Impact and the art of motivation maintenance: The effects of contact with beneficiaries on persistence behavior

Adam M. Grant, Elizabeth M. Campbell, Grace Chen, Keenan Cottone, David Lapedis, Karen Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 168 Citations

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that employees are willing to maintain their motivation when their work is relationally designed to provide opportunities for respectful contact with the beneficiaries of their efforts. In Experiment 1, a longitudinal field experiment in a fundraising organization, callers in an intervention group briefly interacted with a beneficiary; callers in two control groups read a letter from the beneficiary and discussed it amongst themselves or had no exposure to him. One month later, the intervention group displayed significantly greater persistence and job performance than the control groups. The intervention group increased significantly in persistence (142% more phone time) and job performance (171% more money raised); the control groups did not. Experiments 2 and 3 used a laboratory editing task to examine mediating mechanisms and boundary conditions. In Experiment 2, respectful contact with beneficiaries increased persistence, mediated by perceived impact. In Experiment 3, mere contact with beneficiaries and task significance interacted to increase persistence, mediated by affective commitment to beneficiaries. Implications for job design and work motivation are discussed.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages53-67
Number of pages15
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume103
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

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Art
Maintenance
Control Groups
Experiment
Persistence
Work Performance
Job performance

Keywords

  • Contact with beneficiaries
  • Job design
  • Relationships in organizations
  • Work motivation and persistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this

Impact and the art of motivation maintenance : The effects of contact with beneficiaries on persistence behavior. / Grant, Adam M.; Campbell, Elizabeth M.; Chen, Grace; Cottone, Keenan; Lapedis, David; Lee, Karen.

In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 103, No. 1, 01.05.2007, p. 53-67.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Grant, Adam M. ; Campbell, Elizabeth M. ; Chen, Grace ; Cottone, Keenan ; Lapedis, David ; Lee, Karen. / Impact and the art of motivation maintenance : The effects of contact with beneficiaries on persistence behavior. In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 2007 ; Vol. 103, No. 1. pp. 53-67
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