Research that Supports Results


Hundreds of research studies show the effectiveness of the principles and techniques taught in the Successful Manager program. Click below to see the research findings on these key content areas:

 (1) Autonomy and Mastery


“…studies have found that managers’ autonomy support led to greater satisfaction, higher performance evaluations, greater persistence, greater acceptance or organizational change, and better psychological adjustment.”

M. Gagne, E. L. Deci, “Self-determination theory and work motivation,” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 331-362 (2005).

“Comparisons between people whose motivation is authentic (literally, self-authored or endorsed) and those who are merely externally controlled for an action typically reveal that the former, relative to the latter, have more interest, excitement, and confidence, which in turn is manifest both enhanced  performance, persistence, and creativity….”

R. M. Ryan, E. L. Deci, “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being,” American Psychologist, January 2000.

(2) Goal-Setting and Rewards


“…employees who were allowed to participate in setting goals set higher goals and had higher performance than those who were assigned goals by the supervisor. The higher the goals, the higher the performance."

E. A. Locke, G. P. Latham, “Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation,” American Psychologist, September 2002.

“Organizations that employed goal setting had higher levels of annual profit [20%] than those that did not. Firms that used goal setting also exhibited greater profit growth [19%] than those that did not use goal setting.”

D. E. Terpstra, E. J. Rozell, “The Relationship of Goal Setting to Organizational Profitability.” Group & Organizational Management, Vol. 19 No. 3, September 1994.

“The high-performance cycle explains how high goals lead to high performance, which in turn leads to rewards, such as recognition and promotion. Rewards result in high satisfaction as well as high self-efficacy regarding perceived ability to meet future challenges through the setting of even higher goals.”

E. A. Locke, G. P. Latham, “Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation,” American Psychologist, September 2002.

“Research has shown, however, that people are more alike than different. Everyone wants to be recognized and to feel important and worthwhile. These needs can be powerful motivators in many areas of people’s lives, especially in their work environments.”

G. H. Graham, J. Unruh, “The motivational impact of nonfinancial employee appreciation practices on medical technologists,” Heath Care Supervisor, 1990, 8(3), 9-17.

(3) Job Enrichment and Fairness

“Work that gets designed in such a fashion that it leads to feelings of ownership, that arouses and satisfies the motives that underpin psychological ownership is pleasure producing per se. We know from the organizational literature that work that is pleasure producing has strong and positive motivational consequences, contributing to work attendance, reduction in turnover, high quality work performance, and frequent acts of good organizational citizenship behavior.”

J. L. Pierce, et al., “Psychological ownership within the job design context: revision of the job characteristics model,” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30, 477-496 (2009).

“In organizations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time.”

E. Seppala, K. Cameron, “Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive,” Harvard Business Review, December 2015.

“Given the increasing role of the service sector in the modern economy, the results of this study show that fair policies and treatment of employees in organizations may increase an organization’s capability to address the needs of its customer base. Fair treatment of employees appears to translate into both employee retention and enhanced customer service, as employees are more committed to the organization and its goals and both employee retention and customer service satisfaction affect profitability.”

T. L. Simons, Q. Roberson,  “Why Managers Should Care About Fairness: The Effects of Aggregate Justice Perceptions on Organizational Outcomes,” Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, The Scholarly Commons,

(4) Transformational Leadership and the Power of the Team

"...our results show that transformational leadership has positive relationships with performance not only at the individual level of analysis but also at team and organizational levels…”


“To begin, transformational leaders motivate followers by emphasizing the followers’ ties to the collective group, fostering team identity and team potency and efficacy.”

G. Wang, et al., “Transformational Leadership and Performance Across Criteria and Levels: A Meta-Analytic Review of 25 years of Research,” Group & Organization Management, 36(2) 223-270, 2011.

“The results of this study suggest the effectiveness of training managers in transformational leadership… the subordinates of managers receiving training perceived their managers as higher on intellectual stimulation, charisma, and individual consideration than subordinates of managers in the no-training control group. In addition, the training program exerted significant effects on subordinates’ organizational commitment….”

J. Barling, T. Weber, “Effects of Transformational Leadership Training on Attitudinal and Financial Outcomes: A Field Experiment,” Journal of Applied Psychology, 1996, Vol. 81, No. 6, 827-832.