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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


VAN LILL, Xander; ROODT, Gerhard  and  DE BRUIN, Gideon P.. Is there a general factor in goal commitment?. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2020, vol.46, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 2071-0763.

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. CONTRIBUTIONS/VALUE-ADD: This study proposes a more comprehensive theory and clear articulation of the structure of goal commitment.

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

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