Perfectionism, Goal Pursuit, and Work-Related Outcomes: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective

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Cohen, Jessica




Adopting a self-determination theory perspective, the present study sought to investigate how two forms of perfectionism at work, personal standards and self-critical perfectionism, differentially impact goal pursuit, motivation, and various work-related outcomes among employees. One hundred and eighty-one working adults participated, and two time points were used in our analyses. Results show that perfectionism does not predict goal progress for work-related goals. Personal standards perfectionism was associated with increased subjective well-being, whereas self-critical perfectionism was related to increased burnout and workaholism, and decreased subjective well-being over time. Results show that these relationships are not reciprocal in nature, thus perfectionism can be viewed as an antecedent to these work outcomes. Moreover, work motivation was shown to mediate the relationship between both forms of perfectionism and job satisfaction, and the relationship between self-critical perfectionism and subjective well-being. Implications of our findings are discussed in the context of organizations and work adjustment programs.


Psychology - Social
Psychology - Industrial




Carleton University

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