اهداف دستاورد غالب کارگران مسن تر و ارتباط آنها با نتایج مربوط به انگیزش
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4923||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 77, Issue 1, August 2010, Pages 118–125
The aim of this study was to increase our insight into older employees' achievement motivation by examining the prevalence of dominant achievement goals among a “unique” group of 172 Dutch workers who remained active after their post-statutory retirement age. Moreover, we investigated how their dominant achievement goals were linked to motivation-related outcomes (i.e., work engagement and meaning of work). Our results showed that, relative to younger workers, a significantly higher amount of older workers endorsed dominant mastery-avoidance goals. In addition, as expected, older workers with dominant mastery-approach goals scored highest, while the workers with dominant mastery-avoidance goals scored lowest in work engagement, social and personal meaning of work. Theoretical as well as practical implications of these results are discussed.
The goal approach to achievement motivation has emerged as a highly influential theoretical framework for understanding how people define, experience, and respond to competence-relevant situations, including the workplace (Elliot, 2005). Originally, achievement goals were examined in terms of two major types, namely mastery and performance goals (e.g., Dweck, 1986 and Nicholls, 1984). Mastery goals focus on task-based and intrapersonal standards of competence, while performance goals focus on interpersonal standards of competence. The most sophisticated achievement goal model is the 2 × 2 model developed by Elliot (e.g., Elliot, 1999). In this model, the distinction between approach (focusing on obtaining positive or desirable events) versus avoidance (focusing on avoiding negative or undesirable events) are incorporated into the conceptualizations of achievement goals. Accordingly, it comprises four types of goals: mastery-approach goals (focusing on the attainment of task-based or intrapersonal standards of competence), performance-approach goals (focusing on the attainment of interpersonal standards of competence), mastery-avoidance goals (focusing on the avoidance of task-based or intrapersonal standards of incompetence), and performance-avoidance goals (focusing on the avoidance of interpersonal standards of incompetence). Relying on the dominant achievement goal approach (Van Yperen, 2003 and Van Yperen, 2006), there is increasing empirical evidence that mastery-avoidance goals are highly prevalent, which may be especially true among older workers. For example, Elliot and McGregor (2001) suspected that particularly “elderly people ... begin to focus on not performing worse than before, not stagnating, or not losing their skills, abilities or memory” (p. 502). Nonetheless, to the best of our knowledge, to date, no empirical study has explicitly examined the prevalence and effects of achievement goals among older workers. Therefore, life span developmental theory is applied to postulate theory-based expectations on the prevalence of mastery-avoidance goals among older workers, and on its impact upon motivation-related outcomes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study is the first to examine the prevalence and motivation-related effects of the four achievement goals distinguished in the 2 × 2 model developed by Elliot (e.g., Elliot, 1999) among older workers. As predicted, our results showed that relative to younger workers, a significantly higher number of older workers endorsed dominant mastery-avoidance goals. Moreover, we found that the profiles of older workers with dominant mastery-approach goals and dominant mastery-avoidance goals were predominantly positive and negative, respectively (cf., Van Yperen, 2006). These findings underline the importance of incorporating mastery-avoidance goals in achievement goal research, and examining these types of goals in a work setting among aging workers (cf. Van Yperen et al., 2009). More specifically, the results show that mastery-avoidance goals can indeed be regarded as prototypical for elderly people who begin to focus on not performing worse than before, or not losing their skills and abilities (Elliot, 2005, p. 61; Elliot & McGregor's, 2001, p. 502). This finding implies that with increasing age, achievement motivation may shift from a more extrinsic, competitive pattern to a more intrinsic, mastery-related pattern, and is in line with assumptions of life span theories like the Selection Optimization with Compensation (SOC) theory (Baltes et al., 1999), and the Socio-emotional Selectivity theory (Carstensen, 1998) that suggest more “avoidance” orientations among older workers. An unexpected observation was that a relatively high number of older workers reported a performance-approach goal as their dominant achievement goal. Possibly, performance-approach goals are realistic and attainable only for the great performers (Van Yperen & Renkema, 2008), a qualification that is highly suitable for workers who remain active after their post-statutory retirement age, relative to retired non-workers of similar age who face comparable or more losses in terms of skills and abilities (Suls & Wheeler, 2008). When examining the relations between achievement goals and motivation-related outcomes, our results revealed that older workers with dominant mastery-approach goals scored highest, and mastery-avoidance goal workers scored lowest in work engagement, social and personal meaning of work. In contrast to the pattern observed in some previous studies (Elliot & McGregor, 2001 and Van Yperen, 2006), but in line with others (e.g., Sideridis, 2008 and Van Yperen et al., 2009), our findings suggest that, among older workers, the profile associated with dominant mastery-avoidance goals is quite negative (revealing a negative adjustment or motivational self-regulatory process to meet developmental goals; Heckhausen, 1986). However, in line with the extant literature, also among older workers, mastery-approach goals seem to be the ideal form of competence-based regulation (Elliot, 2005). In line with previous findings (e.g., Elliot & Moller, 2003 and Van Yperen, 2006), for older performance-approach goal employees, mixed and intermediate scores were observed. Unexpectedly, however, we found intermediate (work engagement) and more positive scores (social meaning attached to work) for the older, performance-avoidance goal workers. This may be explained by the fact that the performance-avoidance goal can be regarded as a “metaregulatory” optimization strategy of older workers to cope with their age-related losses in a performance culture at work (Heckhausen, 2005). That is, among older workers, performance-avoidance goals may have positive effects, because pursuing these may imply engagement in inspiring, upward social comparisons with younger coworkers who face no or less age-related losses (Festinger, 1954). In other words, to create more social meaning in their work and retain their self-image, the present performance-avoidance goal workers may have focused on not performing worse than superior younger coworkers. Future research may therefore focus on the subjects for comparison that are selected by older workers for evaluating their performance goals. Practical Implications A practical implication is that managers are urged to facilitate mastery-approach goals (Elliot, 2005). According to Ames (1992), a mastery orientation can be facilitated by emphasizing evaluation in terms of progress and improvement, and by accepting errors or mistakes as part of the learning process in work or in training programs. Furthermore, managers can also use more distant-future perspectives in the description of task-related goals (i.e., next year I will have completed this training and learned new skills) to encourage the adoption of approach goals (Hamamura & Heine, 2008 and Pennington & Roese, 2003). Regardless of age, employees need to be enabled and to invest time and energy to learn new skills aimed at a broader functioning instead of focusing upon routine performance. Only in case of both an enriching job as well as a constructive mastery-approach facilitating managerial style, can employees flourish, and is their motivation taken care of (de Lange et al., in press). Limitations Firstly, the dominant achievement goal measure developed by Van Yperen (2006) does not tap the intensity of goal striving, and does not include the possibility of examining goal combinations (Barron & Harackiewicz, 2001 and Elliot, 2005). Secondly, the current study is based on a cross-sectional design. With longitudinal data, the stability of the current achievement measure can be studied, by examining differential continuity (i.e., rank-order consistency of concepts across time), mean-level change (i.e., average amount of construct change over time within sample), as well as ipsative continuity (i.e., stability and change in an individual's configuration of constructs over time (Fryer & Elliot, 2007 and Hertzog & Nesselroade, 2003). Moreover, it is difficult to disentangle the age effects found in this study from so-called cohort effects. We cannot exclude that historical differences in experiences account for differences among the older workers versus our reference group of younger, more female, and higher educated cohorts of workers (Folkman, Lazarus, Pimley, & Novacek, 1987). Moreover, as the Dutch funded pension programs (in the late 1990s) and protected retirement programs may have contributed to the effects found, we cannot directly generalize the findings to other national contexts. For example, in the US, retirement-aged workers face increasing uncertainty about the future of their social security benefits. Thus, in this case the incentives for obtaining a mastery-approach orientation may be much stronger than in countries having liberal pension programs. Research Agenda Despite its limitations, we believe that our findings have important implications for future research, and call for further examination of age-related processes. Reviews of the relationships between age and organizationally relevant outcomes (e.g., Kooij et al., 2008 and Sterns & Miklos, 1995) have suggested that chronological or calendar age serves as a proxy measure for many age-related processes (Kanfer & Ackerman, 2004). Elliot and Reis (2003) pointed to adult attachment style as a possible relevant age-related factor that needs further examination in relation to achievement goals of aging workers. Moreover, we think it is important to better understand the dynamics between achievement goals, retirement as well as type of bridge employment (i.e., type of employment after job; Gobeski & Beehr, 2009) across time. There are reasons to expect both stability as well as change in achievement goals across time (Fryer & Elliot, 2007). For example, a reason for stability is that achievement goals represent aims that emerge from relatively stable personality characteristics, like achievement motives (Elliot & Church, 1997). On the other hand, goals represent a form of self-regulation that is influenced by the experience of goal pursuit, its progress, and the need for goal revision. According to Fryer and Elliot (2007), life events beyond the achievement context (such as one's retirement) can result in necessary adaptive shifts in goal intensification or pursued type of goal. In order to examine these possible age-related intra-individual changes in dominant achievement goals, it is important to longitudinally examine questions like: (i) does retirement (being a stressful life event) result in goal revision (e.g., from a mastery-approach goal to a mastery-avoidance goal)? (ii) Is the type of bridge employment (i.e., type of job after retirement) a predictor of goal revision? (iii) Do we find, in line with the continuity theory of retirement (Atchley, 1989), more stable results across time; such that the retirees hold the same achievement goals in their pre-retirement job as well as in their bridge job (Topa et al., 2009 and Wang et al., 2008)? In conclusion, this study has shown that mastery-avoidance goals are most dominant among post-statutory retirement age workers, and can be detrimental for their work engagement, personal and social meaning of work. Organizations should therefore pay attention to strengthen older (as well as younger) workers' mastery-approach goals to retain and increase their work motivation.