Predicting Quality of Work Life: From Work Conditions to Self-Regulation

Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 16)


Quality of work has been frequently defined in terms of work conditions. Work conditions, described in theoretical models (as the Job Demand-Control-Social support model, the Effort-Reward Imbalance model and the Vitamin model) are presented as important predictors of wellness/health outcomes. Although empirical findings have clearly illustrated the predictive power of these models, limitations and inconsistent results support the exploration of additional, complementary perspectives. We suggest a person-centered, self-regulatory approach to quality of work life. Personal goals are presented as the core predictor of wellness and health. Within Motivational Systems theory (MST), personal goals help employees direct and organize behavior The strategies and processes involved in goal pursuit are predictive of goal attainment The opportunity to attain goals or the frustration of one’s goals is the key to health and wellness. Although there are several theoretical models and theories describing the cognitive and emotional processes involved in the pursuit of personal goals, empirical research concentrating on such phenomena at the workplace has been scarce. An overview of studies investigating the relationship between personal goals and wellness/health outcomes among employees is presented and discussed. Although most of the studies stem from different theoretical models, we focus on goal processes that are common with MST processes in an attempt to provide constructive and systematic conclusions. Goal processes were significantly predictive of wellness indicators and work-related outcomes in cross-sectional as well as longitudinal studies. More attention should however be paid on the assessment and operationalization of goals and the choice of the appropriate goal level. Personal goals and the processes involved in goal pursuit are certainly worthy of further investigation as part of sound, integrative models.


Goal Orientation Goal Attainment Personal Goal Goal Process Goal Pursuit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences, Health Psychology SectionLeidenThe Netherlands

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