Good soldiers and good actors: Prosocial and impression management motives as interactive predictors of citizenship behavior

By: Adam Grant, David M. Mayer


Grant, A. M., & Mayer, D.M. (2009). Good soldiers and good actors: Prosocial and impression management motives as interactive predictors of citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 900-912.

Abstract:

Researchers have discovered inconsistent relationships between prosocial motives and citizenship behaviors. We draw on impression management theory to propose that impression management motives strengthen the association between prosocial motives and affiliative citizenship by encouraging employees to express citizenship in ways that both “do good” and “look good.” We report 2 studies that examine the interactions of prosocial and impression management motives as predictors of affiliative citizenship using multisource data from 2 different field samples. Across the 2 studies, we find positive interactions between prosocial and impression management motives as predictors of affiliative citizenship behaviors directed toward other people (helping and courtesy) and the organization (initiative). Study 2 also shows that only prosocial motives predict voice—a challenging citizenship behavior. Our results suggest that employees who are both good soldiers and good actors are most likely to emerge as good citizens in promoting the status quo.

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