This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Grants #71272022, awarded to Xiaoming Zheng.
Organizational behavior, Organizational effectiveness
We draw from personality systems interaction theory (PSI; Kuhl, 2000) and regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) to examine how dynamic positive and negative affective processes interact to predict both task and contextual performance. Using a twice-daily diary design over the course of a three-week period, results from multi-level regression analysis revealed that distinct patterns of change in positive and negative affect optimally predicted contextual and task performance among a sample of 71 individuals employed at a medium-sized technology company. Specifically, within persons, increases (upshifts) in positive affect over the course of a work day better predicted the subsequent day’s organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) when such increases were coupled with decreases (downshifts) in negative affect. The optimal pattern of change in positive and negative affect differed, however, in predicting task performance. That is, upshifts in positive affect over the course of the work day better predicted the subsequent day’s task performance when such upshifts were accompanied by upshifts in negative affect. The contribution of our findings to PSI theory and the broader affective and motivation regulation literatures, along with practical implications, are discussed.
Yang, L.-Q., Simon, L., Wang, L., & Zheng, X. (Accepted). To branch out or stay focused?: Daily affective shifts differentially predict organizational citizenship behavior and task performance. Journal of Applied Psychology.