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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