Publication Date

Summer 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Howard Tokunaga

Subject Areas



Motivation to improve performance within the workplace has long been an area of interest for leaders in organizations. While goal setting is often used as a motivational theory to improve performance, further guidelines are needed to ensure the full positive effects of goal setting are realized. The purpose of this study was to understand the effect of four goal types (outcome, performance, process, and personal-best goals) on performance in the workplace. Another purpose of this study was to examine whether the effectiveness of goal types may change as a function of self-efficacy. Performance was measured in two ways: completeness and correctness. Results of an experiment completed by 89 participants revealed that when performance was measured by completeness, performance and outcome goals resulted in significantly higher performance than process goals and personal best goals. Additionally, levels of self-efficacy only had a significant impact when performance was measured as correctness. These results suggest that employers should aim to incorporate performance or outcome goals in the motivation plans of their employees so as to further improve performance.