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Are Coworkers Good Soldiers Or Good Actors?
Yang, Tae Seok
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Drawing from attribution theory, I propose a field study which develops and tests a model to describe (1) how individuals use multiple observations of coworker behavior to form attributions about whether beneficial behaviors have self-serving or prosocial motives, (2) how the attributions regarding the motive for coworker behavior (self-serving or prosocial) moderate the influence of organizational citizenship behaviors on affect toward that coworker, and finally, (3) how such affect toward a coworker translates into more distal performance-related evaluations of coworkers. Specifically, two attribution cues, distinctiveness and consistency, are considered as mechanism through which coworkers form beliefs about the motives for their focal employee's behavior as prosocial or self-serving. Consistency was measured by the congruence between exemplification in presence of the supervisor and exemplification in absence of the supervisor. To understand these multi-dimensional relationships, polynomial regression response surface analysis was conducted. Polynomial regression response surface analysis was used to investigate the attribution process where individuals form , and structural equation modeling was used to examine a two-stage moderated mediation model which depicts indirect effect of impression management on the distal work outcomes (i.e., coworker performance appraisal, coworker preference) via organizational citizenship behaviors (i.e., OCB-I, OCB-O) and affective responses (i.e., coworker liking, coworker trust), and existence of attributed motive's moderating role on the relationship between OCBs and affects. Results showed that the joint relationship of the two competing IM behaviors supported the hypothesized attributed motives in most situations. As expected, when beneficial behavior was consistent across targets and situations, a prosocial attribution occurred but a self-serving attribution occurred when there was upward high distinctiveness (supervisor-focused ingratiation was higher than coworker-focused ingratiation) or low consistency such that exemplification occurred more in the supervisor's presence than absence. It was also found that the higher the prosocial motive attribution. Also, the analysis produced evidence to support the three-path meditation effect model in which impression management indirectly affected distal work-related outcomes via OCB-I - liking chain, but not via OCB-O and trust. However, this study did not find evidence for the moderating effect of the attributed motives.