Article

I Won't Let You Down ... or Will I? Core Self-Evaluations, Other-Orientation, Anticipated Guilt and Gratitude, and Job Performance

Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 3620 Locust Walk, Suite 2000 SH/DH, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370, USA.
Journal of Applied Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.31). 01/2010; 95(1):108-21. DOI: 10.1037/a0017974
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although core self-evaluations have been linked to higher job performance, research has shown variability in the strength of this relationship. We propose that high core self-evaluations are more likely to increase job performance for other-oriented employees, who tend to anticipate feelings of guilt and gratitude. We tested these hypotheses across 3 field studies using different operationalizations of both performance and other-orientation (prosocial motivation, agreeableness, and duty). In Study 1, prosocial motivation strengthened the association between core self-evaluations and the performance of professional university fundraisers. In Study 2, agreeableness strengthened the association between core self-evaluations and supervisor ratings of initiative among public service employees. In Study 3, duty strengthened the association between core self-evaluations and the objective productivity of call center employees, and this moderating relationship was mediated by feelings of anticipated guilt and gratitude. We discuss implications for theory and research on personality and job performance.

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Available from: Amy Wrzesniewski, Aug 26, 2015
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    • "In the last decade, scholars have called for more attention to understanding work meanings through relational mechanisms (Wrzesniewski et al., 2003). Grant and his colleagues were among those who answered this call, providing theoretical (Grant and Parker, 2009) and empirical support (Grant, 2008; Grant and Wrzesniewski, 2010) for a relational perspective to work design and job performance. Those authors, rather than considering the traditional characteristics of work tasks, have focused on the social characteristics of the job; that is, the interpersonal interactions and relationships in which work is embedded. "
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    • "For instance, using this theory, Foo, Uy, and Baron (2009) found that state positive affect was positively related to subsequent effort on entrepreneurial tasks. Further, Grant and Wrzesniewski (2010) argued that when employees anticipate experiencing negative emotions, they act to prevent their future occurrence. Conversely, when they anticipate positive emotions, they act to facilitate their occurrence. "
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    • "Regarding the psychological processes underlying the relationship of core selfevaluations with job performance, some studies have suggested that cognitive processes such as goal setting mediated the relationship between core self-evaluations and job performance (Erez and Judge, 2001). Also, Grant and Wrzesniewski (2010) found social and emotional process influence the link between core self-evaluations and job performance by providing that high core self-evaluations are most likely to predict high performance when people are also high in other-orientation. More recently, core self-evaluations have been found to be a significant predictor of a variety of outcomes including goal setting, goal commitment, stress and burnout, life satisfaction, happiness, job-search persistence, work and family satisfaction, commitment to change, creativity (Boyar and Mosley, 2007; Bono and Colbert, 2005; Erez and Judge, 2001; Herold et al., 2008; Jung, 2001; Piccolo et al., 2005; Wanberg et al., 2005). "
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