The roles of growth mindset and rational beliefs as personal resources on employees’ job performance and work engagement : applying the job demands-resources model in the Greater Bay Area

  • Nuoxun LIN

Student thesis: PhD Thesis (Lingnan)


The purpose of the thesis is to investigate certain kinds of personal resources, especially growth mindset and rational beliefs, that could equip employees who work and live in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) to enhance their job performance to face a competitive and everchanging workplace.

The current research consists of three studies: Study 1 (N = 801, 61.5% female) was a cross-sectional survey which examined the structural validity and relationships between growth mindset, rational beliefs, work engagement, and job performance in the motivational path of the JD-R model. We collected data from Hong Kong and mainland China. Study 2 (N = 257, 58.4% female) was a two-wave survey conducted during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in China. It examined the moderating role of growth mindset and rational beliefs on job performance through work engagement and burnout. In addition, Study 2 further tested the mediation model of growth mindset, rational beliefs, work engagement, and job performance. Study 3 (N = 52, 58.6% female, there were 29 participants in the experimental group and 23 participants in the control group) investigated the effect of an experimentally induced growth mindset. It focused on the cognition-affect-behavior pattern after participants were induced of a growth mindset. The data collection of Study 2 and Study 3 was carried out within the GBA.

Results of Study 1 suggest a positive relationship between growth mindset, work engagement, and job performance, as well as a positive relation between rational beliefs, work engagement, and job performance. Results of Study 2 only support the moderating role of rational beliefs on the negative impact of work-home conflict to job performance via the mediating role of work engagement. In Study 3, after being primed by the growth mindset priming words, experimental group employees’ reaction time to positive target words is found to be quicker than control group employees’. This cognition-affect-behavior pattern of the experimental group subject indicates that growth mindset could be experimentally induced. In addition, an induced growth mindset could be rapidly reflected in one’s behavior.

Theoretically, the current research expanded the JD-R model by including humans’ constructive cognition-affect-behavior patterns (growth mindset and rational beliefs) into the personal resource arsenal. For practical implications, the structural self-knowledge elucidated by growth mindset and rational belief theories equips the JD-R model with more accurate instruments in performance and stress management in the workplace in the GBA.
Date of Award10 Apr 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Lingnan University
SupervisorOi Ling SIU (Supervisor) & Chuen Yee LO (Co-supervisor)

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