Stretch goals can have negative outcomes


Stretch goals are believed to inspire a new level of commitment, and can lead to results radically beyond the current output of a firm. Many large firms like Amazon and Tesla use stretch goals, but there is no scientific analysis on the outcome of using stretch goals. For Dr Saeedeh Ahmadi’s PhD research at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), she studied the effects of stretch goals on both the behaviour of employees in terms of suggesting new ideas, as well as the quality of ideas submitted. Dr Ahmadi now works at Amsterdam Business School. She found that the paradoxical nature of stretch goals results in both intended and unintended performance outcomes, but with a larger effect on desirable outcomes. Stretch goals change the behaviour of employees both in terms of...

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