Gratitude at Work
My dissertation builds theory about gratitude at work. Drawing from Affective Events Theory, I suggest two different forms of gratitude: state gratitude and job gratitude. State gratitude refers to grateful moods or emotions which tend to last short term, whereas job gratitude refers to employees’ grateful attitudes particularly toward their jobs that tend to last longer. Empirically, I conducted three related studies. In the first study, I developed and validated the 7-item measure of job gratitude using a series of surveys that confirmed a satisfactory content and construct validity of the measure. Using an experience sampling procedure, in the second study I suggested and tested a theoretical model of state gratitude at work. A series of longitudinal surveys with 135 employees showed that state gratitude that is captured by a 3 week long daily survey is positively associated with in-role behaviors through the desire to reciprocate benevolence. My analyses also showed that the availability of extrinsic job rewards negatively moderates the positive impact of state gratitude on helping behaviors through the desire to reciprocate benevolence. Employees’ job dependency also negatively moderates the positive impact of state gratitude on both helping and in-role behaviors through the desire to reciprocate benevolence. The third study proposed and tested a theoretical model of job gratitude. My analyses showed that through the mechanism of intended help, job gratitude is positively associated with extra-role behaviors including helping behaviors, organizational citizenship behaviors directed to an organization, and voice behaviors. Taken together, my dissertation enriches theories in emotion literature by exploring a particular type of discrete, social, and moral emotions. My dissertation also contributes to gratitude literature outside of organizational studies, as it broadens the scope of impacts of gratitude in work contexts. Lastly, this dissertation contributes to Organizational Positive Scholarship by shedding light on the experiences of the recipients’ of prosocial behaviors.