A seminal work in the field of motivation by the leading author on the topic, this classic has been fully revised and updated to include and distill the most current research from top international scholars. Drawing upon his experiences as a staff psychologist and consultant, Gary P. Latham writes in a mentor voice that is highly personal and rich in examples, providing a unique behavioral science framework for motivating employees in organizational settings. The book offers a chronological review of the field, and a taxonomy for the study and practice of motivation, complete with anecdotes about the major thought leaders in the field of motivation and behind-the-scenes research accounts. Highlights of this updated edition include new findings in goal-setting research, including insight into the dark side of goal-setting; more on the self in motivation, including self-regulated learning, self-evaluation methods, and the significance of self-efficacy as a predictor of performance and satisfaction; and more trending in the area of positive psychology and prosocial behavior in organizations.

1950–1975: The Emergence of Theory

1950–1975: The emergence of theory


Research in the early part of the 1950s did not differ appreciably from the research of the four preceding decades. Attitude surveys continued to be the primary method of data collection for I-O psychologists in their study of motivation. Behaviorism was at its zenith in experimental psychology with B. F. Skinner (1953) as its articulate champion. Research with animals continued to show the importance of antecedent stimuli and external consequences on behavior.

Ryan and Smith (1954) argued against I-O psychology adopting the prevailing motivational paradigms of experimental and clinical psychology. To translate worker goals into Watson's (1925) terms of stimuli and responses, they said, was not only useless but also misleading since it implies that the laws ...

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