Why setting performance targets can backfire

SEVERAL years ago, employees at General Motors (GM) began sporting badges with the number 29 on them. That figure was not a prescient estimate of the billions of dollars that the giant car company would ultimately pocket from the American taxpayer in the form of government handouts. Instead, it represented the percentage share of the American car market that GM’s bosses aspired to. Fixated on this target, the firm went on to make decision after disastrous decision that helped drag it to the brink of bankruptcy.
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