Smith, Rebecca; Jayasuriya, Rohan; Caputi, Peter; and Hammer, David, 2008, Exploring the role of goal theory in understanding training motivation, International Journal of Training and Development, 12(1), 54-72.
A model to test conceptions from goal theory within an existing framework of training motivation was developed and tested with employees participating in training in a non-profit organization. It was hypothesized that goal orientation (’distal factors’) along with self-efficacy, expectancy and valence (‘proximal factors’) would predict goal intentions as well as training outcomes such as affective responses to training, perceptions of training utility and intention to transfer or use the training provided. Results revealed that goal orientation predicted a significant proportion of variance in the proximal antecedents (valence (33 per cent), expectancy (39 per cent) and self-efficacy (31 per cent)) whereas the proximal antecedents explained 43 per cent of the variance in goal intentions. In turn, goal intentions were related to training outcomes (affect (b = 0.7), utility (b = 0.6) and transfer intention (b = 0.5)). Goal intentions mediated the relationship between proximal antecedents and training outcomes, providing evidence that goal intentions play a pivotal role in the causal path from proximal factors to training outcomes. Valence alone was found to be a significant mediator of the relationship between goal orientation and goal intentions.