The Moderating Role of Goal Commitment on the Goal Difficulty–Performance Relationship: A Meta-Analytic Review and Critical Reanalysis

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Abstract

Despite the nearly unanimous view that goal commitment is a vital component of goal setting, few studies have empirically assessed its hypothesized role as a moderator of the goal–performance relationship. In addition, those studies that have examined the moderating effects of goal commitment have presented inconsistent conclusions. To clarify this situation, a meta-analysis was conducted to examine the overall strength of the moderating effect of goal commitment. The results indicated that the Goal Difficulty × Goal Commitment effect accounted for less than 3% of the variance in task performance. Additionally, the type of goal commitment measure used (self-report vs. discrepancy) was a significant moderator of this relationship. Measurement issues and directions for future conceptualizations of the goal commitment construct are discussed.

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