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Doing good buffers against feeling bad: Prosocial impact compensates for negative task and self-evaluations

  • Grant, Adam M.
  • Sonnentag, Sabine
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    Although evidence suggests that negative task and self-evaluations are associated with emotional exhaustion, little research has examined factors that buffer against these effects. We propose that perceived prosocial impact, the experience of helping others, compensates for negative task and self-evaluations by focusing attention on positive outcomes for others. In Study 1, perceived prosocial impact attenuated the associations of low intrinsic motivation and core self-evaluations with emotional exhaustion among professional fundraisers. Study 2 replicated these results among public sanitation employees and extended them to supervisor performance ratings. Mediated moderation analyses indicated that by protecting against emotional exhaustion, perceived prosocial impact compensated for low intrinsic motivation and core self-evaluations to predict higher performance ratings. Our studies extend theory and research on burnout, helping, and citizenship.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WP2-4X1GFXT-1/2/93963e21497f43929ee9000daf9b0ece
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 111 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 13-22

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:111:y:2010:i:1:p:13-22
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

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    1. Grant, Adam M. & Campbell, Elizabeth M. & Chen, Grace & Cottone, Keenan & Lapedis, David & Lee, Karen, 2007. "Impact and the art of motivation maintenance: The effects of contact with beneficiaries on persistence behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 53-67, May.
    2. Musick, Marc A. & Wilson, John, 2003. "Volunteering and depression: the role of psychological and social resources in different age groups," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 259-269, January.
    3. Evans, Martin G., 1985. "A Monte Carlo study of the effects of correlated method variance in moderated multiple regression analysis," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 305-323, December.
    4. Lee, Fiona, 1997. "When the Going Gets Tough, Do the Tough Ask for Help? Help Seeking and Power Motivation in Organizations," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 336-363, December.
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