When, Why, and for Whom Is Receiving Help Actually Helpful? Differential Effects of Receiving Empowering and Nonempowering Help Based on Recipient Gender

Young Eun Lee, Lauren S. Simon, Joel Koopman, Christopher C. Rosen, Allison S. Gabriel, Seoin Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Helping is a foundational aspect of organizational life and the prototypical organizational citizenship behavior, with most research implicitly assuming that helping benefits its recipients. Despite this, when scholars focus on help recipients, the experience is depicted as somewhat aversive that may actually reduce recipient perceptions of competence. The result is a literature at odds as to whether receiving help is beneficial.Our thesis is that this is the wrong question on which to focus. Instead, we submit that more valuable insight can be gained by asking: “when is receiving help beneficial vs. not beneficial, and for whom?” Regardingwhen, we differentiate between receiving help that is empowering (i.e., offers tools to empower recipients to become more self-reliant) or nonempowering (i.e., offers only immediate, short-term solutions). Regarding for whom, we draw from theory and research on stereotype threat and benevolent sexism to explain why the help recipient’s gender is a critical moderator of the link between receiving nonempowering help specifically and competence perceptions. We present a multistudy “full-cycle” approach to test our hypotheses and understand the consequences of receiving empowering versus nonempowering help in more depth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-793
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume108
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • citizenship behavior
  • competence
  • gender
  • helping
  • stereotype threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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