The chosen article discusses the importance of goal setting as a tool to improve team performance in specific environments. The authors state that performance management acquires the top priority in modern society as it helps to increase effectiveness and attain better results. They focus on discussing the concept of goal-setting in a public context as a tool vital for team performance. Its correct employment might help to stimulate better outcomes; however, the lack of clear guidelines might be fatal for organizations and precondition their collapse. In this regard, the study revolves around goal clarity, team performance, and performance management.
These aspects are also investigated regarding the idea of self-management and information elaboration. The authors assume that clearly outlined goals might positively impact teams by affecting every member and cultivating desired behaviors among them. Additionally, goal clarity and self-management might stimulate better information sharing, which is critical for boosting performance and better cooperation between individuals. Integrating all aspects mentioned above into the study, the authors discuss the central ideas of performance management and how they influence organizations.
Focus of the Article
The central purpose of the study is to apply the goal-setting theory to the work of teams in a public context to determine the influence goal-setting has on teams, their performance. The researchers delve into the peculiarities of organizations’ work from the human factor and performance management perspective. Van der Hoek et al. (2018) define teams as a collection of individuals who have interdependent tasks, share responsibility for outcomes, and manage their relationships across organizational boundaries. At the same time, they emphasize that the given definition proves the inherent link between teams and goals, which becomes the top priority of the study.
The authors use the definition offered by Locke and Latham, stating that goal is the object or aim of an action. It means the work of a person depends on guidelines and purposes they have at the moment. Any specialist can show better results if goals are clear, specific, and challenging. Moreover, there is a direct correlation between goal clarity and motivational mechanisms, meaning that understandable directions and guidelines strongly influence workers’ engagement and readiness to work. It also results in sharing work-related knowledge between employees
Considering these ideas mentioned above, the authors offer the following three hypotheses. The hypotheses are investigated using the online questionnaire distributed in the public sector in the Netherlands. Van der Hoek et al. (2018) conclude that goals clarity positively affects team performance and achievement. However, there are also other significant factors influencing the work of specialists, such as self-management and motivation. In some cases, they can be even stronger compared with the effectively established goals. In such a way, the data proves the hypotheses and the importance of discussed factors regarding performance management.
Recommendations and Implications
Van der Hoek et al. (2018) state that results can be applied to real settings to improve the teams’ work in various conditions. The authors also emphasize that the usefulness of goal orientation and teamwork can be enhanced by considering goal complexity and clarity. At the same time, the appropriate goal setting might help to distribute duties more practically and avoid losing motivation or concentration. Furthermore, it should be followed by changes in self-management cultivated by information sharing. Van der Hoek et al. (2018) are sure that the study contributes to the field of project management as it focuses on analyzing methods how to boost performance and attain better outcomes, which is critical for this area. The results acquired by the researchers can also be used in other studies to create the basis for the discussion.
Utility and Applicability
The paper possesses high practical value and utility. Approaches discussed by the authors, such as clear goals, focus on self-management, and increased motivation, and information sharing can also be effective in multiple countries, including in the UAE. The lack of clarity while setting goals can also be observed in some establishments of the UAE, meaning that its resolution can help to improve performance. For this reason, employing the ideas presented by the article, it is possible to create more effective teams. At the same time, the focus on the public sector only can be seen as a drawback of the paper. The involvement of more diversified groups in the research coming from different environments could have increased the practical utility of findings and their applicability.
Conclusion and Relation to Other Studies
The importance of goal setting discussed by van der Hoek (2018) is also supported by García-Juan et al. (2020) and Evans and Lindsay (2019), outlining the direct correlation between attainable goals and teams’ ability to evolve. Furthermore, the idea of goals as motivators is also discussed by other authors. For instance, Guerrero and Chenevert (2021) are sure that too simple goals might be demotivating for teams as they will not have a chance to demonstrate their best performance. However, too complex tasks might also promote negative effects within a collective and worsen its work (Murphy et al., 2018; Stritch et al., 2020).
At the same time, self-management is also investigated in numerous research papers. For instance, Bello-Gomez (2021) and Valentine et al. (2019) view collectives as a set of individuals with different qualities, meaning that better self-regulation and management will lead to enhanced collaboration with others and better outcomes. Lee (2019) says that higher motivation and engagement levels are also closely linked with self-management. In such a way, the article by van der Hoek et al. (2018) is a relevant and credible source of information discussing goal setting as a tool to build high-performance teams.
Van der Hoek, M., Groeneveld, S., & Kuipers, B. (2018). Goal setting in teams: Goal clarity and team Performance in the public sector. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 38(4), 472– 493. Web.