Doing good, feeling good? The roles of helping motivation and citizenship pressure

Katrina Jia Lin, Krishna Savani, Remus Ilies

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on self-determination theory, this research investigates whether the motivation behind employees' helping behaviors is associated with their positive affect and their subsequent help provision, and whether citizenship pressure moderates these relationships. A recall-based experiment and an experiencesampling study capturing helping episodes among fulltime employees found that when employees helped coworkers because of higher autonomous (controlled) motivation in a helping episode, they experienced higher (lower) positive affect, and they had stronger (weaker) helping intentions and helped coworkers more (less) subsequently. We further found that citizenship pressure enhanced the positive relationship between episodic autonomous motivation and positive affect. Overall, the results challenge the universality of the "doing good-feeling good" effect and explicate the joint roles of citizenship pressure and helpers' episodic motivation in influencing employees' positive affect and their subsequent helping behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1020-1035
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Event11th Asia Academy of Management Conference - Bali, Indonesia
Duration: 19 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


  • Citizenship pressure
  • Helping motivation
  • Organizational citizenship behaviors
  • Positive affect
  • Self-determination theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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