Impact and the art of motivation maintenance: The effects of contact with beneficiaries on persistence behavior

Grant, A. M.,
Campbell, E. M.,
Chen, G.,
Cottone, K.,
Lapedis, D.,
Lee, K.
Year Published: 2007
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume: 103

Issue: 1

These authors explored whether employees can be motivated to invest additional time and energy in their work when jobs and tasks are relationally structured to provide opportunities for respectful contact with the beneficiaries of their efforts. In Experiment 1, a longitudinal field experiment in a fundraising organization, callers in an intervention group briefly interacted with a beneficiary while those in two control groups read a letter from the beneficiary but had no exposure to him. One month later, the intervention group displayed significantly greater persistence and job performance than the control groups. Experiments 2 and 3 used a laboratory editing task to examine mediating mechanisms and boundary conditions. In Experiment 2, respectful contact with beneficiaries increased persistence, mediated by perceived impact. In Experiment 3, mere contact with beneficiaries and task significance interacted to increase persistence, mediated by affective commitment to beneficiaries. The authors discuss the implications for job design and work motivation. Modified Author Abstract.

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