Th-OR-S46-1 - Which Comparison Do I Seek: Goal Orientation Predicts Preferences For Four Comparison Standards

Work Motivation
Oral Presentation
Part of:
Thursday May 18   03:00 PM to 03:15 PM (15 minutes)
Positive organizational behaviour
Work Motivation
Which Comparison Do I Seek: Goal Orientation Predicts Preferences for Four Comparison Standards
S. Reh 1,*, S. R. Giessner 2, C. Troester 1, N. Van Quaquebeke 1
1Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Kuehne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany, 2Department of Organisation and Personnel Management, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Content: Purpose: Employees receive different kinds of comparison information in their performance evaluation, but which of them motivate them to perform better? Goal orientation theory suggests individual differences regarding peoples’ comparison preferences. Learning oriented individuals (LO) focus on improvement and seek intrapersonal, temporal comparisons. Performance approach (avoidance) oriented individuals (PO) seek to outperform (not be outperformed by) others. They use a social, static standard. This conceptualization confounds two comparison dimensions: Time related (static vs. temporal), and person-related comparisons (social vs. non-social). A 2x2-framework leads to two additional comparison standards: comparisons to an objective standard (static, non-social) and temporal social comparisons. We test which comparisons LOs and POs make, and which of them are motivating.
Design/Methodology: In Study 1, Mturk participants filled out a goal orientation measure, completed three rounds of the Stroop test, and then rated their preference for the four comparison standards. In Study 2, Dutch students filled out the goal orientation measure (T1), and rated their comparison preferences and academic aspirations (T2).
Results: In addition to temporal self-comparisons, LOs compare to an objective standard. POs make static and temporal social comparisons. Only temporal self (LO) and temporal social (PO) comparisons are motivating.
Limitations: Future research should test whether these comparison standards influence actual performance.
Research/Practical Implications: Managers should give employees information on temporal self-comparisons (LO) and temporal social comparisons (PO), as these are motivating.
Originality/Value: This research expands the perspective on goal orientation and comparisons by two new comparison standards: temporal social comparisons and comparisons to an objective standard.


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