The Moderating Effects of Performance Ambiguity on the Relationship Between Self-Efficacy and Performance

Aaron M. Schmidt, Richard P. DeShon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent research (e.g., Vancouver & Kendall, 2006; Vancouver, Thompson, Tischner, & Putka, 2002; Vancouver, Thompson, & Williams, 2001) has challenged the conventional view of self-efficacy as a positive influence on performance, finding a negative within-person relationship between self-efficacy and performance. In the current study, performance ambiguity is examined as a potential boundary condition for this negative self-efficacy effect. As hypothesized, self-efficacy was negatively related to subsequent performance under conditions of high ambiguity but was positively related to performance when performance ambiguity was low. Additionally, the study evaluates key mediating processes underlying the relationship between self-efficacy and performance, finding support for the role of performance perceptions and effort allocation. The results of this study help to establish the scope of the phenomenon and suggest potential means of inhibiting the negative self-efficacy effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-581
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume95
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • Ambiguity
  • Control theory
  • Feedback
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-regulation

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