Trait activation in goal commitment: interactions between achievement striving and situational cues
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Aksoy, Eda and Bayazıt, Mahmut (2019) Trait activation in goal commitment: interactions between achievement striving and situational cues. In: Academy of Management Annual Conference, Boston, MA, USA (Accepted/In Press)
Utilizing trait-activation theory, this study examines the interactions between achievement striving personality trait and situational cues on individuals’ level of goal commitment. Commitment to three different goal types (customer, service, and finance) were investigated. Hypotheses were tested using survey data collected from 297 managers employed in six large firms operating under a Turkish family business group and using a common management-by-objectives system. In support of the premises of the demands-trait fit perspective, a match (high-high or low-low) between social (i.e., supervisor’s transformational leadership and peer group norms), organizational (i.e., reward expectancy), and discretionary (i.e., psychological empowerment) situational cues lead to larger increases in goal commitment than a mismatch (high-low or low-high). These findings indicated that employees are more likely to express achievement striving personality trait in the context of difficult assigned goals when these high task demands are commensurate with leadership behaviors, group norms, and reward systems. Also, having high goal difficulty with low achievement striving is linked with significant decreases in goal commitment, which can be attributed to perceived job strain due to unwelcome job demands. The proposed three-way interaction effects were generally significant for customer and process goals, but not for finance goals, indicating that there are motivational differences across goals depending on content.
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