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Literature Review

Brown, et al. (2005). The Attenuating Effect of Role Overload on Relationships Linking Self-Efficacy and Goal Level to Work Performance. Journal of applied Psychology, 90, 972-979.

The dedication to maintain high performance at the workplace can sometimes become a tenuous balancing act not sparing the most talented individuals. On one side, self-efficacy beliefs and personal goals facilitate a well-established performance cycle. On the other side, stressful work environments tend to interfere with self-regulations and performance. Studies have identified that those who perform excellently appear to be more affected by the stress and distraction of overload than being low performance (Brown, et al. 2005). Enactive mastery and availability of resources foster self-efficacy beliefs and in turn self-efficacy positively relates to challenging personal goals as well as work performance. Role overload is vital in the current fast-track organizational environments and has capabilities to upset high performance energized by self-efficacy and goal setting. Surveys conducted in the recent past have it that human resource executives believed that employees were over-burdened with work.

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With the increasing work demands that are complex and burdensome, it is crucial to determine whether and to what extent overburden compromises the information of self-efficacy, setting of personal goals and beliefs while learning about the effects of goal setting and self-efficacy on performance. Understanding these effects will provide an insight regarding high performance as well as self-regulation process and have impacts for workload management. Therefore, the purpose of this entire research is to analyze the role played by self-efficacy, role overload and personal goal level to influence performance. It examines the moderating impacts of role overload on the antecedents and effects of self-efficacy as well as personal goal level.

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To test the hypothesis of the developed model in this study, data was collected from a sample of distinct sales representatives who worked with independent contractors. The representatives were given straight commission on total sales made. A list of 295 sales representatives was provided by the manufacturer. Objective measures of dollar sales produced by each representative were provided for three consecutive calendar years. Questionnaires were mailed 2 months after the closure of the company’s books. A total of 205 responses were returned. Despite all the participants of the study being from the same manufacturer, they managed individual businesses without direct monitoring from the manufacturers. Variation realized in the organizational resources emerges from the sources such as different experiences with the manufacturers, individual-level differences among representatives and the interaction between situational factors and personal differences. There was substantial variation in perceived organizational support. Self-efficacy, personal goal level, role overload and performance were measured to give provisional results.

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The hypotheses got tested with Seemingly Unrelated Regressions (SURs). These are appropriate when regression analysis is conducted and dependent variables in a particular regression become an independent variable in other analysis. In such cases, residuals are believed to be correlated and heteroscedastic; thus, violating basic regression assumptions. Previous performance and organizational resources were considerably related to self-efficacy. Goal setting appeared to be the main effect of self-efficacy. Role overload assuages the relationships of self-efficacy and goal setting with performance. When role overload is low, goal level and self-efficacy are positively related to performance.

Conclusively, low role overload makes goal levels and self-efficacy to form the basis of a commendable performance cycle as well as an effective slf-regulation. When role overload is high, self-regulatory mechanisms that helps keep individuals on track to realize high performance tend to lose their potency. This study found that organizational resources’ perceptions lose their ability to influence self-efficacy beliefs with high role overload. The emerging effects seem to negate both personal goal level and self-efficacy. Cumulatively, it is evident from the results that avoiding perceptions of role overload is vital for promoting high performance and self-regulations that are effective.

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Faff, R. et al. (2013). Diminishing marginal returns from R&D investment: evidence from manufacturing firms. Applied Economics, 45, 611-622.

This particular research analyses the alliance between R&D Investment (RDI) and opportunities of growth while showing that there is an existence of diminishing marginal returns in manufacturing firms. Successful efforts applied in R&D generate process innovation and product that increase the long-term wealth of firms. This view has been echoed by several researchers who come up with documents of positive relationship between R&D Investment (RDI) and the firm’s value. This positive relationship is prone to suffer from diminishing marginal returns. Increasing R&D financial spending triggers diminishing returns while marginal costs outweigh marginal benefits. Similarly, the counteracting effects of various factors could lead to an optimal capital structure. The possibility of diminishing marginal returns could generate an optimal RDI structure. The aim is to examine the factors contributing to this R&D investments’ diminishing marginal returns. This provides a platform to determine whether there is an optimal or desirable level of RDI as far as specific firm’s characteristics are concerned. Interestingly, this study employs structural equation modeling that permits an estimation of influence both direct and indirect of RDI on growth opportunities of the firm.

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This research has employed the portfolio approach to introduce portfolios of increasing average RDI to imitate the differing levels where incremental RDI is made. For each portfolio, the direct and mediating effects from RDI to GO are estimated. It is to be expected that the incremental effects of RDI on GO reduces as the portfolio’s average RDI increases. SEM is an approach employed in the methodology of this research to help estimate the effects. It provides a statistically efficient method for solving separate, but interdependent regression equations. The method utilized has to be in line with the developed conceptual framework. The reason behind this is the need to foster and come up with proven answers to the research questions as well as meet the primary objectives. The data obtained in this particular research are sampled from manufacturing firms in the US. Firms that belong to industries, which carry codes of North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), were selected. The research also uses the box plot method to locate observations with values that might skew the results.

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The results portray that the total effect of RDI on MBASS, which is a proxy of growth opportunities is conditional as far as the level of RDI is concerned (Faff et al. 2013). As the level of RDI increases, the marginal effect on MBASS decreases. Firms determined to find growth within high levels of RDI are deemed to do well as they pay attention to other effects such as ensuring a sufficient level of investment and controlling financial leverage. It is also evident that the need for a balanced approach to R&D investments uncovers the drivers of growth from such investments. These results are contrary to the research’s expectations that RDI would displace investments in complementary assets. Firms are increasingly complementary assets investments in line with RDI. It appears to be a positive correlation between RDI and CASS that gives rise to an increase of value.

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Conclusively, investment in R&D generates decreased marginal returns on growth opportunities (MBASS). A parsimonious model is utilized to identify the cause of this decreasing marginal effect. The cause of the reducing marginal effect lies in the various impacts of incremental RDI on systematic risk, investment in complementary assets and financial leverage. Generally, two situations lead to a reduced effect on growth opportunities. One of them is increasing financial leverage and the other one is a failure to invest sufficiently in complementary assets. Consequently, managers should weigh the costs arising from these situations before deciding to increase R&D.

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