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J Appl Psychol. 2003 Feb;88(1):40-9.

Latent constructs of proximal and distal motivation predicting performance under maximum test conditions.

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  • 1Department of Management, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. andrea.kirk-brown@buseco.monash.edu.au


The concept of a maximum-typical performance dimension has received theoretical and empirical support in research on the construct of job performance. The critical distinction between maximum and typical performance resides in the postulate that under maximum test conditions motivational factors will be constant and maximal. The present study challenges the notion of the maximum performance paradigm by testing the effects of proximal (self-efficacy) and distal (need for achievement) motivation on performance under maximum test conditions. The authors used a walk-through performance test to evaluate the performance of 90 employees. The structural model demonstrates significant pathways between latent measures of motivation and performance ratings. The findings confirm the explanatory power of the motivation construct under maximum test conditions.

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