Self-improvement and cooperation: How exchange relationships promote mastery-approach driven individuals' job outcomes

P. Marijn Poortvliet, Ellen Giebels

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36 Citations (Scopus)
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In the present research we argue that mastery-approach goals may be beneficial in social achievement contexts because these goals lead to constructive exchange relationship building. An examination of three methodologically complementary studies revealed that mastery-approach goals lead to more cooperative and higher-quality exchange relationships than performance-approach goals and are, ultimately, associated with better job outcomes, as well. The results of a questionnaire study demonstrated that mastery-approach goals are more strongly related to cooperative motives and more weakly related to competitive motives than performance-approach goals. Furthermore, an experimental study indicated that mastery-approach driven individuals show a higher concern for others and are more strongly inclined to cooperate with an exchange partner when engaged in a complex reasoning task than performance-approach driven individuals. Finally, an organizational field study showed that team–member exchange mediates the effect of mastery-approach goals on job performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-425
Number of pages36
JournalEuropean journal of work and organizational psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • IR-80806
  • METIS-287010

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