Too drained to help: A resource depletion perspective on daily interpersonal citizenship behaviors

John P. Trougakos, Daniel J. Beal, Bonnie Hayden Cheng, Ivona Hideg, David Zweig

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

158 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the role of within-person fluctuations in employees' daily surface acting and subsequent personal energy resources in the performance of organizational citizenship behaviors directed toward other individuals in the workplace (OCBI). Drawing on ego depletion theory (Muraven & Baumeister, 2000), we develop a resource-based model in which surface acting is negatively associated with daily OCBIs through the depletion of resources manifested in end-of-day exhaustion. Further integrating ego depletion theory, we consider the role of employees' baseline personal resource pool, as indicated by chronic exhaustion, as a critical between-person moderator of these within-person relationships. Using an experience-sampling methodology to test this model, we found that surface acting was indirectly related to coworker ratings of OCBI through the experience of exhaustion. We further found that chronic levels of exhaustion exacerbated the influence of surface acting on employees' end-of-day exhaustion. These findings demonstrate the importance of employees' regulatory resource pool for combating depletion and maintaining important work behaviors. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Ego depletion theory
  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Experience sampling methods
  • Organizational citizenship behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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