BORIS Theses

BORIS Theses
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Appreciation at Work and its Consequences

Pfister, Isabel Barbara (2019). Appreciation at Work and its Consequences. (Thesis). Universität Bern, Bern

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In today's difficult global economy, work related stress is high. Stress — along with other health impairing factors — can affect work productivity, satisfaction, safety, absenteeism, turnover, and even workplace violence, which is why organizations are increasingly turning to occupational health psychology to develop, maintain, and promote the health of employees. In occupational health psychology, one of the core assumptions is that conditions at work affect employee well-being. Appreciation is one of the positive aspects of work, which can promote optimal human functioning and well-being. The current Swiss National Foundation project is embedded in this context. The four main goals of the project whereas follow: 1) Longitudinally test, if appreciation predicts well-being; 2) investigate if some sources of appreciation are more important than others; 3) to test if appreciation interacts with stressors, such that the effects of stressors are attenuated if appreciation is high; and 4) investigate the short-term effects of appreciation on well-being through diary methods and analyze the interaction with positive and negative daily experiences. The first and third paper written in the course of this project present longitudinal data and confirm the positive effects of appreciation over time (first objective). Furthermore, we tried to disentangle within-person and between-person effects, confirming previous findings that an effect happening at one level, cannot automatically be assumed to happen at another. The second objective of this dissertational project was to investigate if different sources of appreciation are more important than others. Our results clearly showed, that supervisors, followed by work colleagues, where the most important sources of appreciation (papers I-III). The third aim of the project was to test if appreciation interacts with stressors, such that the effects of stressors are attenuated if appreciation is high. In our first and second paper we find partial confirmation for this hypothesis. Appreciation did buffer the negative effect of illegitimate tasks on affective well-being, but only on a within-person level (paper I). On a daily level, appreciation did also work as a buffer for negative daily experiences (paper II). The fourth aim of the study was to investigate appreciation and the short-term consequences on well-being on an inter-individual level. We also wanted to find out, if there was an interplay with positive and negative daily experiences at work. In our second article we present data from our diary study, where we captured the short-term fluctuations in appreciation, indicators of well-being as well as how many positive and negative experiences participants made daily. Again, appreciation from supervisors had the strongest effect on well-being. Also, appreciation from colleagues had a significant effect on well-being after work, but only when participants were confronted with negative experiences that day. Furthermore, we found that appreciation from supervisors buffered the negative impact of daily negative events. Appreciation from colleagues did not.

Item Type: Thesis
Dissertation Type: Cumulative
Date of Defense: 9 May 2019
Subjects: 100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Institute / Center: 07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
Depositing User: Hammer Igor
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 07:46
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 02:50

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