Motivation for multiple goals at work: the role of goal hierarchy self-concordance

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] The variety and diversity of tasks comprising any job portray the complex and ever-changing motivational processes occurring at work. The complexity and dynamism of work motivation are often overlooked by researchers, who either study jobs as a whole or focus only on very specific processes. Previous research has built a good body of knowledge in this area, however there is much still to be done in understanding how people deal with multiple and varied goals at work. One construct that has the potential to fill this gap is self-concordance. Past studies on self-concordance have yielded mixed results, however, affecting researchers’ trust in this construct.

In this dissertation, I address the conceptualization of self-concordance and then use it to investigate the multi-level nature of self-regulatory processes at work. I do so by first proposing and testing an alternative conceptualization of self-concordance through the goal hierarchy, where self-concordant goals are represented by the number and strength of the links between each specific task and other goals that are part of the individual’s goal hierarchy. I then use this reconceptualized self-concordance to explore self-regulatory processes occurring at both between- and within-individual levels. The motivational effect of occupational context upon the specific day-to-day motivation of individuals at work is investigated through task prototypicality. Further, I revisit the previously theorized effect of transformational leadership upon followers’ self-concordance, this time using the reconceptualized self-concordance and exploring the effect of these leaders on both the between- and within-individual motivational processes.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014

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