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Goal setting is one of the most replicated and influential paradigms in the management literature. Hundreds of studies conducted in numerous countries and contexts have consistently demonstrated that setting specific, challenging goals can powerfully drive behavior and boost performance. Advocates of goal setting have had a substantial impact on research, management education, and management practice. In this paper, the authors argue that the beneficial effects of goal setting have been overstated and that systematic harm caused by goal setting has been largely ignored.
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