aim of this study, therefore, was to examine the relations of goal assignment on self-efficacy, goal commitment, and performance when the same “tell and sell” instructions are communicated across the goal assignment conditions. The same level of research administrator supportiveness was also provided in both conditions because evidence suggests that such supportiveness leads to the setting of higher goals, performance, and by inference, goal commitment (Hollenbeck & Klein, 1987; Likert, 1967; Oldham, 1975). Whether cognitive and affective motivational mechanisms, namely self-efficacy and goal commitment, respectively, are mediators of goal assignment on performance was also investigated. 1.2. Power distance Donovan and Radosevich (1998) speculated that a number of variables, such as disposition and situational variables might influence the goal–performance relationship. Variables that possess both disposition and situational attributes are the enduring personal characteristics of individuals that are derived from national culture. Since the publication of Hofstede’s (1980) seminal work, researchers such as Kirkman and Shapiro (1997), Maznevski, DiStefano, Gomez, Noorderhaven, and Wu (1997), and Triandis (1995), have demonstrated that national culture differences manifest as enduring differences in the personal characteristics of individuals. Examination of the role of culturally derived personal characteristics in goal theory is important because there is growing recognition that individual values, attitudes, behavioral norms, and motivation have strong cultural ties, which influence the management theories espoused and practices adopted by a culture (Cross & Markus, 1999; Erez, 2000; Grant & Dweck, 1999; Hofstede, 1980; Kitayama & Markus, 1999). With regard to the goal assignment debate, Locke et al. (1988) observed that cultural differences in value orientation might provide an explanation for the inconsistencies across goal setting studies. Of the five differentiating dimensions of national culture (Hofstede, 1980; The Chinese Cultural Connection, 1987), the power distance value dimension has the most relevance on the effects of participative versus assigned goals on individual affect, cognition, and performance. This is because power distance refers to the degree of inequality among people which the population of a country considers as normal and acceptable (Hofstede, 1983; Robert, Probst, Martocchio, Drasgow, & Lawler, 2000). Individuals from high power distance countries believe status and power differences are important (Kirkman & Shapiro, 2001). Consequently, they prefer autocratic superiors and are dependent on paternalistic decision making and supervision while individuals from low power distance countries prefer consultative decision making and approachable managers (Hofstede, 1983). Empirical research supports Hofstede’s claims. Bochner and Hesketh (1994) concluded that power distance predicts dependent, theory X type supervisory-subordinate relationships. Robert et al. (2000), who inferred respondents’ power distance scores from their countries’ ranking on Hofstede’s (1980) power distance and Schwartz’s (1994) hierarchy measures, found that empowerment was negatively associated with work and co-worker satisfaction in India but positively associated with supervisor satisfaction in the United States. According to the Hofstede rankings, India is a high power distance country while the United States is a low to moderate power distance country. Kirkman and Shapiro (2001) found a small, positive association between power distance and resistance both to teams and to self-management. Within the goal theory paradigm, Erez and Earley (1987) used a between-subjects design to examine the effects of cultural value differences on goal acceptance and performance. One of the value differences examined was power distance, which was operationalized using Hofstede’s (1984), three-item measure (i.e., “Powerful people should try to look less powerful than they are (reverse scored); Subordinates consider superiors as being of a different kind; Other people are a potential threat to one’s power and rarely can be trusted”). This scale was originally developed to measure values at the level of national culture; hence, mean rather than individual scores were the focus of analyses. Erez and Earley, nevertheless, analyzed their data at the individual level of analysis, and reported a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of .75. Across two performance phases, Erez and Earley (1987) found that for urban and kibbutz Israeli students, goals that were assigned to individual subjects using a “tell” style resulted in lower individual performance and goal acceptance than goals that were set in one of two participative ways. In the first of these participative goal setting conditions, the goal was set by the experimenter and an elected representative of each five-member group formed for the experiment, through a process of negotiation that started with the experimenter asking the representative to state a “difficult but attainable” goal and ended when the target goal was reached or when it was clear that the representative would no longer negotiate. In the second participative condition, the members of each five-member group that was formed for the experiment participatively set the goal, after the experimenter had provided a reference point by first stating that the goal should be “difficult but attainable” and then mentioning the number of schedules completed in a pilot study. Contrast analyses indicated no differences in performance or goal acceptance between the two participative goal setting conditions. Goal acceptance is a subtype of goal commitment that refers specifically to commitment to a goal that is assigned (Locke et al., 1988). For the American students, assigned goals resulted in significantly lower acceptance but not performance when compared with the participative goal setting conditions. These researchers also found support for the moderating effect of power distance on goal assignment and performance but not goal acceptance. Moderation was examined only for the second performance phase. Erez and Earley (1987) concluded that both low and high power distance individuals benefited from participation in goal setting; however, high power distance individuals outperformed low power distance individuals for whom goals had been assigned. They concluded that power distance was a strong moderator of the goal assignment–performance relationship, and at best, a weak one of the relationship between goal assignment and goal acceptance. There are three potential explanations for Erez and Earley’s (1987) findings concerning the moderation results that warrant further investigation. First, since “tell” instructions were given to assign goals while “tell and sell” instructions were given to students in the participative goal setting conditions, these researchers may have introduced a confound in the study since “tell and sell” may have increased self-efficacy, goal commitment, and subsequent performance more than “tell” instructions. Since self-efficacy was not assessed by Erez and Earley, it is unclear what role it plays in relation to power distance, goal commitment, and performance. To understand this role, the same “tell and sell” instructions were used in the current study and self-efficacy was explicitly measured. A second possible reason for Erez and Earley’s failure to find moderation for the goal assignment–goal acceptance relationship may have been due to the lack of power of the experimental design. Given that there were no significant differences in the two participation conditions, moderation may be found if one of these conditions were eliminated. The current study employs only one participative goal setting condition, in which the participant is required to negotiate with the research administrator. This condition was chosen since it is a more ecologically valid participatory goal setting condition than one in which individuals are allowed to set their own goals without input from an authority figure. This participation condition was also chosen to minimize differences in goal level that were evident in the Erez and Earley study. Third, the individuals in the Erez and Earley study were citizens of countries that scored in the low to moderate range of the 53 countries on the Hofstede power distance index (United States PDI = 40, ranked 38th; Israel PDI = 13, ranked 52nd) (Hofstede, 1997). Countries that had high rankings on power distance were not represented by students in the Erez and Earley study. A sample consisting of individuals from countries high on the power distance index may provide support for power distance as a moderator of the goal assignment–commitment relationship, as well as goal assignment–performance. Related to the issue of subjects drawn only from low to moderate power distance countries, an examination of cell means reported by Erez and Earley (1987) indicates that the US and Israel-urban samples both set higher goals in the participative goal setting conditions than the assigned goal in the first performance phase. This finding provides support for Locke and Latham’s (1990) claim that participation leads to higher performance only because of the higher goals that are set. Both the American and urban Israeli students, in this regard, behaved in ways consistent with a low power distance value orientation. Their belief in an equal distribution of power among hierarchically unequal individuals, in this case, the subject and experimenter, meant that they were little influenced by norms for target performance reported to them by the experimenter, and consequently gained the full motivational benefits of interdependently negotiating a higher goal for target performance. Overall, across the two performance phases and three goal assignment conditions, the mean goal levels of the US and Israel-urban samples were significantly higher than that of the Israel-kibbutz sample. The difference in mean goal level was reflected in performance as there was no significant difference in performance between the US and Israel-urban samples; however, both of these samples outperformed the Israel-kibbutz sample. This was despite the fact that, on power distance, the Israel urban and kibbutz samples were not significantly different from each other but were both significantly lower than the US sample. Thus, high performance may have been attained because of the higher goal level rather than because of the influence of power distance or goal commitment or their interaction. In contrast to the reaction of the American and Israeli students in Erez and Earley’s study, individuals from high power distance countries do not perceive an equal distribution of power among hierarchically unequal individuals to be a behavioral norm. Because they would find it quite normal to have supervisors make unilateral decisions on their behalf, individuals from such countries could be expected to be less willing to participate in goal setting and less willing to dispute an established performance norm. High power distance individuals who are unwilling to challenge a normative performance target would be unlikely to gain the motivational benefits associated with the setting of high goals afforded by participation in goal setting, which was evident in the first performance phase of the Erez and Earley study. Rather, any motivational effects would be through goal commitment. In the current study, the sample consisted of participants of countries that scored on the high end of the power distance scale. To assess the impact of participation on goal commitment, self-efficacy, and performance that is minimally influenced by goal level, participants, unlike those in Erez and Earley’s group participation condition, were not allowed to set their own goals without discussion with the experimenter. Moreover, goal level was also treated as a control variable to isolate the interactive effect of goal assignment and power distance on goal commitment and performance, in the absence of variance due to goal level. While there is empirical support for the hypothesis that participation in goal setting leads to higher goal commitment, empirical examination of the influence of goal assignment on self-efficacy is relatively rare. Latham, Winters, and Locke (1994) reported that they were the first to find evidence that participation in goal setting directly influences self-efficacy. Self-efficacy, in turn, was found to influence performance. While acknowledging the reciprocal relationship between task strategies and self-efficacy (Wood & Bandura, 1989b), Latham et al. (1994) stated that their results indicated that participation in task strategy formulation influenced the quality of task strategies, which in turn, influenced self-efficacy. Thus Latham et al. (1994) found main effects of goal assignment and strategy formulation on self-efficacy. Although not tested, an examination of the reported cell means for the last performance trial suggests that task strategy formulation may have moderated the effect of goal assignment on self-efficacy, since participation in strategy formulation was most effective in enhancing self-efficacy for those who also participated in goal setting. The beneficial impact of participation in strategy formulation was less pronounced for those for whom goals had been assigned. An analogous variable that may interact with participation in goal setting to differentially influence self-efficacy is power distance. This is because high power distance individuals, who accept hierarchical inequality as a behavioral and attitudinal norm, may find assigned goals persuasive and effective in increasing self-efficacy beliefs regarding task performance because assigned goals communicate normative performance information from an authoritative source. Personal involvement in setting a performance standard, for high power distance individuals, would be a disconcerting, unfamiliar and a non-persuasive source of efficacy information. Low power distance individuals, on the other hand, who are less reliant on normative cues that they have not had an opportunity to influence, could be expected to experience lower self-efficacy in a situation where they are assigned a performance goal and are unable to rely on assessments of their own personal agency in setting that goal. The second purpose of this study, therefore, was to investigate how psychological power distance influences the effectiveness of assigned versus participatively set goals. On the basis of previously discussed research, the following hypotheses were proposed: 1. Participation in goal setting will positively affect self-efficacy, goal commitment, and performance. 2. Goal commitment and self-efficacy will mediate the effect of goal assignment on performance. 3. Power distance will moderate the effect of goal assignment on goal commitment, self-efficacy and performance; the lower the power distance, the greater the positive effects of participation on these three variables.