The Influence Of Goal Orientation On Trainee Learing Strategies And Outcomes Of A Work Readiness Program

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Singleton, Charyl Staci
Goal Orientation; Training
thesis / dissertation description
Goal orientation is a construct that has been used to explain individuals' focus in achievement situations. Three subcomponents of this construct have been linked to a number of training-related processes and outcomes. Those higher on avoid performance goal orientation withdraw from situations in which they may appear incompetent to others. Those higher on prove performance goal orientation approach situations in which they can demonstrate their competence to others. Finally, those high on learning goal orientation approach situations in which they can continually grow and master new skills. Prior research has consistently found that effective learning strategies and outcomes are positively associated with learning goal orientation and negatively associated with avoid goal orientation. However, the findings with respect to prove goal orientation have been mixed. One possible reason for this is that the effect of prove goal orientation may be dependent on one's concurrent level of learning goal orientation. The present study investigated this notion using participants from an understudied population: unemployed adults. Specifically, data were collected from 188 unemployed females who participated in a training program designed to enhance basic work competencies necessary for most entry-level jobs. Results indicated that those higher on avoid performance goal orientation put forth less effort in voluntary practice activities took longer to complete the training program and learned less than those lower on avoid performance goal orientation. Additionally, prove performance goal orientation interacted with learning goal orientation to predict the amount of time spent practicing and learning. Theoretical and practical implications for training needs analysis, development, and assessment will be discussed.