This isn’t for the faint of heart but my research just found this article entitled "Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation". One of the authors is Edwin A. Locke who is heavily associated with most of goal theory.
Although in parts it is a fairly dry read and academic in language, I would suggest that if you are working around goal setting (and most performance appraisal forms have an objectives section!) then this would be worth a read. It covers why goals work, what affects the performance benefit you get from goals, stretching targets and much much more.
It would be wrong to suggest that there are no criticisms of Locke and goal setting theory but I’d recommend this to anyone who needs to set goals on a regular basis or needs to design performance appraisal forms or performance appraisal training.
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