Why and for whom does the pressure to help hurt others? Affective and cognitive mechanisms linking helping pressure to workplace deviance

Joel Koopman, Christopher C. Rosen, Allison S. Gabriel, Harshad Puranik, Russell E. Johnson, D. Lance Ferris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Scholars are paying increasing attention to the “dark side” of citizenship behavior. One aspect of this dark side that has received relatively scant attention is “helping pressure”—an employee's perception that s/he is being encouraged to, or otherwise feels that s/he should, enact helping behavior at work. Drawing from theory associated with work stress, we examine affective and cognitive mechanisms that potentially explain why helping pressure, counterintuitively, may lead employees to engage in deviant behavior instead. Beyond examining these possible mechanisms, we also answer calls to identify a potential buffer to these effects. Drawing from self-determination theory, we examine how an employee's intrinsic motivation for citizenship may lessen the deleterious consequences of helping pressure at work. In two studies (a within-individual experience-sampling study and a two-wave between-individual study), we find consistent evidence that helping pressure has a positive indirect relationship with deviant behavior through increased negative affect. Further, we find evidence that intrinsic motivation for citizenship weakens the positive relationship of helping pressure with negative affect, buffering the indirect effect on subsequent deviant behavior. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings for the study of helping pressure at work are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-362
Number of pages30
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Volume73
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • affect
  • citizenship behavior
  • intrinsic motivation
  • self-regulation
  • work stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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