First Advisor

Gerald Guthrie

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology




Goal setting in personnel management, Employee motivation, Hospitals -- Personnel management



Physical Description

1 online resource (36 p.)


A systematic, empirical study conducted in eight hospital operating rooms found that employees often select opportunity-dependent goals. These goals are self-set or chosen by the individual, but the opportunity to perform the goal chosen is dependent on others. For example, "learn to circulate on total joint surgeries" is a self-set, opportunity-dependent goal. The individual must be assigned to that job. It was found that when this type of goal is chosen and the individual is not given the opportunity to perform it, the individual attributes the failure to external causes. This failed opportunity-goal type was significantly related to lower motivation, whereas failed self-dependent goals (for example, "become more proficient on the computer") were related to higher motivation. It was found that the joint influence of the attributional dimensions of causality, stability, and control were affecting these differences for the two types of failed goal groups.


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