Normative Influence and its Effect on Goal Commitment and Task Performance
Winchester, Todd V.
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The Problem. This study investigated the effect of need for achievement (nAch), need for approval (nAp), social influence, and depression on goal commitment and postperformance. It was hypothesized positive social influence would be associated with high commitment and postperformance. It was also hypothesized high nAch would be associated with high commitment and postperformance. It was also hypothesized high nAp would be associated with high commitment and postperformance. Procedure. Measures of nAch, nAp, and depression were completed by 165 college students who later performed a word formation task. A positive, neutral, or negative social influence manipulation was implemented during the experimental task. Findings. A significant effect of nAck on goal commitment was found. A nearly significant effect of social influence on postperformance was found. Conclusions. High nAch is associated with high goal commitment. Positive social influence is associated with high performance and negative social influence is associated with low performance. Recommendations. Organizations using goal setting theory need to be aware of the nAch-commitment relationship. These organizations need to foster positive opinions of work tasks to increase productivity. Further research is needed to identify what other aspects of social influence affect performance.
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