“Goals Gone Wild” Article by Ordonez et al.

Goal setting is not a panacea for all problems a business environment has; it can bring more harm than positive outcomes if overused. This is the most important thing, in my opinion, in the article “Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Overprescribing Goal Setting” by Ordonez, Schweitzer, Galinsky, and Bazerman (2009). The article explores the variety of situations where goal setting is beneficial for an organization and provides numerous examples of goal setting as the tool to be used when a serious boost in productivity, for example, is needed.

However, it is much better to know when a tool should not be used rather than to know all situations when it should be utilized. The problem with goal setting method is in its seeming universality that managers of all levels apply to resolve an extensive range of emerging issues. Nevertheless, it is not a universal tool; it is more like highly accurate and effective chemo rather than a universal antibiotic. The authors warn the audience that overuse of the goal-setting may cause “addiction” and the overall decrease in its effectiveness and even damaging effect (Ordonez et al., 2009). Improper goal setting can cause severe consequences and even lead to tragic events.


Ordonez, L.D. Schweitzer, M.E., Galinsky, A.D., & Bazerman, M.H. (2009). Goals gone wild: The systematic side effects of overprescribing goal setting. Academy of Management Perspectives.

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