The Development of an Extended Goal-Striving Reasons Framework: Evidence for Its Relevance in the Workplace, for Its Theoretical Difference to Self-Concordance and for Its Buffering Effect on Work Intensity

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Christian Ehrlich


Extended goal-striving reasons framework; self-concordance, engagement, assertiveness, and work intensity.


This paper aims to provide further empirical evidence for the relevance of the goal-striving reasons framework in relation to people’s positive psychological functioning. More specifically, it presents an extended version of the goal-striving reasons framework which, compared with the original framework, is shown to have increased predictive strength for work engagement and burnout. This also demonstrates, for the first time, the relevance of the goal-striving reasons framework for the work context. The paper also provides evidence of the theoretical differences between the goal-striving reasons framework and the self-concordance model. These differences revolve around the notion that goal-striving reasons are more sensitive to the influence of others and are therefore significantly correlated with people’s assertiveness levels, whereas self-concordance is not. Following on from these theoretical differences around assertiveness, findings further show that goal-striving reasons also reduce the negative effects of high work intensity on burnout. The study employed a quantitative, longitudinal research design comprising of 257 voluntary sector workers (not volunteers) at time 1 and 137 participants at time 2. Findings are mainly based on multiple (including hierarchical) regression analyses. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings revolve around the notion that the extended goal-striving reasons framework constitutes a more comprehensive measure of goal-reasons when compared to the original framework. It also offers a real alternative to self-concordance when measuring goal-reasons - particularly in a research context where goal pursuits are not freely chosen but are strongly influenced by others.


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