Interplay of Clear, Demanding and Important Goals on Project Performance in Community-Academic Health Partnerships

Choi Wai Chak*, Lara Carminati, Celeste P.M. Wilderom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Community–academic health partnerships (CAHPs) have become increasingly common to bridge the knowledge-to-practice gap in health care. Because working in such partnerships can be excessively challenging, insights into the individual-level enablers of high performance will enable better management of CAHPs.

Purpose: Steered by the goal-setting theory, this study examined the relations between goal clarity, goal stress, goal importance, and their interactions on perceived project performance among individuals working in CAHPs’ constituting projects.

Methodology: Using a convergent mixed-method research design, online survey data were collected from 268 participants working in a variety of CAHP projects in three German-speaking countries. We tested the hypotheses using structural equation modeling, after which thematic analysis was carried out on the 209 open-ended responses.

Results: CAHP project performance was positively associated with goal clarity and negatively associated with goal stress. A three-way interaction analysis showed that when goal importance was high, the relationship between goal clarity and project performance remained positive regardless of the level of goal stress. The qualitative data corroborate this finding.

Conclusion: In CAHP projects, high goal importance offsets the negative effect of goal stress on project performance, indicating that workers who perceive the project goals as important can manage the stress associated with demanding goals better.

Practice Implications: To achieve high project performance in CAHPs, organizational and project leaders should (a) set clear project goals, (b) facilitate project workers in dealing with stress resulting from overly demanding goals, and (c) emphasize the importance of the project goals, especially when goal stress is high.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-217
Number of pages10
JournalHealth care management review
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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