Impact and the art of motivation maintenance: The effects of contact with beneficiaries on persistence behavior

Published on May 1, 2007in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
· DOI :10.1016/J.OBHDP.2006.05.004
Adam M. Grant50
Estimated H-index: 50
(UM: University of Michigan),
Elizabeth M. Campbell6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UM: University of Michigan)
+ 3 AuthorsKaren Lee1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UM: University of Michigan)
Sources
Abstract
We tested the hypothesis that employees are willing to maintain their motivation when their work is relationally designed to provide opportunities for respectful contact with the beneficiaries of their efforts. In Experiment 1, a longitudinal field experiment in a fundraising organization, callers in an intervention group briefly interacted with a beneficiary; callers in two control groups read a letter from the beneficiary and discussed it amongst themselves or had no exposure to him. One month later, the intervention group displayed significantly greater persistence and job performance than the control groups. The intervention group increased significantly in persistence (142% more phone time) and job performance (171% more money raised); the control groups did not. Experiments 2 and 3 used a laboratory editing task to examine mediating mechanisms and boundary conditions. In Experiment 2, respectful contact with beneficiaries increased persistence, mediated by perceived impact. In Experiment 3, mere contact with beneficiaries and task significance interacted to increase persistence, mediated by affective commitment to beneficiaries. Implications for job design and work motivation are discussed.
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
4,792 Citations
988 Citations
1,700 Citations
References92
Newest
#1Karl E. WeikH-Index: 1
This is a revised version of the KatzNewcomb lecture presented at the University of Michigan, April 23-24, 1993. The 1993 lecture celebrated the life of Rensis Likert, the founding director of the Institute for Social Relations. All three people honored at the lecture-Dan Katz, Ted Newcomb, and Ren Likert-were born in 1903, which meant this lecture also celebrated their 90th birthdays. I am grateful to Lance Sandelands, Debra Meyerson, Robert Sutton, Doug Cowherd, and Karen Weick for their help ...
257 Citations
#1Adam M. Grant (UM: University of Michigan)H-Index: 50
This article illustrates how work contexts motivate employees to care about making a positive difference in other people's lives. I introduce a model of relational job design to describe how jobs spark the motivation to make a prosocial difference, and how this motivation affects employees' actions and identities. Whereas existing research focuses on individual differences and the task structures of jobs, I illuminate how the relational architecture of jobs shapes the motivation to make a prosoc...
1,700 CitationsSource
#1Frederick P. Morgeson (SPbU: Saint Petersburg State University)H-Index: 46
#2Stephen E. Humphrey (FSU: Florida State University)H-Index: 26
Although there are thousands of studies investigating work and job design, existing measures are incomplete. In an effort to address this gap, the authors reviewed the work design literature, identified and integrated previously described work characteristics, and developed a measure to tap those work characteristics. The resultant Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ) was validated with 540 incumbents holding 243 distinct jobs and demonstrated excellent reliability and convergent and discriminant val...
2,266 CitationsSource
#1Scott W. Lester (UWEC: University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire)H-Index: 24
#2Chuck Tomkovick (UWEC: University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire)H-Index: 12
Last. Jill KickulH-Index: 34
view all 5 authors...
In this study we examine service-learning (SL) value from multiple stakeholder perspectives, including students, recruiters, and community service project supervisors. We present and test a multiple stakeholder model of perceived SL value using structural equation modeling. Results supported linkages between project design variables and SL value for students. SL value was directly linked with employer promotion of corporate social responsibility. Service-learning participant responsibility and d...
135 CitationsSource
#1Christopher Michaelson (UPenn: University of Pennsylvania)H-Index: 11
This article discusses the July 2004 “Academy of Management Review” Special Topic Forum on the Future of Work Motivation Theory. The author feels that, while the forum opens up new research directions to help understand what motivates workers to work, it says little about why workers should be motivated to work. There is a direct connection between early developments in motivation theory and the history of philosophical and psychological ethics. It is noted that motivational efforts may exert co...
102 CitationsSource
#1Andrew Molinsky (Brandeis University)H-Index: 12
#2Joshua D. Margolis (Harvard University)H-Index: 18
In order to produce a beneficial result, professionals must sometimes cause harm to another human being. To capture this phenomenon, we introduce the construct of “necessary evils” and explore the inherent challenges such tasks pose for those who must perform them. Whereas previous research has established the importance of treating victims of necessary evils with interpersonal sensitivity, we focus on the challenges performers face when attempting to achieve this prescribed standard in practice...
229 CitationsSource
#1Stefan Stürmer (CAU: University of Kiel)H-Index: 17
#2Mark Snyder (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 73
Last. Allen M. Omoto (CGU: Claremont Graduate University)H-Index: 23
view all 3 authors...
In this article, the authors introduce and test a group-level perspective on the role of empathy and interpersonal attraction in helping. In line with our predictions, Study 1, a longitudinal field study of 166 AIDS volunteers, confirmed that empathy was a stronger predictor of helping when the recipient of assistance was an in-group member than when that person was an out-group member. Also as hypothesized, attraction was a stronger predictor of helping when the recipient was an out-group membe...
449 CitationsSource
#1Gary P. Latham (U of T: University of Toronto)H-Index: 74
#2Craig C. Pinder (UVic: University of Victoria)H-Index: 10
In the first Annual Review of Psychology chapter since 1977 devoted exclusively to work motivation, we examine progress made in theory and research on needs, traits, values, cognition, and affect as well as three bodies of literature dealing with the context of motivation: national culture, job design, and models of person-environment fit. We focus primarily on work reported between 1993 and 2003, concluding that goal-setting, social cognitive, and organizational justice theories are the three m...
1,881 CitationsSource
#1Jerald Greenberg (Max M. Fisher College of Business)H-Index: 58
#2Edward C. Tomlinson (Max M. Fisher College of Business)H-Index: 14
Both laboratory and field experiments have limitations that likely account for the recent decline in their usage among organizational researchers. In this article, we introduce situated experiments as an experimental approach that optimizes the strengths of both laboratory and field experiments in organizational research while mitigating the weaknesses of each. We highlight four recently published studies using situated experiments. Drawing on these examples, we illustrate how the proper use of ...
70 CitationsSource
#1Alicia A. Grandey (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 36
#2David N. DickterH-Index: 1
Last. Hock-Peng Sin (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 14
view all 3 authors...
Research on work aggression or anger has typically focused on supervisors and co-workers as the instigators of aggression; however, aggressive customers are also likely and may have unique consequences for the employee. We explore this phenomenon with a sample of 198 call center employees at two work sites. The employees reported that customer verbal aggression occurred 10 times a day, on average, though this varied by race and negative affectivity. Using LISREL, our data indicated that both the...
1,078 CitationsSource
Cited By503
Newest
view all 5 authors...
Source
#1Meir Barneron (HUJI: Hebrew University of Jerusalem)H-Index: 2
#2Shoham Choshen-Hillel (HUJI: Hebrew University of Jerusalem)H-Index: 9
Last. Ilan Yaniv (HUJI: Hebrew University of Jerusalem)H-Index: 25
view all 3 authors...
Abstract We investigate individual decisions that produce gains for oneself, while imposing losses on a group of others. We theorize, based on the notion of empathy, that decision-makers consider the magnitude of the pain or loss they inflict on an individual in the group, but are largely insensitive to the number of individuals in the group who suffer losses. Studies involving personal choices or judgments of others’ choices largely confirmed these predictions. They also revealed a dispersion e...
Source
#1Chenwei LiaoH-Index: 6
#2Hun Whee LeeH-Index: 6
Last. Szu-Han Lin (UMass: University of Massachusetts Amherst)H-Index: 4
view all 4 authors...
Leader behaviors are dynamic and vary over time, and leaders’ actions at a given time can have ramifications for their subsequent behavior. Taking such a dynamic perspective on leader behaviors, we...
2 CitationsSource
Source
#1Stuart Bunderson (WashU: Washington University in St. Louis)H-Index: 1
#2Anjan V. Thakor (WashU: Washington University in St. Louis)H-Index: 62
Abstract This paper provides survey evidence on higher purpose for individuals and organizations and develops a theoretical model consistent with the evidence. The survey of 1,019 individuals in the U.S. sought to learn about their commitment to and perceived value from personal and organizational higher purpose. One striking finding from the survey is that when an organization has a written statement of higher purpose, its employees tend to trust their leaders to not only be socially responsibl...
Source
Although previous works have examined how work overload affects the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of members in an organization, those studies have paid insufficient attention to the mediating and contingent factors in the work overload–turnover intention link from the perspective of positive psychology. Considering the theoretical and practical value and importance of positive psychology, studies that use it to investigate underlying processes are needed. Also, existing studies on work ...
Source
#1Tomislav Hernaus (University of Zagreb)H-Index: 12
#2Matej Černe (University of Ljubljana)H-Index: 18
Last. Miha Škerlavaj (University of Ljubljana)H-Index: 23
view all 3 authors...
Source
#1Jeremy A. Yip (Georgetown University)H-Index: 8
#2Emma E. Levine (U of C: University of Chicago)H-Index: 10
Last. Maurice E. Schweitzer (UPenn: University of Pennsylvania)H-Index: 34
view all 4 authors...
Abstract Organizational culture profoundly influences how employees think and behave. Established research suggests that the content, intensity, consensus, and fit of cultural norms act as a social control system for attitudes and behavior. We adopt the norms model of organizational culture to elucidate whether organizational culture can influence how employees experience emotions. We focus on a pervasive emotion, anxiety. We propose four important pathways that link organizational culture with ...
Source
#1Michael D. Siciliano (UIC: University of Illinois at Chicago)H-Index: 9
#2James R. Thompson (UIC: University of Illinois at Chicago)H-Index: 21
Last. James R. Thompson (UIC: University of Illinois at Chicago)H-Index: 8
view all 2 authors...
Source
#1Raffaela Palma (University of Naples Federico II)H-Index: 3
#2Anna Crisci (University of Naples Federico II)H-Index: 3
Last. Gianluigi Mangia (University of Naples Federico II)H-Index: 7
view all 3 authors...
Abstract Many studies find positive associations between Public Service Motivation (PSM) and individual performance, but we know little about potential mediators and moderators. In this study, we test the mediating role of User Orientation (UO) - the motivation to benefit individual recipients of public services - and the moderating role of individual and work-related characteristics by collecting data from 618 teachers and 156 school principals working in all grades of state schools in southern...
Source