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date: 27 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the nature, contextual and dispositional antecedents, contingent behavioral consequences, and moderating effects of prosocial motivation at work. Prosocial motivation—the desire to protect and promote the well-being of others—is distinct from altruism and independent of self-interested motivations. Key antecedents include relational job design, collectivistic norms and rewards, transformational leadership, and individual differences in other-oriented values, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Prosocial motivation more strongly predicts persistence, performance, and productivity when it is intrinsic rather than extrinsic; citizenship behaviors when it is accompanied by impression management motivation; and performance when manager trustworthiness is high. Prosocial motivation strengthens the relationships of intrinsic motivation with creativity, core self-evaluations with performance, and proactive behaviors with performance evaluations. Future directions include studying the conditions under which prosocial motivation fuels unethical behavior and harm-doing, collective prosocial motivation, behavior as a cause rather than consequence of prosocial motivation, new organizational antecedents of prosocial motivation, and implications for social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, and the natural environment.

Keywords: Work motivation, prosocial behavior, job design, organizational citizenship, other-orientation

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