Article

Thriving at Work: A Mentoring-Moderated Process Linking Task Identity and Autonomy to Job Satisfaction

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Abstract

Building on two studies, this research explored thriving at work by considering task identity and autonomy as its antecedents and job satisfaction as its outcome, with a focus on the moderating role of mentoring. Through a three-wave survey conducted among 140 Chinese university students with volunteer work, Study 1 found that task identity and autonomy positively predicted thriving, which in turn was positively related to job satisfaction. This mediation effect of thriving was verified in Study 2 with a sample of 522 Australian student nurses undertaking a clinical placement job. Supporting the moderating role of mentoring, Study 2 also found that the effect of task identity on thriving as well as its indirect effect on job satisfaction via thriving became weaker when the quality of mentoring increased. These results not only offer important theoretical insights by confirming relatively new antecedents of thriving and their boundary condition (i.e., mentoring), but also generate practical implications regarding how to use motivating job characteristics and relational resources to foster positive individuals with enhanced well-being at work.

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... Recent studies also indicate that thriving employees are more likely to engage in takingcharge behavior, which can bring constructive change for organizations . Besides the practical benefits, many scholars regard thriving at work as a mediator that can explain the impact of individual characteristics (e.g., Alikaj et al., 2020), leadership (e.g., Niessen et al., 2017;Xu et al., 2017;Li et al., 2019), and organizational contextual factors (e.g., Chang and Busser, 2020;Jiang et al., 2020) on favorable organizational outcomes (e.g., creativity, job satisfaction, and taking charge). For example, Hildenbrand et al.'s (2018) empirical study demonstrated that transformational leadership can decrease burnout via enhancing thriving at work. ...
... For example, it has been shown that authentic leadership (Xu et al., 2017), empowering leadership (Li et al., 2016), service leadership (Jo et al., 2020), and transformational leadership (Lin et al., 2020) are all positively related to employees' thriving. The third part of the research explores the effect of job and organizational factors (e.g., Prem et al., 2017;Jiang et al., 2020;Strecker et al., 2020). Along with this research stream, some scholars demonstrated that job autonomy (Strecker et al., 2020), workplace civility (Abid et al., 2018), and organizational justice (Kim and Beehr, 2020) are key variables in fostering employees' thriving. ...
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I: Background.- 1. An Introduction.- 2. Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination.- II: Self-Determination Theory.- 3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Perceived Causality and Perceived Competence.- 4. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Regulation.- 5. Toward an Organismic Integration Theory: Motivation and Development.- 6. Causality Orientations Theory: Personality Influences on Motivation.- III: Alternative Approaches.- 7. Operant and Attributional Theories.- 8. Information-Processing Theories.- IV: Applications and Implications.- 9. Education.- 10. Psychotherapy.- 11. Work.- 12. Sports.- References.- Author Index.
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We know little about what determines an effective placement experience, yet vocational placements are an integral part of many professional degree programmes. The aim of this research was to examine the influence of job (task variety, task identity, task significance, feedback, and autonomy) and supervisor (relationship quality and mentoring) characteristics on placement outcomes. The findings were tested on samples from two professions for which placement were a compulsory part of their course. Sample 1 consisted of 266 undergraduate nurses, and sample 2 consisted of 176 postgraduate psychologists. The findings showed that job and supervisor characteristics explained unique variance in professional development and placement satisfaction. Of the five job characteristics examined, skill variety, feedback from the job, and task significance influenced placement outcomes. Mentoring emerged as the most important supervisor characteristic that was associated with professional development and placement satisfaction, and to a slightly less extent, supervisor–student relationship quality was also important. The research and practical implications of the findings were discussed.
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Purpose ‐ Based on soft HRM and self-determination theory, the aim of this paper is to test whether basic need satisfaction mediates the relationship between five HR practices and HRM outcomes. An important distinction (in line with soft HRM and self-determination theory) is made between the presence of, and the quality of, a practice's implementation (in terms of the degree to which employees' talents, interests and expectations are taken into account). Design/methodology/approach ‐ A theoretically grounded model is developed and tested using survey data from 5,748 Belgian employees. Findings ‐ The results indicate that autonomy and relatedness satisfaction partially mediate the relationship between HR practices and HRM outcomes. Taking into account talents, interests and expectations within HR practices is associated with higher basic need satisfaction and subsequently HRM outcomes in addition to the presence of practices. Research limitations/implications ‐ Future research could focus on HR practices and job design as both might affect basic need satisfaction and subsequently HRM outcomes. Additionally, behavior of the supervisor when administering HR practices can be further explored as a catalyst of basic need satisfaction. Practical implications ‐ HR actors should be aware that merely implementing soft HR practices may not suffice. They should also devote attention towards sufficiently taking into account individual talents, interests and expectations of employees when implementing them. Originality/value ‐ This paper contributes to the HRM literature by integrating soft HRM and self-determination theory into one model. In doing so, it sheds light on the possible pathways through and conditions under which HR practices lead to favorable outcomes.
Article
Self-determination theory (SDT) posits the existence of distinct types of motivation (i.e., external, introjected, identified, integrated, and intrinsic). Research on these different types of motivation has typically adopted a variable-centered approach that seeks to understand how each motivation in isolation relates to employee outcomes. We extend this work by adopting cluster analysis in a person-centered approach to understanding how different combinations or patterns of motivations relate to organizational factors. Results revealed five distinct clusters of motivation (i.e., low introjection, moderately motivated, low autonomy, self-determined, and motivated) and that these clusters were differentially related to need satisfaction, job performance, and work environment perceptions. Specifically, the self-determined (i.e., high autonomous motivation, low external motivation) and motivated (i.e., high on all types of motivation) clusters had the most favorable levels of correlates; whereas the low autonomy (i.e., least self-determined) cluster had the least favorable levels of these variables.
Article
Thriving at work is a positive psychological state characterized jointly by learning and vitality. Conventional wisdom and some initial research indicate that such thriving benefits both employees themselves and their organizations. This study specifically tests thriving at work by linking it to a theoretically important personal outcome variable (self-development), refining its relationship with agentic work behaviors (task focus and heedful relating), and proposing and testing two new antecedent variables (psychological capital and supervisor support climate). Using structural equation modeling on a sample of 198 dyads (employees and their supervisors), strong support was found for the theory-driven hypothesized relationships. The results contribute to a better understanding of positive organizational scholarship and behavior in general and specifically to the recently emerging positive construct of employees' thriving at work. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Mentoring has been studied extensively as it is linked to protégé career development and growth. Recent mentoring research is beginning to acknowledge however that mentors also can accrue substantial benefits from mentoring. A meta-analysis was conducted where the provision of career, psychosocial and role modeling mentoring support were associated with five types of subjective career outcomes for mentors: job satisfaction, organizational commitment, turnover intent, job performance, and career success. The findings indicated that mentors versus non-mentors were more satisfied with their jobs and committed to the organization. Providing career mentoring was most associated with career success, psychosocial mentoring with organizational commitment, and role modeling mentoring with job performance. Turnover intent was not linked significantly with any of the subjective career outcome variables. The findings support mentoring theory in that mentoring is reciprocal and collaborative and not simply beneficial for protégés. Longitudinal research is needed however to determine the degree to which providing mentoring impacts a mentor’s career over time. By alerting prospective mentors to the possible personal benefits of providing career, psychosocial, and role modeling mentoring support for protégés, HRD professionals can improve recruitment efforts for mentoring programs.
Article
It has been proposed that a clear separation of measurement from structural reasons for model failure can be obtained via a procedure testing 4 nested models: (a) a factor model, (b) a confirmatory factor model, (c) the anticipated structural equation model, and (d) possibly, a more constrained model. Advocates of the 4-step procedure contend that these nested models provide a trustworthy way of determining whether one's model is failing as a result of structural (conceptual) inadequacy, or as a result of measurement misspecification. We argue that measurement and structural issues can not be unambiguously separated by the 4 steps, and that the seeming separation is incomplete at best and illusory at worst. The prime difficulty is that the 4-step procedure is incapable of determining whether the proposed model contains the proper number of factors. As long as the number of factors is in doubt, measurement and structural assessments remain dubious and entwined. The assessment of model fit raises additional difficulties because the researcher is implicitly favoring of the null hypothesis, and the logic of the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) as a test of "close fit" is inconsistent with the logic of the 4-step. These discussions question whether factor analysis can dependably determine the proper number of factors, and argue against the routine use of. 05 as the probability target for structural equation model chi-square fit.
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the moderating role of mentoring on the relationships between perceived organizational support, supervisor support, and job fit on turnover intentions. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explains the topics, provides background and discussion of the main concepts. The study uses regression analyses to test the moderating relationships using a total sample of 610 employees split among three separate organizations. Findings – The results suggest that mentoring becomes more effective in reducing turnover intentions as employees experience increasing levels of perceived organizational support, supervisor support, and job fit. Practical implications – The results suggest mentoring can be beneficial to both organizations and individuals. Organizations benefit by improving employee retention. Likewise, individuals benefit through strengthened relationships provided by mentoring and the associated positive outcomes. Originality/value – The paper makes a contribution to the literature by being among the first to examine mentoring as a potential moderator in the context of perceived organizational support, supervisor support, job fit, and turnover intentions.
Article
Translated but unstandardised psychological instruments are widely used in non-English speaking countries. For many of these instruments meagre information is available on the method of translation, extent of adaptations, reliability, validity and other psychometric properties. This lack of information has unforeseen consequences for test-takers and decision making in clinical and other applied settings. In this paper it is argued that there is a need for guidelines outlining the minimum requirements to justify professional and ethical use of unstandardised psychological instruments. Eight criteria are suggested and all of these should be met in order to justify the use of unstandardised instruments in applied settings. Finally, it is emphasised that the use of unstandardised instruments should be viewed as temporary and tentative; the final aim of all translations and adaptations of psychological instruments that are to be used in a clinical or other applied context should be proper standardisation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Murray provides step-by-step guidelines for putting together cost-effective mentoring programs that foster employee learning and growth, are personally rewarding for mentors, and contribute measurably to both individual and organizational performance. Using seven case examples of thriving and highly valued mentoring programs, Murray shows the diverse forms mentoring programs can take and how they serve a variety of needs, such as developing leadership skills, increasing employee versatility through cross-training, and encouraging top-drawer people to commit their careers to the organization. This book reveals what successful programs have in common and offers advice on how to avoid common pitfalls. The author details how to select competent, committed mentors who have the interpersonal skills to develop productive relationships with their protégés. She explains how to match protégés with compatible mentors and create useful working agreements between them. She demonstrates how to build in opportunities for vital midstream course corrections by making evaluation an integral part of the program rather than merely a report card at the end. And she provides frank advice about what to do when a mentoring relationship just isn't working. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Describes the Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) which is intended to (a) diagnose existing jobs to determine whether (and how) they might be redesigned to improve employee motivation and productivity and (b) evaluate the effects of job changes on employees. The instrument is based on a specific theory of how job design affects work motivation, and provides measures of (a) objective job dimensions, (b) individual psychological states resulting from these dimensions, (c) affective reactions of employees to the job and work setting, and (d) individual growth need strength (interpreted as the readiness of individuals to respond to "enriched" jobs). Reliability and validity data are summarized for 658 employees on 62 different jobs in 7 organizations who responded to a revised version of the instrument. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study investigated the relationships among leader–member exchange (LMX), perceived job security, and employee performance. Drawing on the job demands–resources model and conservation of resources theory, we expected both LMX and perceived job security would affect employee altruism and work performance in a positive manner. In addition, LMX and perceived job security were expected to interact to predict the two outcome variables. The hypotheses were tested with a sample of 184 employees in a state-owned enterprise in China. Our results showed that LMX, but not perceived job security, was positively related to employee altruism and work performance. Additionally, the effect of LMX on altruism was stronger for employees perceiving less job security. The findings indicated that LMX as a job resource becomes more impactful to altruistic performance when employees feel less secure at work.
Article
In this paper, we offer a theoretical modification to the Hackman and Oldham (1975) Job Characteristics Model by integrating research on the psychological aspects of job design with emerging theory on psychological ownership. We develop the connection between job design and (a) the motives facilitating psychological ownership, (b) the routes through which psychological ownership emerges, and (c) the individual-level outcomes (e.g., emotional, attitudinal, motivational, and behavioral) that result from an employee's psychological ownership of his or her job. Our work covers several previously ignored positive and negative effects. We conclude by positioning psychological ownership as a plausible substitute for other proposed mediating psychological states in the job design–employee response relationship. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.