Journal Article

The relevance of identified and intrinsic goal motivation for work engagement


Background/Research aim: This study analyses the relevance of intrinsic and identified goal motivation within self-concordance indices for work engagement. Classical self-concordance indices assume equal importance for intrinsic and identified motivation whereas self-determination theory and research on implicit-explicit motives suggest that intrinsic motivation is more relevant when predicting engagement. Thus, this study aims to empirically test the individual predictive power of intrinsic and identified goal motivation for work engagement. Methodology: Participants completed a self-administered, online questionnaire whereby self-concordance was based on their two most important work-related goals. The sample consisted of N = 388 non-profit sector employees in paid employment. The study employed multiple regression analyses as well as t-test for independent samples. Results: Findings, based on multiple regression analyses show that intrinsic goal motivation is a significant predictor of work engagement whereas identified motivation is not. Furthermore, t-tests for independent samples indicate that high intrinsic/low identified individuals report higher levels of engagement than high identified/low intrinsic motivated individuals. Based on these findings, a more parsimonious self-concordance index without identified motivation is proposed. Discussion: The findings of this study suggest that intrinsic goal motivation is the only relevant predictor of work engagement which suggest that the way self-concordance is typically measured, whereby intrinsic and identified goal motivation are seen as equally important, seems incorrect. Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, a more parsimonious measure of self-concordance, without identified goal motivation, is proposed when used to predict work engagement.

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Ehrlich, Christian

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School\Oxford Brookes Business School\Department of Business and Management


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-05-14

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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