Original Research

Is there a general factor in goal commitment?

Xander van Lill, Gerhard Roodt, Gideon P. de Bruin
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 46 | a1765 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v46i0.1765 | © 2020 Xander van Lill, Gerhard Roodt, Gideon P. de Bruin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 November 2019 | Published: 27 July 2020

About the author(s)

Xander van Lill, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Gerhard Roodt, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Gideon P. de Bruin, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: While scholars generally agree that organisations benefit from a motivated workforce that is committed to achieving organisational goals, there is much disagreement regarding the theoretical structure of goal commitment.

Research purpose: To provide a useful theoretical structure of the multifaceted nature of goal commitment, while arguing for the existence of a general factor of goal commitment.

Motivation for the study: This article challenges the notion of a unidimensional construct of goal commitment by proposing a more inclusive, yet clearly differentiated, view of goal commitment as a bifactor model.

Research approach, design, and method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in various economic sectors, using different sampling techniques (n = 450). The quantitative data were analysed using confirmatory factor analysis.

Main findings: The findings suggest that a general factor explains a significant amount of common variance among the manifest variables of goal commitment. The recovery of the group factors provided support for a small multidimensional element of goal commitment.

Practical/managerial implications: Human resource specialists should use a more inclusive model of goal commitment to enable more accurate predictions of high performance and provide more depth for development initiatives aimed at employees self-regulating the direction, intensity, and persistence of their actions towards goals. However, the practical use of subscale scores should be tempered by the statistically unique information that such factors provide in addition to a general factor.


Keywords

Work motivation; goal commitment; bifactor; theoretical structure; workforce.

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