Competition and Achievement Goals in Work Teams

Heike Heidemeier*, Jenny V. Bittner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

23 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined how competition within teams influences which type of achievement goals employees adopt. We studied how dispositional learning-goal and performance-goal orientation interact with team-level competition and predict whether team members adopt state learning or performance achievement goals. State achievement goals, in turn, were proximal antecedents of two outcome measures: job-related self-efficacy and supervisory ratings of job performance. The participants were 502 employees and 55 supervisors. Results confirmed that competition was positively associated with state performance goals. Trait performance-goal orientation influenced whether competition was negatively associated with state learning goals. In highly competitive teams, trait performance-goal orientation was negatively related to state learning goals, whereas in less competitive teams, a performance-goal orientation was positively related to state learning goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-158
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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