The impact of goal orientation on the association between leadership style and follower performance, creativity and work attitudes

Simon Andrew Moss, Damian Anthony Ritossa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines whether goal orientation - which refers to whether individuals strive to learn skills, attract favourable evaluations, or minimize unfavourable judgments - influences whether transformational leadership improves employee performance, creativity and work attitudes. A sample of 263 employees completed a questionnaire in which they assessed their own goal orientation and commitment, as well as evaluated the leadership style of their supervisor. Moreover, these supervisors appraised the performance and creativity of their employees. The findings revealed that a learning orientation magnified the benefits of contingent reward - in which leaders provide clear incentives to motivate employees - on normative commitment. Furthermore, when employees endeavoured to attract favourable evaluations, intellectual stimulation was more likely to foster normative commitment. Finally, when employees endeavored to minimize unfavourable judgments, inspirational motivation diminished affective commitment to the organization. These findings suggest the goal orientation of employees should be optimized before plans to encourage transformational leadership are instituted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433 - 456
Number of pages24
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Cite this