First Reply XB

After reading our text book, I have to say that there are several problems associated with target setting. The problem doesn’t lie with target setting itself, but using targets as part of a reward system. Workers need to find a happy medium between how much work they are comfortable with how much work the company expects the workers to do. If the levels of motivation don’t meet the objectives set then there might be a problem.

Research has found multiple obstacles when it comes to target setting. A few of them are that targets are mainly based on past performances. This means that people were careful not to overachieve. (Bourne & Bourne, 2011, p. 60). Regardless of rewards some people will only do as much as is needed. Another obstacle is that some targets are based on wrong performance measures. This means that the numbers would probably be off because data is wrong.

There are many other obstacles that were not mentioned but these reasons could easily be assessed to reasons why target setting is very tricky. I think that it all boils down to data. If the data is correct then the outcome of the performance will be on point!


 Bourne, M., & Bourne, P. (2011). Handbook of corporate performance management. Chichester: Wiley.   

Second Reply SG

As we learned earlier in Chapter 2, that target setting specifies a level of performance to be achieved.  However, our reading assignment this week goes into detail about target setting including the fact that targets are set to stretch people (Bourne & Bourne, 2011).  When we think about stretching people past their “comfortable” state then a course we experience some problems.  Below are a few problems listed in our textbook that comes along with target setting:

·         Targets were mainly based on past performance

·         Targets were allocated inappropriately so some people were overwhelmed because they were given too much to achieve than others

·         Targets were perceived to be too high or too low which decreased motivation

·         Some targets were based on the wrong performance measures which did not relate to organization goals

·         Targets were based entirely on financial indicators instead of several important factors

·         The data analysis process on which targets were based was poor and laced rigour

·         Targets were not periodically reviewed

·         Targets were given to people instead of allowing them to take ownership

·         The interrelation between targets was not considered causing inconsistency

·         Agreed action plans were the exception and not the norm

As we all know one thing that motivates and increase performance is rewards.  Many organizations link their measurement system to rewards (Bourne & Bourne, 2011).  Rewards can range from verbal recognition to monetary rewards for exceeding company goals.  However, our textbook points out a few obstacles associated with linking rewards to performance such as:

·         The loss of information caused by the change in dynamics in the target setting process (avoid this with transparence of information)

·         The behavioral consequences (avoid this by including behavioral elements in the bonus system)

·         The level of influence people has over performance (avoid this by speaking to employees first and then designing award system with group & individual elements)

·         The need to constantly change and evolve (avoid by rewarding on efforts)

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