The current study evaluated the interactive effects of the opportunity to seek real-time performance feedback in combination with difficult performance goals on feedbackseeking behavior (FSB), task performance, and task-induced stress. Though feedback seeking and challenging, yet attainable (i.e., difficult) goals have been associated with increased performance, little empirical evidence exists to support a causal relationship between FSB and employee performance (Anseel, Beatty, Shen, Lievens, & Sackett, 2013) or between FSB coupled with difficult goals and task performance (VandeWalle & Cummings, 1997). The study examined FSB, task performance, and task-induced stress
when student participants completed a medical transcription data-entry task under four conditions: a) opportunity to seek feedback with no goal present, b) opportunity to seek feedback with a difficult goal present, c) no opportunity to seek feedback with no goal present, and d) no opportunity to seek feedback with a difficult goal present. Results
indicated that the presence of a difficult goal significantly increased task performance. However, individuals who were given the opportunity to seek feedback and who were assigned a difficult goal did not perform significantly differently on the data-entry task than those in the other experimental conditions. Findings from the present study extend previous FSB and goal literature by exploring the unique impact of direct inquiry feedback seeking on performance. Specifically, organizations should continue to use difficult, yet attainable goals to increase employee performance. However, more research is required to understand the effects of FSB on performance in an organization.
A Plan B Research Project submitted to the faculty of the University of Minnesota by Jean Dougherty in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, from the University of Minnesota Duluth, November 2019. Advisor: Julie M. Slowiak.
Dougherty, Jean E.
The Effects of Feedback-Seeking Behavior and Difficult Goals on Task Performance and Task-Induced Stress.
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