Linking Goal Progress to Subjective Well-Being at Work: The Moderating Role of Goal-Related Self-Efficacy and Attainability

Georgia Pomaki, Paul Karoly, Stan Maes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although goal progress is often hypothesized to be positively linked to well-being, existing research points to an inconsistent relationship and suggests that potential moderators need to be examined. This longitudinal study investigated whether 2 aspects of goal cognition-goal attainability and self-efficacy-influence the relationship between goal progress and well-being (viz., job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion) in a sample of 172 nurses. Work goal progress was not directly associated with well-being. Rather, the link between goal progress and well-being was moderated by goal cognition. Individuals who started off with unfavorable goal cognitions but who managed to achieve goal progress reported an increase in well-being, compared with those who had favorable goal cognitions and similar rates of progress. Progress appears to have compensated for low initial goal cognition in the prediction of well-being, and high initial goal cognition appears to have undermined this predictive relationship. Also, goal progress was associated with an increase in self-efficacy and goal attainability from Time 1 to Time 2. Results are discussed in relation to goal theories and the concept of self-correcting goal cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-218
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

Keywords

  • emotional exhaustion
  • goal attainability
  • goal progress
  • job satisfaction
  • self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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