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Journal of Applied Psychology - Vol 102, Iss 6

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Journal of Applied Psychology The Journal of Applied Psychology will emphasize the publication of original investigations that contribute new knowledge and understanding to fields of applied psychology.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • Motivated cognition and fairness: Insights, integration, and creating a path forward.
    How do individuals form fairness perceptions? This question has been central to the fairness literature since its inception, sparking a plethora of theories and a burgeoning volume of research. To date, the answer to this question has been predicated on the assumption that fairness perceptions are subjective (i.e., “in the eye of the beholder”). This assumption is shared with motivated cognition approaches, which highlight the subjective nature of perceptions and the importance of viewing individuals arriving at those perceptions as active and motivated processors of information. Further, the motivated cognition literature has other key insights that have been less explicitly paralleled in the fairness literature, including how different goals (e.g., accuracy, directional) can influence how individuals process information and arrive at their perceptions. In this integrative conceptual review, we demonstrate how interpreting extant theory and research related to the formation of fairness perceptions through the lens of motivated cognition can deepen our understanding of fairness, including how individuals’ goals and motivations can influence their subjective perceptions of fairness. We show how this approach can provide integration as well as generate new insights into fairness processes. We conclude by highlighting the implications that applying a motivated cognition perspective can have for the fairness literature and by providing a research agenda to guide the literature moving forward. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Employees on the rebound: Extending the careers literature to include boomerang employment.
    As employee careers have evolved from linear trajectories confined within 1 organization to more dynamic and boundaryless paths, organizations and individuals alike have increasingly considered reestablishing prior employment relationships. These “boomerang employees” follow career paths that feature 2 or more temporally separated tenures in particular organizations (“boomerang organizations”). Yet, research to date is mute on how or to what extent differences across boomerang employees’ career experiences, and the learning and knowledge developed at and away from boomerang organizations, meaningfully impact their performance following their return. Addressing this omission, we extend a careers-based learning perspective to construct a theoretical framework of a parsimonious, yet generalizable, set of factors that influence boomerang employee return performance. Results based on a sample of boomerang employees and employers in the same industry (professional basketball) indicate that intra- and extraorganizational knowledge construction and disruptions, as well as transition events, are significantly predictive of boomerangs’ return performance. Comparisons with 2 matched samples of nonboomerang employees likewise suggest distinctive patterns in the performance of boomerang employees. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Employees’ responses to an organizational merger: Intraindividual change in organizational identification, attachment, and turnover.
    The authors used pre-post merger data from 599 employees experiencing a major corporate merger to compare 3 conceptual models based on the logic of social identity theory (SIT) and exchange theory to explain employees’ merger responses. At issue is how perceived change in employees’ own jobs and roles (i.e., personal valence) and perceived change in their organization’s status and merger appropriateness (i.e., organizational valence) affect their changing organizational identification, attachment attitudes, and voluntary turnover. The first model suggests that organizational identification and organizational attachment develop independently and have distinct antecedents. The second model posits that organizational identification mediates the relationships between change in organizational and personal valence and change in attachment and turnover. The third model posits that change in personal valence moderates the relationship between changes in organizational valence and in organizational identification and attachment. Using latent difference score (LDS) modeling in an SEM framework and survival analysis, the results suggest an emergent fourth model that integrates the first and second models: Although change in organizational identification during the merger mediates the relationship between change in personal status and organizational valence and change in attachment, there is a direct and unmediated relationship between change in personal valence and attachment. This integrated model has implications for M&A theory and practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Leader–team complementarity: Exploring the interactive effects of leader personality traits and team power distance values on team processes and performance.
    Integrating the leader trait perspective with dominance complementarity theory, we propose team power distance as an important boundary condition for the indirect impact of leader extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness on team performance through a team’s potency beliefs and through relational identification with the leader. Using time-lagged, 3-source data from 71 teams, we found that leader extraversion had a positive indirect impact on team in-role and extrarole performance through relational identification, but only for high power distance teams; leader conscientiousness had a positive influence on team in-role performance through team potency, but only for high power distance teams; and leader agreeableness had a positive effect on team in-role and extrarole performance via relational identification and on team in-role performance via team potency, but only for low power distance teams. The findings address prior inconsistencies regarding the relationships between leader traits and team effectiveness, identify an important boundary condition and key team processes that bridge the links, and provide a deeper understanding of the role of leader traits in teams. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Why do employees have better family lives when they are highly engaged at work?
    Past research on the effects of work engagement on the family has demonstrated contrasting effects, with some suggesting that work engagement is beneficial for family life whereas others suggesting that it may be detrimental. In this research, using a sample of 125 employees who responded to daily surveys both at work and at home for 2 consecutive weeks, the authors present a multilevel examination of the relationships of work engagement to family outcomes aimed at elucidating such work–family effects. Their findings revealed that employees’ daily work engagement experiences related positively, within individuals, to work–family interpersonal capitalization, which in turn, related positively to daily family satisfaction and to daily work–family balance. The findings also indicate that both the relationship between daily work engagement and work–family interpersonal capitalization and the indirect effects of daily work engagement on the family outcomes were stronger for employees with higher intrinsic motivation than for those with lower intrinsic motivation. The authors discuss theoretical and practical implications of the findings and offer directions for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Job crafting towards strengths and interests: The effects of a job crafting intervention on person–job fit and the role of age.
    We introduce 2 novel types of job crafting—crafting toward strengths and crafting toward interests—that aim to improve the fit between one’s job and personal strengths and interests. Based on Berg, Dutton, and Wrzesniewski (2013), we hypothesized that participating in a job crafting intervention aimed at adjusting the job to personal strengths and interests leads to higher levels of job crafting, which in turn will promote person–job fit. Moreover, we hypothesized that this indirect effect would be stronger for older workers compared with younger workers. Results of an experimental field study indicated that participating in the job crafting intervention leads to strengths crafting, but only among older workers. Strengths crafting was, in turn, positively associated with demands–abilities and needs–supplies fit. Unexpectedly, participating in the job crafting intervention did not influence job crafting toward interests and had a negative effect on crafting toward strengths among younger workers. However, our findings suggest that some types of job crafting interventions can indeed be an effective tool for increasing person–job fit of older workers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Clarifying the link between job satisfaction and absenteeism: The role of guilt proneness.
    We propose that the relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism depends partly on guilt proneness. Drawing on withdrawal and process models of absenteeism, we argue that job satisfaction predicts absences for employees who are low (but not high) in guilt proneness because low guilt-prone people’s behaviors are governed more by fulfilling their own egoistic desires than by fulfilling others’ normative expectations. We find support for this prediction in a sample of customer service agents working for a major telecommunications company and a sample of working adults employed in a range of industries. In each study, we use measures of employees’ guilt proneness and job satisfaction to predict their subsequent workplace absences. In Study 2, we extend our hypothesis tests to 2 traits that are conceptually comparable to guilt proneness (i.e., moral identity and agreeableness), showing that these traits similarly moderate the relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism. We discuss the implications of these findings for extant models of absenteeism and research on moral affectivity in the workplace. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Newcomer adjustment: Examining the role of managers’ perception of newcomer proactive behavior during organizational socialization.
    Separate streams of organizational socialization research have recognized the importance of (a) newcomer proactivity and (b) manager support in facilitating newcomer adjustment. However, extant research has largely focused on the newcomers’ experience, leaving the perspectives of managers during socialization relatively unexplored—a theoretical gap that has implications both for newcomer adjustment and manager-newcomer interactions that may serve as a basis for future relationship development. Drawing from the “interlocked” employee behavior argument of Weick (1979), we propose that managers’ perception of newcomers’ proactive behaviors are associated with concordant manager behaviors, which, in turn, support newcomer adjustment. Further, we investigate a cognitive mechanism—managers’ evaluation of newcomers’ commitment to adjust—which we expect underlies the proposed relationship between newcomers’ proactive behaviors and managers’ supportive behaviors. Using a time-lagged, 4-phase data collection of a sample of new software engineers in India and their managers, we were able to test our hypothesized model as well as rule out alternative explanations via multilevel structural equation modeling. Results broadly supported our model even after controlling for manager-newcomer social exchange relationship, proactive personalities of both newcomers and managers, and potential effects of coworker information providing. The implications of our findings for theory and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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