Validating a four-profile goal orientation solution using cluster analysis: Examining stress and attitudinal response patterns among organizational employees

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Fortunato, Vincent J.

Fortunato, V. J. (2006). Validating a Four-Profile Goal Orientation Solution Using Cluster Analysis: Examining Stress and Attitudinal Response Patterns Among Organizational Employees. Applied Multivariate Research, 12(2), 125-152.


Although goal orientation has been conceptualized as a multi-dimensional construct, researchers typically examine the simple relationships between the different dimensions and outcome variables of interest. Recently however, Fortunato and Goldblatt (2006), using cluster analytic procedures, found that a four-cluster solution best explained variance in individuals' scores on a trichotomous measure of goal orientation, as well across a variety of dispositional and motivational variables. This investigation was designed to validate the four-cluster goal orientation solution and expand current organizational research by examining a variety of stress and attitudinal variables. Data from two work samples were collected: bank employees (N = 156) and retail customer service personnel (N = 212). A four-cluster solution similar to that observed by Fortunato and Goldblatt was the best solution across both samples. Because a profile approach is consistent with theory. I recommend that goal orientation researchers take a multi-dimensional (i.e., profile) approach when analyzing their data.

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