Professor of Organizational Behavior
M. Keith Weikel Distinguished Chair in Leadership
Department of Management
Wisconsin School of Business
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Alex conducts research on self-efficacy, confidence, primed goals, and incentive motivators. He teaches courses on leadership and organizational behavior. Alex has given over 100 professional talks and has consulted globally (Australia, Canada, China, Chile, Denmark, Germany, South Korea, Vietnam, South Africa, and U.S.). Alex holds the M. Keith Weikel Distinguished Chair in Leadership.
My current research examines when self-regulation by conscious goals can be sabotaged by a subconscious goal. The implications of this research are relevant to theory and practice.
Conscious goals partly derive their standing from an absence of an automated response. In this sense, subconscious goals are a more basic form of goals, for a goal that is overlearned to the point of being automated is vital. Practically, if conscious goals are conflicted, one can seek help. If conscious and subconscious goals are conflicted, a person remains unaware of the conflict.
A key downstream consequence of undetected goal conflict is our inability to deliberately address it. Yet, the mind continues grinding away to allocate mental resources to the conflicted goals. Because the conflict goes unnoticed, it leads to compromised behaviors inexplicable to oneself.