The Good Life Versus the “Goods Life”: An Investigation of Goal Contents Theory and Employee Subjective Well-Being in Asia

Goal Contents Theory (GCT) would suggest that not all goals are created equal – intrinsic, relative to extrinsic, aspirations are related to greater subjective well-being. Using one of the most comprehensive surveys of Asia ever conducted (Inoguchi, 2003-2007), the current study examines the tenets of GCT. Results show intrinsic (i.e., health, safety and security, affiliation, community feeling, self-acceptance and growth) relative to extrinsic goal orientation (i.e., materialism) is related to higher levels of satisfaction with one’s income, job, life, and accomplishment. Additionally, results of linear and nonlinear modeling display the diminishing marginal utility of income (the most widely utilized extrinsic incentive) on subjective well-being. Finally, Multilevel Item Response Theory (MIRT) analysis results confirm the ordering of intrinsic need strength and display the positive effect of national human development (i.e., Human Development Index) on individual intrinsic need orientation. Results demonstrate the importance of organizational and national policies regarding human development.

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Matthew J. Monnot, University of San Francisco, USA

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Added on Monday, July 18th, 2016

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