How and when service beneficiaries’ gratitude enriches employees’ daily lives

Pok Man TANG*, Remus ILIES, Sherry S.Y. AW, Katrina Jia LIN, Randy LEE, Chiara TROMBINI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional research on gratitude has focused on the benefits of expressing or experiencing gratitude for the individual. However, recent theory and research have highlighted that there may too be benefitsassociated with receiving others’ gratitude. Grounded in the Work–Home Resources model, we develop aconceptual model to understand whether, how, and for whom service providers (i.e., healthcare professionals)benefit from receiving service beneficiaries’ (i.e., patients) gratitude in their daily work. Wehypothesize that perceived gratitude from service beneficiaries enhances service providers’ relationalenergy at work, which spills over to benefit their family lives later in the day. In addition, we hypothesizethat the effect of gratitude on relational energy and its subsequent spillover effect to the family arecontingent on employees’ occupational identity. Two experience sampling studies with data collected fromhealthcare professionals and their spouses for two consecutive weeks (each) provided support for ourhypothesized model. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of our work

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Joel Koopman, Michael Brown, and Kai Chi (Sam) Yam for their constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This research was in part supported by the National University of Singapore, Professor Remus Ilies's Provost's Chair account under WBS C-311-000-290-001

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • Occupational identity
  • Perceived gratitude
  • Relational energy
  • Work–family spillover

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