What motivates people, and when do they perform optimally at work? In this contribution, we take a regulatory focus perspective (RFT, Higgins, 1997) to provide answers to these important questions. We report the results of multiple studies, conducted in complex organizational environments. In many of those environments, there is a clear preference for promotion oriented employees and leaders. Yet, many jobs contain both promotion and prevention tasks. Our results show that the use of the prevention orientation contributes importantly to both individual and organizational performance.

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Wat motiveert mensen in hun werk? Hoe kunnen ze optimaal presteren? In deze bijdrage benaderen Dagmar Beudeker cs. deze vragen vanuit het perspectief van de Regulatory Focus Theory (RFT) van Higgins (1997). Onderhavig artikel is gebaseerd op meerdere studies waarin de relatie tussen zelfregulatie-oriëntaties en werkprestaties van mensen in complexe organisaties nader is onderzocht.

Wat motiveert mensen in hun werk, en hoe kunnen ze optimaal presteren? Dit zijn belangrijke vragen waar veel psychologen in de praktijk mee te maken hebben. In deze bijdrage benaderen we deze vragen vanuit het perspectief van de Regulatory Focus Theory (RFT) van Higgins (1997)17. RFT gaat uit van twee systemen die het doelgerichte gedrag van mensen sturen; een preventie-oriëntatie en een promotieoriëntatie. Wanneer iemand een preventie-oriëntatie heeft, is deze persoon gericht op het nakomen van verplichtingen en op het voorkomen van fouten. Wanneer iemand een promotie-oriëntatie heeft, ligt de nadruk juist op het verwezenlijken van idealen en is men op zoek naar kansen om dit succes te bereiken.

De zelfregulatie-oriëntaties die mensen in het werk hanteren kunnen helpen hun werkprestaties te optimaliseren. Deze oriëntaties beïnvloeden namelijk de manier waarop mensen aan hun taken werken en hoe ze proberen om goede resultaten te behalen (Crowe & Higgins, 1997; Friedman & Förster, 2001; Fö


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