Purpose – The purpose of this study was to investigate how individual perceptions by employees of a goal‐setting program and personality traits influence job satisfaction and goal commitment. Design/methodology/approach – Using the German version of Locke and Latham's goal‐setting questionnaire, 97 production employees judged the quality of the goal‐setting program in their company with regard to content‐related problems of goals (e.g. goal clarity), process in dyad (e.g. supervisor support), and setting‐related aspects (e.g. rewards). Data were also collected on the participants' conscientiousness and neuroticism. Findings – The results showed that job satisfaction is predicted by content and setting‐related aspects, whereas content‐related aspects affected goal commitment. Conscientiousness explained variance in goal commitment independent of individual perceptions of the goal‐setting program, whereas neuroticism affected job satisfaction indirectly via the perceptions of goal content. Practical implications – Performance management programs that incorporate goals belong to the most widely used management techniques worldwide. The study provides evidence on critical success factors from the view of staff members, which helps to design or optimize current goal‐setting programs. Furthermore, the study implies practical consequences in terms of person‐job fit based on personality traits. Originality/value – The study helps to build a more comprehensive picture of how content, process, and setting‐related perceptions of a goal‐setting program influence job satisfaction and goal commitment. In addition, it provides important insights into the processes through which individual differences affect work behavior.
Personnel Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 12, 2011
Keywords: Questionnaires; Job satisfaction; Personality; Germany
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