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

12 Citations (Scopus)


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 benefits associated with receiving others’ gratitude. Grounded in the Work–Home Resources model, we develop a conceptual 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. We hypothesize that perceived gratitude from service beneficiaries enhances service providers’ relational energy at work, which spills over to benefit their family lives later in the day. In addition, we hypothesize that the effect of gratitude on relational energy and its subsequent spillover effect to the family are contingent on employees’ occupational identity. Two experience sampling studies with data collected from healthcare professionals and their spouses for two consecutive weeks (each) provided support for our hypothesized model. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of our work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-1008
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number6
Early online date23 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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


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


Dive into the research topics of 'How and when service beneficiaries’ gratitude enriches employees’ daily lives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this