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Business and Management
Oxford Brookes Business School
+44 (0) 1865 485828
CLC 128 (Headington)
Christian completed his MSc in Occupational Psychology at the University of Mannheim (Germany). He is currently working as a Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Oxford Brookes Business School. Before joining Oxford Brookes Business School in 2009 he worked as a Senior Lecturer in Business Psychology at the London Metropolitan Business School and as a research assistant at the Department of Human Factors and Industrial Management (University of Kaiserslautern/Germany). He did his PhD at the University of Kaiserslautern (Germany) in 2003 on the topic of work motivation. His major research and consultancy areas are all around personal change mostly on motivation, goal setting and happiness.
Involved in the following programmes
- Professional Doctorate in Coaching and Mentoring
- Global MBa
- MA HRM
Integrative Workshop 1 on the MBA
Advanced Quants on the Professional Doctorate
Developing Skills for Business Leadership on the MA HRM
Main areas of research
- goal setting (particularly the goal-striving reasons framework)
- happiness/subjective well being/ menta health
Ehrlich, C. & Harzer, C. (2014). International Research Partnership Small Grant Scheme. Oxford Brookes University (£1856)
Ehrlich C. (2017). Research Excellence Award. Oxford Brookes University (£10.000).
This study analyses the relevance of intrinsic and identified goal motivation within self-concordance indices for work engagement. Classical self-concordance indices assume equal importance for intrinsic and identified motivation whereas self-determination theory and research on implicit-explicit motives suggest that intrinsic motivation is more relevant when predicting engagement. Thus, this study aims to empirically test the individual predictive power of intrinsic and identified goal motivation for work engagement.
Participants completed a self-administered, online questionnaire whereby self-concordance was based on their two most important work-related goals. The sample consisted of N = 388 non-profit sector employees in paid employment. The study employed multiple regression analyses as well as t-test for independent samples.
Findings, based on multiple regression analyses show that intrinsic goal motivation is a significant predictor of work engagement whereas identified motivation is not. Furthermore, t-tests for independent samples indicate that high intrinsic/low identified individuals report higher levels of engagement than high identified/low intrinsic motivated individuals. Based on these findings, a more parsimonious self-concordance index without identified motivation is proposed.
The findings of this study suggest that intrinsic goal motivation is the only relevant predictor of work engagement which suggest that the way self-concordance is typically measured, whereby intrinsic and identified goal motivation are seen as equally important, seems incorrect.
Based on the findings of this study, a more parsimonious measure of self-concordance, without identified goal motivation, is proposed when used to predict work engagement.
This paper compares the predictive power of the goal-striving reasons model and the self-concordance model on a sub-dimensional and an individual goal-striving reasons level based on a cross-sectional research design (N = 139). Multiple regression analyses on a sub-dimensional level show that approach, as well as avoidance goal motivation, have higher predictive power in the prediction of affective and cognitive subjective well-being than autonomous and controlled goal motivation. Equally, the predictive power of the four individual goal-striving reasons is generally stronger than the predictive power of the individual self-concordance reasons. The analyses of the theoretical differences between goal-striving reasons and self-concordance show that on an overall goal-striving reasons index level, on a sub-dimensional level as well as on an individual goal-striving reasons level that the goal-striving reasons framework is generally more strongly related to measures representing people’s tendency to be influenced by others in their goal pursuit. Self-concordance is not significantly associated with either of these measures. Based on these findings, it is concluded that the goal-striving reasons framework is more sensitive to the influence of others than self-concordance. The theoretical implications of these findings revolve around the fact that goal-striving reasons can be seen as a more comprehensive goal reason measure than self-concordance. Practical implications point towards the importance of personal assertiveness as a correlate of positive goal-striving reasons.
The present study is aimed at studying the research question whether high satisfaction levels achieved through either (1) the fact that one’s quality of life is truly satisfactory (i.e., stabilised life satisfaction) or through (2) adapting a more favourable perception of one’s quality of life by lowering standards (i.e., resigned life satisfaction) are associated with different levels of positive (PA) and negative affect (NA) when compared to each other but also when compared to dissatisfied individuals.
A sample of 104 adults completed measures assessing stabilised and resigned life satisfaction, PA and NA, and global life satisfaction (i.e., no explicit consideration of differences in standards) in an online survey. Participants were not paid for participation but received feedback on results of the study if interest was expressed.
Stabilised life satisfaction and global life satisfaction showed highly similar correlation pattern with PA and NA. Resigned satisfaction was negatively associated with PA and positively correlated with NA. Stabilised and resigned satisfied individuals showed more favourable levels of PA and NA compared to dissatisfied individuals, but did not differ from each other with regard to their levels of PA and NA.
Although showing a less favourable correlation pattern with PA and NA, adopting a resigned form of satisfaction (i.e., taking a more favourable view of one’s quality of life by lowering individual standards) seemed to prevent individuals from experiencing the same high levels of NA like dissatisfied ones. This has not been studied in detail so far, and therefore, the present paper opens a further area of research within the context of life satisfaction.
The paper at hand extends the goal-striving reasons framework in three different ways, using two empirical studies. The first cross-sectional study (N= 146) extends the framework by analysing the degree to which goal-striving reasons predict subjective well-being (SWB) over and above classical measures of goal content, approach-avoidance goals and self-concordance. The second study contributes to the extension of the framework in the following two ways. By providing longitudinal data (n = 43), study 2 allows to test whether goal-striving reasons have any causal impact on future SWB levels. Study 2 also contains further cross-sectional data (N = 69) to investigate the degree to which people’s core self-evaluations, proactivity levels, and self-actualisation tendencies are associated with more SWB-enhancing goal-striving reasons. The findings of study 1 suggest that goal-striving reasons have incremental validity over other goal-related measures in the prediction of affective and cognitive SWB. The findings of study 2 further show that goal-striving reasons influence future SWB levels, and that core self-evaluations are positively correlated with SWB-enhancing goal-striving reasons.
Journal articles, book chapters
Ehrlich, C. & Fasbender, U. (2017). Approach-avoidance conflict. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer.
Harzer, C., & Ehrlich, C. (2016). Different forms of life satisfaction and their relation to affectivity. Edorium Journal of Psychology, 2, 8-13.
Ehrlich, C., & Bipp, T. (2016). Goals and subjective well-being: Further evidence for goal-striving reasons as an additional level of goal analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 89, 92-99.
Ehrlich, C. (2012). Be careful what you wish for but also why you wish for it: Goal-striving reasons and affective subjective well-being. Journal of Positive Psychology, 7 (6), 493-503.
Ehrlich, C (2009). Diagnosing and modifying personal goals. Investigations, 5 (2), p. 121-127.
Ehrlich, C. (2009). Diagnosing and modifying personal goals: A training programme. Assessment & Development Matters, 1 (3), 13-15.
Ehrlich, C. (2008). Fragebogen zur Erfassung motivationsfoerdernder Arbeitsbedingungen (Questionnaire to measure motivational facets at work). Zeitschrift fuer Wirtschaftspsychology, 10 (4), 77- 91.
Ehrlich, C. (2007). Differentielle Gestaltungskonzepte zur Foerderung von Arbeitsmotivation (Customised concepts to foster work motivation). In: Nachhaltige Unternehmensfuehrung. Haas, B., Oetinger, R., Ritter, A., Thul, M. (Ed). Hanser: Stuttgart.
Zink, K.J., & Ehrlich, C. (2006). Organisationsgestaltung (Organisational design). In B. Zimolong & U. Konradt (Eds.), Enzyklopädie der Psychologie, Band Ingenieurspsychologie – D/III/2. (S. 1-27). Göttingen: Hogrefe.
Ehrlich, C. (2006). Work motivation – state of the art. In W. Karwowski (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors (S. 829 – 833). Florida: CRC Press.
Ehrlich, C., & Lange, Y. (2006). Zufrieden statt motiviert (Satisfied but not motivated). Personal, 58 (4), 1-10.
Ehrlich, C. (2006). The EFQM-Model and work motivation. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 17 (2), 131 – 140.
Ehrlich, C. (2003). Erfassung und Gestaltung von Motivationspotenzialen als Aufgabe der Personalführung (Measurement and Design of motivational facets at work). Hampp: München.
Zink, K. J., & Ehrlich, C. (2003). Motivation – Das Job-Characteristics-Modell (The Job Characteristics Model0. In K.A. Geißler, S. Laske & A. Orthey (Eds.), Handbuch Personalentwicklung 87. Erg.-Lfg. 2A.1 (S. 1-20). Köln: Deutscher Wirtschaftsdienst.
Zink, K.J., & Ehrlich, C. (2002). Motivation. In K.A. Geißler, S. Laske & A. Orthey (Eds.), Handbuch Personalentwicklung (Handbook Personnel Development) 78. Erg.-Lfg. 6.39. (S. 1‑14). Köln: Deutscher Wirtschaftsdienst.
Ehrlich, C. & Lapworth, L. (2013). The Measurement of Goal-Striving Reasons and their Relevance for Employees in the Voluntary Sector. In Proceeding of the 27th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management. Liverpool. 10-12 September 2013.
Ehrlich, C. (2012). Stabilised and Resigned Forms of Life Satisfaction and Their Implications for Positive and Negative Affect. In Proceeding of the 10th Conference of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology. Zuerich. 11-13 April 2012.
Bartlett, D., Ehrlich, C. & Pheiffer, G. (2009). "Corporate Social Responsibility: Setting An Agenda For The Contribution of Work Psychology." In Proceedings of 14th European Congress of Work and Organizational Psychology. Santiago de Compostela. 13-16. May 2009.
Pheiffer, G. & Ehrlich, C. (2009) The influence of organisational climate and managers values on CSR perceptions. In Proceedings of 14th European Congress of Work and Organizational Psychology. Santiago de Compostela. 13-16. May 2009.
Ehrlich C. (2009). Development of a framework to synthesise acknowledged questionnaires on work motivation and self developed motivation scales to develop a comprehensive questionnaire to measure motivating work characteristics. Paper presented at the BPS Occupational Psychology Conference: 14-16. January, Blackpool.
Ehrlich, C. (2009). Is the nature of Life Satisfaction comparable to Job Satisfaction? - The application of Bruggemann’s model of Job Satisfaction to Life Satisfaction-. 2ndAnnual Research Conference, London Metropolitan University, 2009.
Ehrlich, C. (2008). Implicit and explicit motives and their repercussions on multiple goal conflicts. 1st Annual Research Conference, London Metropolitan University, 2008.
Marson, K., Pheiffer, G., Ehrlich, C., & Patel, R. (2007). The utility of focusing on Identity Motives during organisational Merger. Paper presented at the BPS Social Psychology Conference; 5 – 7 September, University of Kent.
Ehrlich, C. Maxeiner, T. (2007). Lerntechniken, Zielkonflikte und ihre Auswirkungen auf lernrelevante Variablen (Learning strategies, goal conflicts and there repercussions on learning outcomes). Paper presented at the 52. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft in Heidelberg, 2007 (S. 223-227). Dortmund: GfA-Press.
Ehrlich, C. (2006). A Questionnaire on motivation potentials at work and its relevance in the EFQM-Model. Paper presented at the 2nd Integrating for Excellence Conference in Sheffield, (2006) (pp. 175-183).
Ehrlich, C. (2006). Ein Konzept zur Messung von Arbeitsmotivation und –zufriedenheit und dessen Mehrwert für Unternehmen (A Concept to measure work motivation and job satisfaction and its added value for organisations). Paper presented at the 52. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft in Stuttgart, (2006) (S. 415-419).
Ehrlich, C. (2006). Motivationspotenziale im Dienstleistungsbereich (Motivation potentials within the service sector). Kaiserslautern: Technische Universität, Lehrstuhl für Produktionswirtschaft.
Skeries, S., Ehrlich, C. (2006). Ein Konzept zur Messung und Verknüpfung von Motivation und Gesundheit (A concept for a combined measurement of motivation and health). Paper presented at the 52. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft in Stuttgart, 2006 (S. 155-159). Dortmund: GfA-Press.
Ehrlich, C. (2005). Assessing Motivation Potentials at Work. Paper presented at the XII. European Congress of Work and Organisation Psychology, März 2005, Istanbul.
Ehrlich, C. (2005). Ein Konzept zur Messung von Motivationspotenzialen und Arbeitszufriedenheit und dessen Mehrwert für Unternehmen (A Concept to measure work motivation and job satisfaction and its added value for organisations). Poster at the 4. Tagung der Fachgruppe Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie in der DGPs, Bonn.
Bromberger, N., Ehrlich, C. (2005). Diagnose und Gestaltung von Lernpotenzialen bei mittelständischen Unternehmen – ausgewählte Beispiele aus der Kfz-Branche (Diagnosis and Design of Learning potentials within medium sized organisations). Paper presented at the 51. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft in Heidelberg, 2005 (S. 223-227).
Ehrlich, C. (2004). Entwicklung eines Fragebogens zur Erweiterung des Job Diagnostic Surveys (Development of a questionnaire as an extension to the Job Diagnostic Survey). Paper presented at the 44. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie in Göttingen, 2004 (S. 67).
Ehrlich, C. & Zink, K.J. (2003). Development and Testing of a Questionnaire on Motivation Potentials at Work. In H. Luczak & K.J. Zink (Hrsg.), Human Factors in Organisational Design and Management – VII, Re-Design Work and Makroergonomics – Future Perspectives and Challenges: Prodceedings of the Seventh International Symposium on Human Factors in Organizational Design and Management in Aachen (S. 109 – 114). Santa Monica, USA: IEA Press.
Christian is Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes Business School with over 9 years teaching experience in areas such as Motivation, Job Satisfaction, Leadership, Conflict Management etc. His major research areas are around Work Motivation, Goal Setting, Self Development and Personal Change.
Christian works full time in the Business School as a Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and is joint module leader for the MBA Leadership Development module. He is involved in consultancy activities for the Business School through the Business Futures division; he also has his own consultancy since 2003 through which he offers the following training courses: Relaxed but Effective: a different approach to motivation, Goal Setting and Leading People Through Positive Relationships.