February 09, 2016

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Please note: This event is for invited researchers only.

Research is the heart of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), and we want to make sure that we support each other in developing high quality research. To that end, we created a forum for sharing and encouraging POS-related research ideas that are at various stages of development.

Questions about POS Research Incubator Sessions can be directed to Julia Lee at jooalee@umich.edu.

Title: The desire to reciprocate benevolence as an affective motivational state: A theoretical model of state gratitude at work

Abstract: Drawing on the Appraisal-Tendency Framework of emotions, this study develops and tests a theoretical model of state gratitude at work. The model sheds light on the affective motivational mechanism, the desire to reciprocate benevolence,through which state gratitude is associated with individual work behaviors: helping, pro-relationship, and in-role behaviors. I further show the moderating effects of extrinsic job rewards on the affective processes. In a sample of 104 employees, the findings showed that state gratitude enhances employees’ pro-relationship behaviors through the mechanism of the desire to reciprocate benevolence at work. Moreover, the results demonstrated that mediated relationships between state gratitude and helping, pro-relationship, and in-role behaviors vary depending on employees’ available extrinsic job rewards. Specifically, I found that the positive impacts of state gratitude are stronger in work contexts where available extrinsic job rewards are unfavorable.

Bio: I am a Ph.D Candidate in Management and Organization at the Boston College Carroll School of Management. I expect to complete my Ph.D. in the spring of 2016. My research focuses on emotions in workplaces – what emotions are experienced in organizations and how they contribute to or detract from accomplishing organizational goals. I am particularly interested in exploring emotions within complex, dynamic organizational contexts such as organizational change and development, learning, and helping. My dissertation explores the experience of gratitude at work in the context of help-receiving in organizations, examining its impact on individual employees’ work behaviors.