While achievement goal theory is well-represented in the individual motivation literature, we know little about its role in groups. In 2001, Elliot and McGregor proposed a 2 × 2 achievement goal framework, which consists of a mastery-performance goal distinction and an approach-avoidance goal distinction. In the present study, we define this 2 × 2 framework at the group level and examine antecedents and collective motivational outcomes of group-level achievement goals in a longitudinal study among 125 small student groups engaged in a debating course. Results support the group-level 2 × 2 framework, although the shared nature of group-level performance-avoidance requires further attention. Individual dispositional achievement goals, measured before group formation, predicted subsequent group-level achievement goals. Concerning group-level motivational outcomes, a group climate focused on learning and improvement seems especially beneficial, as it related positively to sustained collective effort, group reflexivity, and group task strategy effectiveness, and mitigated adverse effects of group performance-approach achievement goals.

Achievement goals, Group motivation, Groups
dx.doi.org/10.1177/1059601115592990, hdl.handle.net/1765/85025
Group & organization management
Erasmus University Rotterdam

van Mierlo, H, & van Hooft, E.A.J. (2015). A Group-Level Conceptualization of the 2 × 2 Achievement Goal Framework: Antecedents and Motivational Outcomes. Group & organization management, 40(6), 776–808. doi:10.1177/1059601115592990