Goal Orientation: A Review of the Miles Traveled and the Miles to Go

Posted: 20 Feb 2019

See all articles by Don Vandewalle

Don Vandewalle

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department

Christina Nerstad

BI Norwegian Business School - Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

Anders Dysvik

Independent

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

Goal orientation, a theory that originated primarily in the educational and social psychology fields, has emerged in the past two decades as a prominent theory in organizational psychology and organizational behavior. We review the state of affairs for goal orientation research with the following roadmap. First, we discuss the historical roots of goal orientation. Next, we summarize the nomological network of goal orientation and describe the processing frameworks associated with goal orientation factors. We then discuss the crucial role of moderator variables to explain the notable variance found in goal orientation–outcome variable relationships. We next summarize the research findings on the relationship of goal orientation with the proximal mediator and distal outcome variables. We conclude the review with a miles-to-go discussion of several major issues currently faced in goal orientation research.

Suggested Citation

Vandewalle, Don and Nerstad, Christina and Dysvik, Anders, Goal Orientation: A Review of the Miles Traveled and the Miles to Go (January 2019). Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp. 115-144, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3336087 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-041015-062547

Don Vandewalle (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department ( email )

United States

Christina Nerstad

BI Norwegian Business School - Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour ( email )

Norway

Anders Dysvik

Independent

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