Too much of a good thing: Curvilinear effect of positive affect on proactive behaviors

By: Chak Fu Lam, Gretchen M. Spreitzer, Charlotte Fritz

Lam, C.F., Spreitzer, & Fritz, C. (2014). Too Much of a Good Thing: Curvilinear Effect of Positive Affect on Proactive Behaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior.


Current organizational theory and research affirm the beneficial effects of experiencing positive affect at work. In recent years, researchers have begun to question the popular notion that the more positive affect at work, the better—that more positive affect is desirable for work-related outcomes. In this article, we propose a rationale for why more positive affect may not be better for proactive behaviors at work. Findings from two field studies using two unique data sources demonstrate support for our hypothesis, suggesting that intermediate levels of positive affect are most beneficial for proactive behaviors.