a locke

Edwin A. Locke

Professor Edwin A Locke, Retired Dean’s Professor of Motivation and Leadership at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was also affiliated with the Department of Psychology. "Locke is the most published organizational psychologist in the history of the field. His pioneering research has advanced and enriched our understanding of work motivation and job satisfaction. The theory that is synonymous with his name — goal-setting theory — is perhaps the most widely-respected theory in industrial-organizational psychology. His 1976 chapter on job satisfaction continues to be one of the most highly-cited pieces of work in the field.

Dr. Locke is a proponent of global capitalism and is affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute.


Professor Locke received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Harvard and his MA and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell. He has published over 230 articles, chapters, and books. He has been a consulting editor for leading journals.


A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance (with G. Latham)

The Essence of Leadership (with others)

The Prime Movers: The Traits of Great Wealth Creators

Study Methods & Motivation: A Practical Guide to Effective Study

Goal Setting: A Motivational Technique That Works! (with G. Latham)

Postmodernism and Management, Volume 21: Pros, Cons and the Alternative (Research in the Sociology of Organizations) (with others)

The Blackwell Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior (Blackwell Handbooks in Management)

Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Linking Theory with Practice (Blackwell Business) (with Cary L. Cooper)

A Guide to Effective Study

Generalizing from Laboratory to Field Settings: Research Findings from Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Human Resources

Task experience as a source of attitudes (with P. E. Breer)

  • With D. B. Feren, V. M. McCaleb, K. N. Shaw, and A. T. Denny, "The Relative Effectivness of Four Methods of Motivating Employee Performance", in K. D. Dunction, M. M. Gruneberg, and D. Wallis, Changes in Working Life (New York: John Wiley, 1980)


The Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Academy of Management (Human Resources Division) Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award from the University of Maryland

James Mckeen Cattell Fellow Award, Association for Psychological Science


Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the Academy of Management

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