What Drives Student Engagement? The Role of Learning Goal Orientation, Feeling Envied, and Ethical Climate

Darija Aleksić, Katarina Katja Mihelič



Students' engagement in their studies during their time at
university is a fundamental building block of a high-quality
learning experience. In this paper, we investigate learning
goal orientation as a predictor of student engagement in the
context of higher education. Moreover, we examine whether
the perception of feeling envied mediates this effect and
investigate the moderating effect of ethical climate in this
regard. The proposed moderated mediation model was
tested on a sample of 230 business students. Results reveal
that learning goal orientation is positively related with study
engagement and that feeling envied mediates this
relationship. We also affirm the moderating role of ethical
climate in the relationship between learning goal orientation
and study engagement. Specifically, in schools where the
climate is perceived to be more ethical, student engagement
is higher, regardless of how envied students feel. The paper
concludes with a list of practical implications that may serve
educators in their attempts to create conditions that foster
students' engagement in class.


student engagement; learning goal orientation; feeling envied; ethical climate; business school

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096