Using Goal-setting theory

Peter Nygard owns a large estate in the Bahamas that is used to entertain. Using goal-setting theory as your framework, explain why Nygard’s “mosquito fine”. In one example of goal setting “Nygard style,” the CBC reported that Nygard had asked that groundskeepers ensure mosquitos were controlled in the resort through fogging and other chemical controls. The tennis courts were especially prone to mosquitos, and Peter had

instituted a simple system: Every time a guest was bitten by a mosquito while playing ten-

nis he would fine the groundkeeper on shift at the time. Fines ranged from $5 to $15 per

incident. This incentive system was ultimately deemed illegal, because multiple fines

might easily result in employees making little to nothing for their work. In interviews col-

lected by the CBC, some employees commented that the complex system of fines (of

which the mosquito fines were just one example), combined with the vulnerability of the

workers and Peter’s frequent rages and abusive behaviour, created working conditions

comparable to slavery.

Discussion Questions

1. Using goal-setting theory as your framework, explain why Nygard’s “mosquito fine”

policy would be ineffective at motivating desirable job task behaviours.

2. Using goal-setting theory as your framework, devise an incentive system that would

maximize performance—in this case meaning careful attention to mosquito control.

Explain and justify your strategy.

3. What impact would abusive behaviour and frequent temper tantrums by the CEO be

likely to have on short-term employee motivation? What about long-term motivation

and engagement? Explain your answer using motivational theory to justify your


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