Applied Psychology

  • The Influence of Feedback and Expert Status in Knowledge Sharing Dilemmas

    Groups and organisations set cooperative goals for their members, yet in reality some team members contribute more than others to these goals. Experts, in particular, face a social dilemma: from the group’s perspective they should share their knowledge, whereas individually they are better off not sharing, because acquiring knowledge is costly and they would give up a competitive advantage. Two experiments (N1 = 96, N2 = 192) tested the hypothesis, derived from indirect reciprocity theory, that experts contribute more if their status is being recognised. Expert status was manipulated under different performance feedback conditions and the impact on people’s contributions in two different knowledge sharing tasks was analysed. In both studies, experts contributed more when feedback was individualised and public, ensuring both individual status rewards and public recognition. In contrast, novices contributed more when performance feedback was collective, regardless of whether it was public or private feedback. Novices did not have to fear negative performance evaluations under group feedback and could gain in social status as members of a successful group. Social value orientation moderated expert contributions in Study 2, with proself-oriented experts being particularly susceptible to reputation gains. The studies contribute to the neglected aspect of motivation in knowledge sharing dilemmas where collective and individual interests are not necessarily aligned.

  • When My Object Becomes Me: The Mere Ownership of an Object Elevates Domain-Specific Self-Efficacy

    Past research on the mere ownership effect has shown that when people own an object, they perceive the owned objects more favorably than the comparable non-owned objects. The present research extends this idea, showing that when people own an object functional to the self, they perceive an increase in their self-efficacy. Three studies were conducted to demonstrate this new form of the mere ownership effect. In Study 1, participants reported an increase in their knowledge level by the mere ownership of reading materials (a reading package in Study 1a, and lecture notes in Study 1b). In Study 2, participants reported an increase in their resilience to sleepiness by merely owning a piece of chocolate that purportedly had a sleepiness-combating function. In Study 3, participants who merely owned a flower essence that is claimed to boost creativity reported having higher creativity efficacy. The findings provided insights on how associations with objects alter one’s self-perception.

  • The Dark Side of Employee Referral Bonus Programs: Potential Applicants’ Awareness of a Referral Bonus and Perceptions of Organisational Attractiveness

    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of potential applicants’ awareness of employees being rewarded for referrals on organisational attractiveness, based on credibility theory and the multiple inference model. In a first study (N = 450), final-year students were less attracted to the organisation when they knew employee referrals were rewarded, which was partially explained by lower credibility perceptions. Moreover, varying the specific characteristics of the referral bonus program (i.e. timing, size, type, recipient) did not improve potential applicants’ perceptions of credibility and attractiveness. A second study (N = 127) replicated the negative effect of referral bonuses on organisational attractiveness and found that it could be explained by both potential applicants’ inferences about the referrer’s other-oriented motive and lower referrer credibility. Whether employees explicitly stated that their referral reason was bonus-driven or not did not affect these results.

  • The Hazard of Teetering at the Top and Being Tied to the Bottom: The Interactive Relationship of Power, Stability, and Social Dominance Orientation with Work Stress

    This study examines the roles of power, stability, and social dominance orientation (SDO) for work stress. Initial laboratory research has demonstrated that power and the stability of one’s power position interact to influence stress. Using a sample of Chinese managers, we replicate and extend this finding in an organisational field setting, illustrating that the interactive role of power and stability hinges on individuals’ SDO. Individuals higher (but not lower) in SDO experienced more work stress in unstable high-power and stable low-power positions, compared to their counterparts in stable high-power and unstable low-power positions. These results underscore the role of stability for understanding the power–stress relationship and emphasise individual differences in needs and motivations as an important boundary condition.

  • Workplace Family Support, Parental Satisfaction, and Work–Family Conflict: Individual and Crossover Effects among Dual-Earner Couples

    Workplace family support has been regarded as a factor that helps reduce individuals’ work to family conflict (WFC). How this support translates into families’ functioning is still to be determined. In this study, we used a systems perspective to examine (a) how perceptions of workplace family support affect parental satisfaction and consequently reduce WFC and (b) how the perception of support affects partners’ parental satisfaction and WFC in dual-earner couples. A two-wave dyadic data set of dual-earner couples with preschool-aged children (N = 90) was used, and the actor-partner interdependence mediation model (APIMeM) was applied. Results showed that controlling for WFC, working hours, number and age of children, mothers’ perceptions of workplace family support (time 1) had indirect effects, through mothers’ parental satisfaction (time 1), on their own levels of WFC (time 2) as well as on their partners’ levels of WFC (time 2). Fathers’ perceptions of workplace family support (time 1) had a direct effect on fathers’ parental satisfaction (time 1) and on fathers’ WFC (time 2). These results suggest that in addition to boosting parental well-being, perceptions of a supportive workplace may help reduce the level of WFC for both direct recipients of support and their partners, in particular when support is experienced by mothers, and when these mothers experience heightened parental satisfaction.

  • How Learning Goal Orientation Fosters Leadership Recognition in Self-Managed Teams: A Two-Stage Mediation Model

    Defined as a mental framework for how individuals interpret and respond to achievement situations, learning goal orientation (LGO) has received increasing attention in organisational research. However, its effect on leadership, especially in contexts absent of formal leadership, remains understudied. Drawing on social exchange theory, we propose and test an individual-level two-stage process model of generalised exchange linking LGO and leadership recognition in self-managed teams. Specifically, we posit that learning-oriented individuals will tend to feel safer in self-managed teams, which will enable and sustain their engagement in contextual role behavior. Such behavior, in turn, will be reciprocated with recognition of these individuals as leaders. We use a multiphase, multi-informant approach (n = 287), and we find that felt safety mediates the effect of LGO on contextual role behavior, but that contextual role behavior alone does not mediate the effect of LGO on leadership recognition. LGO has an indirect effect on leadership recognition through the joint mediation of felt safety and contextual role behavior. Our results offer insight on the link between LGO and leadership, with practical implications for people working in self-managed teams.

  • Leading to Stimulate Employees' Ideas: A Quantitative Review of Leader–Member Exchange, Employee Voice, Creativity, and Innovative Behavior

    Through social exchange, leaders can offer relational support or resources to facilitate employees’ proactive attempts to bring positive change (voice) or novel ideas (creativity) and behaviors (innovative behavior) to their work. We consider these three outcomes under the same nomological network as they all represent employees’ idea contribution to the organisation. The present paper thus meta-analytically reviews the findings of research relating leader–member exchange (LMX) to voice (37 samples), creativity (53 samples), and innovative behavior (29 samples). Results show that LMX positively predicts voice, creativity, and innovative behavior. Moreover, LMX is more strongly related with creativity than with voice or innovative behavior, a significant difference maintained even after controlling for study characteristics that may act as confounding variables. Implications of our findings and directions for future research are also discussed.

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