The costs of political conversations at work: An experience sampling study during National Election Periods in South Korea

Sooyeol Kim, Brent Lyons, Wonjoon Chung, Seonghee Cho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Talking about politics with others or voicing your political views in public is a commonplace aspect of everyday life. In particular, after the U.S. presidential election in 2020, media sources highlighted the detrimental effects of political conversation at work on employee well-being and morale. Nevertheless, little academic research has sought to examine political interactions at work and their effects on employees' well-being and work outcomes. Integrating the concept of self-regulation with the coping model of stress, in this study we examine the costs of political conversations initiated by either supervisors or coworkers for employees' helping and withdrawal behaviors. We used an experience sampling method to collect two weekly surveys from 166 full-time workers from South Korea for 6 weeks (n = 823). Our multilevel path analysis found that during weeks when employees had more political conversations at work, they had higher levels of resource depletion, which in turn was linked to fewer helping behaviors and more withdrawal behaviors. Importantly, individuals' geographic region and political identity management (i.e., their preferences for openly talking about their political identity) moderated the indirect effects of political conversations on behavioral outcomes via increased resource depletion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103704
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume134
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Depletion
  • Political conversation
  • Resources
  • Self-regulation
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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