Multiple goals and managers' job-related tension and performance

David Emsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Goal theory research has made an important contribution to understanding managers’ behaviour within organisations but most of this research has focused on single goal settings. Given the recent popularity of implementing balanced scorecards in organisations, generalising this research to multiple goal settings is important but problematic because multiple goals can complicate a manager's decision making which, in turn, can potentially affect the manager's job-related tension and performance. Moreover, where multiple goals are pursued, the relative importance of those goals is also likely to affect job-related tension and performance. These relationships are tested using questionnaire data gathered from interviews with managers. The results suggest that job-related tension and performance deteriorate as managers pursue multiple goals although the relationship seems to be non-linear. The relative importance of goals does not appear to be important. Some comments provided by the managers during their interviews offer some insights that help to explain these results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-356
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • conflict
  • goals
  • performance measurement


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