By Michael M Gruneberg
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Additional resources for Industrial Productivity: A Psychological Perspective
A number of studies have shown the positive effects of feedback on subsequent performance. Gibbs and Brown (1955) for example, found that their subjects, set a boring task but allowed to see the progress they were making, produced at a significantly higher rate than a group not given feedback on their performance and similar results were obtained by Hundal (1969) in a group of Indian workers. In a recent study by Runnion, Johnson, and McWhorter (1978) the introduction of feedback was responsible for reducing the turnaround time of trucks delivering to a textile company from sixty-seven to thirty-eight minutes, even though feedback was subsequently reduced.
Nor obviously, are goals likely to be accepted which are perceived of as beyond the skills or abilities of individuals (that is, where goals are unreasonable in themselves). Another factor which has been shown to affect whether or not an individual is likely to accept a hard goal is previous success on the task. Zander and Newcomb (1967), for example, note that groups which had previously been successful in attaining goals were more likely to regard new goals as more important and more reasonable than groups which have failed previously.
For any research establishment to function smoothly, efficient administration is also important, for example, so that involvement leading to higher productivity may not be measured by looking at the individual's quantitative output in terms of publication. In other words, before the question of the relationship between job involvement and productivity can be established, one must answer the question, involvement in what? The study of Goodman et ale reveals a number of difficulties in trying to relate job involvement to productivity.