Although some have argued that goal orientation could be beneficially integrated into organizational research, progress in this area has been impeded by several problematic conceptual issues and a lack of validated dispositional measures. This research was intended to address these issues and to provide a foundation for future organizational research in this area. We argue that goal orientation is a two-dimensional construct that has both dispostional and situational components. In each of four independent studies, LISREL VIII confirmatory factor analyses (Jöreskog & Sörbom, 1993) illustrated that a two-factor model fit a set of goal orientation items better than a single-factor model. In addition, the latent goal orientations were found to be uncorrelated in each study. Moreover, correlational analyses indicated that demographic and substantive variables exhibited differential relationships with the latent learning goal and performance goal orientation constructs. Other analyses illustrated that the dispositional and situational aspects of goal orientation are distinguishable. Collectively, the results provided ample support for the convergent and discriminant validity of eight-item measures of each goal orientation and help to define the nomological network within which the two goal orientations reside. The importance of goal orientation as a multidimensional construct is discussed and several recommendations for further research are suggested.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 1996
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