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When lending a hand depletes the will: the daily costs and benefits of helping

Lanaj, Klodiana, Johnson, Russell E. and Wang, Mo 2016, When lending a hand depletes the will: the daily costs and benefits of helping, Journal of applied psychology, vol. 101, no. 8, pp. 1097-1110, doi: 10.1037/apl0000118.

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Title When lending a hand depletes the will: the daily costs and benefits of helping
Author(s) Lanaj, Klodiana
Johnson, Russell E.
Wang, Mo
Journal name Journal of applied psychology
Volume number 101
Issue number 8
Start page 1097
End page 1110
Total pages 14
Publisher American Psychological Association
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 0021-9010
1939-1854
Keyword(s) helping
resource depletion
experience sampling
perceived prosocial impact
prosocial motivation
Summary Employees help on a regular daily basis while at work, yet surprisingly little is known about how responding to help requests affects helpers. Although recent theory suggests that helping may come at a cost to the helper, the majority of the helping literature has focused on the benefits of helping. The current study addresses the complex nature of helping by simultaneously considering its costs and benefits for helpers. Using daily diary data across 3 consecutive work weeks, we examine the relationship between responding to help requests, perceived prosocial impact of helping, and helpers’ regulatory resources. We find that responding to help requests depletes regulatory resources at an increasing rate, yet perceived prosocial impact of helping can replenish resources. We also find that employees’ prosocial motivation moderates these within-person relationships, such that prosocial employees are depleted to a larger extent by responding to help requests, and replenished to a lesser extent by the perceived prosocial impact of helping. Understanding the complex relationship of helping with regulatory resources is important because such resources have downstream effects on helpers’ behavior in the workplace. We discuss the implications of our findings for both theory and practice.
Language eng
DOI 10.1037/apl0000118
Field of Research 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
1701 Psychology
1503 Business And Management
1505 Marketing
Socio Economic Objective 910402 Management
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, American Psychological Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30090784

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Department of Management
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