The performance effects of an ability-based approach to goal assignment

Scott A Jeffrey, Axel Klaus-Dieter Schulz, Alan Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Some organizations have begun to target their goal-setting method more closely to the ability levels of their employees. In this article, we report the results of a laboratory study of 138 undergraduate students, which shows that these ability-based goals are more effective at improving performance than a one goal for all approach, where everyone is assigned the same performance target. Results from repeated measure tests and other analysis of variance tests show that lower-ability individuals in the ability-based goal condition outperform those in the one goal for all condition. Lower- and moderate-ability participants in the one goal for all condition also experienced larger decreases in performance in later rounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221 - 241
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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