When helping others helps me: Competitive climate and expected reciprocity motives as moderators

Emily M. DAVID, Tae-Yeol KIM, Matthew ROGERS, Tingting CHEN

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)Researchpeer-review


Drawing from trait-activation frameworks, we present a model that highlights who is likely to help and under which environmental conditions the helping behaviors occur. We also investigate when these behaviors are likely to result in better job performance for helpers. By surveying 406 employees from a variety of industries along with their supervisors at multiple time points, we found that individuals high in prosocial identity were most likely to engage in interpersonally- and organizationally-targeted helping behaviors when working in teams with a low competitive climate. Helping behaviors, in turn, were most likely to bolster job performance for employees who did not expect anything in return for their generosity (i.e., low expected reciprocity motives). Finally, we uncovered curvilinear effects of helping behavior on job performance, such that the highest levels of helping behaviors resulted in diminishing returns of performance. These findings have important implications for both employee selection as well as team norm creation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0065-0668


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