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E3 Journal of Business Management and Economics

E3 Journal of Business Management and Economics Vol. 2 (3) pp. 116-124, September 2011; © E3 Journals; ISSN 2141-7482

Goal setting and performance appraisal in public sector of Nigeria: An empirical investigation

Obasan Kehinde Agbolade , Sotunde Olalekan Anthony *
University Of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author E-mail:
Accepted 5 June 2011


The advent of goal setting dates back to mid-1960s when Edwin. A. Locke started to examine the concept. The concept of goal setting emanated from Aristotle’s from of causality. He speculated that purpose can cause action: thus Locke began researching the impact of goals on individual performance. For goals to increase performance, one must define them as difficult to achieve and as specific. The concept of goals in public service particularly in the core ministries and parastatals in Nigeria does almost not exist due to the fact that they are not set at inception of any period and performance appraisals are conducted. Therefore, this research seek to ascertain whether or not goals are set in the public sector of Nigeria and investigate the indices with which appraisal is based with a study of One thousand public servants who are working in human resources department of government ministries and parastatals. Data was collected with a well structured questionnaire and analyzed with descriptive statistics while hypotheses formulated were tested with t-test. The result shows that goals are hardly set in public service in Nigeria and the study recommends that appreciable and attainable goals should be set for organizations and individual so that such can form the basis for assessment.

Keywords: Goal, Goal Setting, Performance, Appraisal, Public Service.

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