Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado

Faculty Sponsor

Michael M. Phillips


Ensuring employees are and remain motivated is an important issue for organizations. One problem regarding employee motivation is not everyone is motivated in the same way, thus affecting performance. Goal setting has shown to increase performance when specific and difficult goals are set. Moreover, newer research concerning motivational traits has sought to explain individual differences in motivation. This trait framework shows potential, but research on the relationship between job performance, goal-setting and motivational traits has not been clearly established. The goals of this correlational study were to (1) determine if a relationship exists between motivational traits and job performance, (2) if a relationship between motivational traits and goal setting exists, and (3) to examine goal setting as a mediator between motivational traits and job performance. Participants were recruited to complete a goal-setting activity and the Motivational Traits Questionnaire (MTQ) short-form; supervisors evaluated their job performance. Competitive excellence (an MTQ subscale) positively predicted higher job performance, but goal setting did not have a mediating effect. Further research on this potential connection would need to be expanded into different workplaces to be more generalizable.

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