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Being present and thankful: a multi-study investigation of mindfulness, gratitude, and employee helping behavior

Sawyer, Katina B., Thoroughgood, Christian N., Stillwell, Elizabeth E. ORCID: 0000-0003-1079-1996, Duffy, Michelle K., Scott, Kristin L. and Adair, Elizabeth A. (2022) Being present and thankful: a multi-study investigation of mindfulness, gratitude, and employee helping behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 107 (2). 240 - 262. ISSN 0021-9010

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Identification Number: 10.1037/apl0000903


Gratitude plays an integral role in promoting helping behavior at work. Thus, cultivating employees' experiences of gratitude represents an important imperative in modern organizations that rely on teamwork and collaboration to achieve organizational goals. Yet, today's workplace presents a complex array of demands that make it difficult for employees to fully attend to and appreciate the various benefits they receive at work. As such, gratitude is difficult for employers to promote and for employees to experience. Despite these observations, the role of attention and awareness in facilitating employees' feelings of gratitude is largely overlooked in the extant literature. In this study, we examined whether one notable form of present moment attention, mindfulness, may promote helping behavior by stimulating the positive, other-oriented emotion of gratitude. Across two experimental studies, a semiweekly, multisource diary study, and a 10-day experience sampling investigation, we found converging evidence for a serial mediation model in which state mindfulness, via positive affect and perspective taking, prompts greater levels of gratitude, prosocial motivation, and, in turn, helping behavior at work. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our investigation, as well as avenues for the future research.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 American Psychological Association
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 15:27
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2024 11:09

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