Good feelings and increased job performance : pleasure and interest as predictors of skill improvement and work achievement among Norwegian job-holders
AuthorWarholm, Vegard Stokka
Research within neurobiology has provided evidence for two distinctive classes of positive emotion, represented by separate brain systems called the “reward seeking-” (appetitive) and the “pleasure-” (consummatory) system (Burgdorf & Panksepp 2006). Recently, happiness research has provided empirical evidence for a distinction between the emotions “interest” and “pleasure” (Vittersø, Overwien & Martinsen, 2009), which share remarkably much of the same qualities and functions as the respective brain systems. In organizational science there has been a long lasting debate whether employee happiness promotes job-performance. This study aimed to show how and why pleasure and interest should be analyzed as separate emotions in an organizational context. By this route the thesis contributes new knowledge to the controversy of the “Happy - Productive Worker”. Knowledge workers (N = 53) working in an energy corporation in Norway participated in the study, and answered a maximum of five events reconstruction samplings during one workweek (N = 170). By using a multilevel design both within-person- and between-person variance is analyzed. By analyzing a series of events, the results showed that pleasant feelings promoted event satisfaction whereas interest promoted event achievement. Hence, interest and pleasure interact with job-related skill development in distinct ways. A path model suggested that interest predicted skill improvement indirectly through event achievement. Interest and pleasure were only moderately correlated with each other.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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