Individual and Unit Level Goal Orientation as Predictors of Employee Development
Spara, Ellen Godfrey
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In recent years, goal orientation has gained interest among academics and practitioners alike. This paper examines several variables related to goal orientation that have not been thoroughly investigated in the past. I hypothesized that both team- and individual-level learning orientation would have a direct effect on the decision to pursue development opportunities. I also hypothesized that the previously-mentioned notion of team goal orientation would affect the belief that increased performance leads to certain consequences (instrumentality), which are either deemed as positive enough to desire or negative enough to avoid (valences). Key findings include positive relationships between team learning orientation climate and individual contextualized and non-contextualized learning orientation, as well as a direct relationship between contextualized learning orientation and development. Additional findings indicate that valence and instrumentality mediate the relationship between contextualized learning orientation and development. Hypothesis testing for performance-prove and performance-avoid orientation models was not as successful, but the study does give some support to a two- (as opposed to three-) factor model of goal orientation. Limitations and directions for future research are also presented.