Transactive-Goal-Dynamics Theory: A Discipline-Wide Perspective

Gráinne M. Fitzsimons*, Eli J. Finkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Theories of goal pursuit typically conceptualize goal pursuers as isolated actors; in contrast, empirical research from diverse areas of psychology has demonstrated that goal setting, pursuit, and achievement are deeply embedded within social relationships. Because much of this emerging literature is developing within subfields with minimal cross talk, the potential for integration and advances to basic theory has not been realized. The present article leverages transactive-goal-dynamics theory in an effort to bring these literatures together. In doing so, it distills a common set of primary research questions toward the goal of promoting a cumulative, integrative, interdisciplinary field of research on the ways in which goal pursuit is socially embedded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • education
  • goals
  • health
  • interpersonal
  • motivation
  • relationships
  • self-regulation
  • social support
  • teams


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