The paradox of stretch goals: Organizations in pursuit of the seemingly impossible

Sim B Sitkin, Kelly E See, C Chet Miller, Michael W Lawless, Andrew M Carton
Academy of Management Review,Vol. 36, Issue 3, Pages: 544-566.

We investigate the organizational pursuit of seemingly impossible goalscommonly known as stretch goals. Building from our analysis of the mechanisms through which stretch goals could influence organizational learning and performance, we offer a contingency framework evaluating which organizations are positioned to benefit from such extreme goals and which are most likely to pursue them. We conclude that stretch goals are, paradoxically, most seductive for organizations that can least afford the risks associated …
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