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Effect of perceived conflict among multiple performance goals and goal difficulty on task performance

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Contemporary performance measurement systems, such as the balanced scorecard, often advocate the use of an array of financial and non-financial measures. Despite many claimed advantages for these systems, recent research shows that the inclusion of multiple performance measures sometimes has undesirable effects. The present study examines one of the potential problems of implementing these systems; namely, the impact of perceived goal conflict on task performance. Using survey data from employees working in multiple call centres in a telecommunication company, we find that perceived goal difficulty increases perceived goal conflict. Additionally, perceived goal difficulty also has a negative, indirect effect of task performance, through the mediating role of perceived goal conflict. Our results have important implications for both the research literature and the designers of performance measurement systems.
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Keywords: Goal conflict; Goal difficulty; M40; M41; Multiple goals; Performance measurement systems

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Accounting, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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